I have built and continue to build lots of Joomla sites. Experience and a need for efficiency, have lead me to develop a system that allows me to quickly create new Joomla web sites with all my favorite extensions pre-configured.
This systems uses a Joomla install as a base or a seed site. All standard components are added and configured here. Then Akeeba Backup is used to back up and then restore the site to a new location. The seed site is then kept up to date with security fixes and code updates.
Anytime you need a new Joomla website, return to your seed site, back it up and restore it to as the base of your new Joomla website. All extensions are up to date and configured to your tastes.
This can be set up at any domain or subdomain you like, start.mydomain.com or joomla.mydomain.com, whatever works best for you. Do not use this Joomla install for anything else. For the Joomla install I use Joomla 2.5 and do not install the sample data or create any Sections, Categories, Articles or Menu items. Keep it clean.
This is a seperate file, can be notepad, word, google docs or evernote. List should include:
When set up a new site, I go through this list checking each extension for security fixes and feature updates. You save a lot of time by keeping all of the information in one place.
Keep this list to just the extensions you install on every site. Try to avoid site specific components. If a new version of an extension is released update your list. You will refer to this document everytime you start a new site. The more complete and up to date your note are the more time you will save. Here are Our standard joomla 2.5 extensions.
Using your extension list install and configure your seed site to your liking. This will become your new default Joomla Install.
Use Akeeba Backup back up your Seed Site and restore it to your new site location. You now have a base install to design, add content, menu items, and what ever else you need. You save time by configuring your default Joomla install only once and then just cecking for updates as opposed to setting your new joomla site from scratch each time.
Keep your Extensions List and seed site up to date. It is a good ideas to password protect your seed site or even disable it if you hosting company will allow. Then when you need a new joomla site enable it, refer to your extension list, check all the sites for new updates, (the cleaner your list is the easier it is to check all the extensions for updates.) If you find an extension update, or joomla update make the change to your seed site, and update the extension list.
The real power of this system is found when your create the 2nd, 3rd, etc. You have already done the bulk of the work, you are just checking for updates and security fixes, then transfering the Seed Site to the new location.
It may take you a few times to refine your system but once you get it down the time required ot set up a new joomla site is drastically reduced.
Hope this helps!
This post was updated on July 9 as some of the Joomla extension names have changed and Joomla is now at version 2.5 instead of 1.5. The concepts and procedures remain the same.