To install Joomla sample content or not to install sample content. That is the question.

So, you are building a Joomla site for a client and you get to the step in the Joomla install where it asks if you want install the sample content. What do you do?

You have installed Joomla 3-4 times, feel good with it now, you are feeling confident, why not skip the sample content nonsense and go for the gusto? This is a common question I answer a lot.

People who install Joomla a few times tend to feel they know everything about it and jump in head first. The problem with this is they most likely don’t and it will cause them far more headaches in the short term.

Many template companies use the Joomla sample content to line up and display their templates. If you don’t install this sample data, then many times you will be stuck with trying to figure out what tiny setting you are missing or overlooked. I find it is much easier to install the sample content, and un-publish and delete things I do not need, rather then trying to recreate everything from scratch.

I have been installing and building Joomla sites since the Mambo days, so I have a bit of experience. While I admit, there are specif times and circumstances when I do not want sample data, 9 times out of 10, sample data makes my TTL much quicker.

I admit, this post might come off as a bit cocky or “meh, I know it all”, so in summary, your mileage may vary.  This is just my preferred way to get things rolling.  Don’t agree with me?  Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Nice article, but is it possible to additionally install sample data? I have forgotten to click the button, and I think it would be usefull to have it. What would be your suggestion to do, if it’s not possible to addtionally install it? Should I uninstall the Joomla from htdocs(xampp) and then install it again?

    Thanks for you time!

  2. I’m not sure of a way of adding sample data after the install. If you are will to get your hands dirty in your database I’m sure you could do a selective import, but to be honest reinstalling is fast and simple unless you have a long standing site.

  3. I also experienced some problems when not installing sample data : some default Joomla module don’t install (e.g. : the search module), and it is quite tricky afterwards to install it.

    The only way I found is to finally install sample data on my running site. Not easy, but you’ll find some good tips on the Joomla forum :

  4. i have installed joomla without sample data because i had some troubles regarding folder permitions. Now i cant create menus. i go to main menu, click to New/Article and i dont see the sub-options under Article, therefore i cannot conect the menu with a category or an article.

    Do you have any suggestion?

  5. Thanks for this mate!…. I was thinking that I was an idiot – just could not figure out how to get everything running when someone else installed Joomla for me on their machine.

    Good tip – wish i have came across it earlier… now I’m off to search for more jewels of wisdom on your site!

  6. You are bloody right, I skipped sample content installation in my joomla 1.7 and I regret it much now ! :-(((

  7. As a new user (like this is day1) I want to remove the sample content because I find it easier to undertsand what I am looking at if I have put it there myself. I find the various sample sites, articles, menus, categories etc very confusing. But having read the above I am not so sure…

    I suppose as this is a brand new intsall I could play around and if things do not work our (or seem to be going wrong I can just reinstall including sample content.

    An half-way house atlernative is to delete the articles, but not empty the trash so they can be retrieved…

    Whatcha think?

  8. Hi,

    I am stuck! I want to make a template with sample data so my clients can download it and installer it. Just Like when you buy a template Then you Can download the demo version. The site if added to this comment i want to make with sample data. But how?

    I hope you know what i mean. I just want to export the site with sample data

    Help :)

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