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2.10.1 User Guide

Installing ExpressionEngine


If you need to update your installation from an earlier version, see the Update Instructions instead.

Before getting started, make sure your web host and your browser meet all the System Requirements to run ExpressionEngine.

1. Prep the Database

You’ll need an empty database and the following credentials handy to install ExpressionEngine. If you’re not sure how to create a new database or find this information, ask your web host.

  • MySQL Database Name
  • MySQL Server Address (often localhost or the server IP address)
  • MySQL Username
  • MySQL Password

2. Upload the Files

After purchasing ExpressionEngine, download it from your account (or grab a copy of the free, feature-limited ExpressionEngine Core), and unzip the files to a folder on your computer. Then use your favorite FTP client to upload the files to a publicly-accessible directory on your server.

3. Set File Permissions


These permissions are typical for PHP-based applications running on Apache, though you may want to check with your web host to see if more restrictive permissions can be used to allow PHP to write to files and directories.

Set these files to 666:

  • system/expressionengine/config/config.php
  • system/expressionengine/config/database.php

Set these directories to 777:

  • system/expressionengine/cache/
  • images/avatars/uploads/
  • images/captchas/
  • images/member_photos/
  • images/pm_attachments/
  • images/signature_attachments/
  • images/uploads/


Provide all permissions to the IIS user for these directories:

  • system/expressionengine/cache/
  • images/avatars/uploads/
  • images/captchas/
  • images/member_photos/
  • images/pm_attachments/
  • images/signature_attachments/
  • images/uploads/

4. Run The Installation Wizard

Point your browser to the URL of the admin.php file you uploaded. For example:

Follow the on-screen instructions to install ExpressionEngine.


If you choose the None - Empty Installation Site Theme, your site’s homepage will appear blank because no templates or content has been created yet.

Once the Installation Wizard is finished, you must remove the system/installer/ directory from your server.

Welcome to ExpressionEngine!

You can now log in to your Control Panel at!

If you’re new to ExpressionEngine, get started with the classic Hello, World! example.

Post-Installation Best Practices

Once you are confident that ExpressionEngine is working normally on your server, we recommend a few best practices for protecting your installation against common security risks.

User Contributed Notes

Posted by: quickshiftin on 18 July 2013 3:15am
quickshiftin's avatar

Set file permissions quickly and easily with this script!!

Setting the permissions by hand every time can be painful and error prone.  Rather than request a feature I’ll simply share a link to a quick BASH script which can set the permissions (following best practices of course) in a single call on the CLI!

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