Refresh the Dev Site

Refresh the Dev Site

The “DEV Site” is the FHA administrators’ test bed, and is accessed as

When embarking on a new project that has the potential of disrupting or breaking the function of the FHA website, the DEV site should be “refreshed”, meaning the production site’s current state should be replicated on the DEV site.

This is easily done using a current backup file from Akeeba Backup, plus a downloaded (to get the most current copy) program called kickstart.php, available at

Download the kickstart zip file, unzip it, and then extract from the ZIP file two files:

  1. kickstart.php and
  2. eng-GB.kickstart.ini

Upload these to the website’s /dev directory.

Now login to and, using the cPanel’s File Manager, copy the latest backup (a large file with extension ‘jpa’) from /public_html/administrator/components/com_akeeba/backup to /public_html/dev.

There are now three new files on the DEV site, and you can begin the restoration of the backup on DEV using kickstart. Start it by opening the page

and follow the instructions:

  1. Read the notice that comes up, and close it (press Esc or click the line at the bottom.)
  2. Click the Start button at the bottom of the page.
  3. After a delay while files are extracted, click the Run the Installer button.
  4. The Server Setup page will open. All the settings there can be accepted. Look at the upper right corner of the page and click the Next button.
  5. You  have to type in all the database access info, as it’s the same on the FHA production and DEV sites. The host is “localhost” The userID and password are the Joomla Administrator userID and password.
  6. Important: In the top group “Connection Parameters”, the last entry in the group is the Database name “fearrin1_jml1“. Add “dev” to the end of the name, making it “fearrin1_jml1dev“. This will make all the backed-up database files go into the dev database rather than the production database. It will also configure Joomla to use the dev database for all Joomla access. All the other fields on this page should be left as-is.
  7. Click Next in the upper right corner.
  8. When the Restoration Process box gets to 100% (very quickly, as a rule), click OK.
  9. Next the Site Info page is displayed. Change the Site Name to “FHA Sandbox Website” or similar, and the Email Sender Name to “FHA Sandbox Managers” or similar.
  10. Set the site URL to ““.
  11. Click the box to “Override tmp and log paths”.
  12. Click Next.
  13. On the Finish page, click the link to remove the installation directory.
  14. Click OK to dismiss the notification box, and the newly refrecshed DEV site will open.
  15. Using your FTP connection OR the cPanel file manager, delete kickstart.php and the .jpa backup file from the /dev directory. This is a security measure.