Retired Documentation:  You are using the documentation for version 1.7.3 which was retired in 2013. Go here for the latest version documentation or check here for your available upgrades to ExpressionEngine 3.

Installation Instructions

Important: Do NOT perform these installation steps if you need to update your copy of ExpressionEngine from an earlier version. Instead, use the Update Instructions.

ExpressionEngine is installed in six steps.

1.  Get Your Settings

In order to install ExpressionEngine you will need to know 4 pieces of information. If you do not know what they are, please contact your hosting provider and ask them.

  1. MySQL Database Name
  2. MySQL Server Address (often "localhost" or the server IP address)
  3. MySQL Username
  4. MySQL Password

Note: You will need to either create your database or have an existing database before running the ExpressionEngine installation. This can usually be done either using something such as phpMyAdmin or through your web hosting account control panel.

2.  Rename the "system" folder

This is an optional, but recommended step that increases security by keeping the directory containing your ExpressionEngine backend files hidden from public access.

To perform this step: Rename the directory called system. Choose a name that is not easily guessed.

3.  Upload the Files

Using an FTP program such as WS_FTP, SmartFTP, Transmit, Fetch, etc. upload the ExpressionEngine files to a web accessible directory on your server.

Image files should be uploaded in BINARY format. The texb.ttf (TrueType Font) file in the system/fonts/ folder should be uploaded in BINARY format. All other files should be uploaded in ASCII format (also known as "text" format).

Note: Do not upload the following file and directory; they are only used for people performing an update from a previous version:

4.  Set File Permissions

EngineHosting clients: Due to the secure Apache process used on EngineHosting's servers, you do not need to change the default permissions and can skip this step.

Windows Servers: The files and directories that need to be set to 666 or 777 on Unix servers need to be set as writeable on Windows servers. You may need to contact your Host or server admin for this.

If you are using a Unix server (or Unix variant, like Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, etc.) you must set the following files to 666:

You must set the following directories to 777:

6.  Run the Installation Wizard

Point your browser to the ExpressionEngine Installation Wizard, located in your main ExpressionEngine root:


This file will perform changes that are required in order to update you to the new version of ExpressionEngine.

Important: Make sure you are accessing the file as you would a regular webpage, using an address similar to DO NOT access the file locally on your desktop computer.

When you are finished delete the install.php file from your server. Leaving it on the server is a security risk.

Troubleshooting and Running PHP as CGI

Please see the Troubleshooting Page for tips as well as special information if your server runs PHP as a CGI process.

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