Installing Textpattern: Acquire and Upload Core Files

Textpattern CMS version 4.5.5 was released earlier this month. This updated version of Textpattern includes support for PHP 5.5 and updates the included jQuery to version 1.8.3. Additionally, three usability issues were resolved. There were no security-related fixes.

This is as good a time as any to introduce you to the Textpattern file structure before we install to Arvixe web hosting. Textpattern is available to download as a .zip file or .tar.gz, the expanded contents of both are identical, so you can choose whichever format you’re most comfortable with.

I want to explain some important things to bear in mind when you’re setting up your Textpattern installation before you begin, as this will save you time and avoid unnecessary administration in the future. Download and expand the Textpattern archive to your computer. The contents of the downloaded folder contents will look like this:

  • .htaccess (web server directives, including support for clean URLs)
  • HISTORY.txt (release notes for the current and previous versions of Textpattern)
  • README.txt (information pertaining to Textpattern, including installation and upgrade instructions)
  • css.php (provides cascading style sheets to the browser)
  • files (storage for user-supplied files, managed using the Textpattern administration interface)
  • images (storage for user-supplied images, managed using the Textpattern administration interface)
  • index.php (the index file that the browser loads to render pages)
  • js (JavaScript libraries to aid browser rendering)
  • rpc (an in-built RPC server, disabled by default)
  • sites (scaffolding for a multi-site Textpattern installation)
  • textpattern (the Textpatten core files)

The Textpattern core files, when expanded from their download archive, occupy around 3MB on a disk. Pushing these files up to your Arvixe web hosting is your first step to getting everything up and running.

Before you upload, however, it’s important to work out where you want Textpattern to reside on your site. Assume you have a website that you want to install Textpattern to:

The location of index.php dictates from where Textpattern will do its thing. In this instance, you can have index.php in the root of the domain:

You can also create a subfolder and have it run from there, like this:

Regardless of where you have index.php located, Textpattern will manage the content on your site to your own guidelines. When Textpattern is installed, you can create virtual subfolders from within your site, like these:

This walkthrough assumes you’re using Arvixe PersonalClass Linux hosting. Connect to your server via FTP and navigate to the public_html folder. For this tutorial, I’m going to install to the root of the website and have Textpattern take care of the whole site, so I don’t need to create a subdirectory. Find the expanded files that came from the Textpattern download archive and upload them. At the end of the upload process, you should have a folder on your web server with the same files and folder structure as the expanded files from the archive. Like this:

Note there is a file called .htaccess on the server. You may find your computer omits to show hidden files like this: check your FTP client is set to show invisible/hidden files and .htaccess should appear. The .htaccess file is important because it tells the browser about the URL format, so make sure it gets uploaded.

When all the files have been uploaded to your server, open a browser and go to the location you which you installed index.php. If the file upload has completed successfully, and assuming you saw no errors, you will now have all the files in place to start an installation. You can check to see if your server recognizes the Textpattern files by visiting this address:

Don’t forget to change to your own site. If the files are uploaded successfully, you’ll see a no-frills welcome screen like this:

Before we install, though, there is a database to setup and configure, and I’ll be covering that in the next post.

Looking for quality Textpattern Hosting? Look no further than Arvixe Web Hosting!

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Author Spotlight

Pete Cooper

Pete Cooper has been using Textpattern since 2005. Textpattern is his preferred CMS weapon of choice. Its logical and flexible approach to content management makes Pete happy, as does its lightweight core and helpful user community. Pete's website - - runs on top of Textpattern and chronicles his day-to-day experiences from his home near the Atlantic in north Cornwall, United Kingdom.

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