Troubleshooting Installation Problems


Some quick pointers that may help you overcome installation issues that have occured on some Exponent systems.

Installation Troubleshooting Guide

You are unable to send e-mail

In order for the email system to work, you MUST have correctly entered the mail server settings.  Information about this part of the Site Configuraion can be found here.


Installation was interrupted and now I can only 'Upgrade' the site

If you failed to finish an installation and the site doesn't work, but trying to reinstall brings you to the upgrade screen, you'll need to manipulate a few files.


I extracted the Exponent package, but now I only get the "Site is Down" message

In version 2.0.4, the installation process was changed to be less apt to be triggered by any user visiting your site.  You MUST now specifically envoke the installation/upgrade routine by browsing to


I installed v2.2.0 and now my content has disappeared

Because v2.2.0 finally sheds all the old 1.0 style code the existing content can not be displayed until the site database is updated to the v2.2.0 format (you should have received a warning to this effect).  Because the 2.0 style code references the database consistently, it MANDATES an upgrade be performed.


I moved my site out of a subfolder and it no longer works

If you installed your site within a subfolder, the system creates an 'overrides.php' file on some servers to help find the subfolder.  This must be updated to show the new system location.


I installed v2.2.0 and now see messages about such and such module is not found.

Because v2.2.0 finally sheds all the old 1.0 style code, the old 1.0 style modules no longer exist.  In some cases, Exponent is still able to display the module because the 2.0 module has the same name, but in this case, the referenced 'hard-coded' module in the theme template(s) (don't forget subthemes) still refers to the old module with the 'module' suffix'.  You'll need to update the hard-coded module entries in your theme templates.  This article explains how to update your custom theme template(s).

I installed v2.2.0 and now my site crashes all the time

Most likely your theme template(s) (don't forget the subthemes) was using some deprecated 1.0 style function calls.  All the 1.0 style code was removed from v2.2.0 and the failure to update the custom theme to remove all the obsolete functions (they were deprecated when v2.0.0 was released) has now been exposed.  This article explains how to update your custom theme template(s).


I upgraded to v2.3.0 and now my page styling is different

In v2.3.0, we fixed the loading of framework library, Exponent CMS system, and theme styling to take place in the correct order so that style cascading is implemented correctly.  In previous versions, this was the intent, but in some cases didn't work that way.  Here is the sequence of stylesheet loading:


I upgraded to v2.3.0 and now my pages won't load correctly

In v2.3.0 we fixed/changed the javascript loading to the bottom of the page for good loading optimization.  Though this was always the design/intent, it wasn't properly implemented until v2.3.0.  If you have javascript code in your theme or subtheme template which requires the YUI or jQuery libraries be loaded, it MUST now be placed AFTER the expTheme::foot() call since that method where the javascript (library) loading code is output to the page.  The placement of javascript within a theme template previously didn't matter because the javascript (library) loading actually occured at the top of the page (which delayed initial display of the page).


I installed v2.2.0 and now my site formatting is messed up

Most likely your theme template(s) (don't forget the subthemes) or custom views make reference to deprecated YUI 'reset' stylesheet names or constants.  The YUI 'reset' stylesheets still exist, but under a different name, and the YUI path constants were renamed for consistency with other 'path' constants.  This article explains how to update your custom theme template(s).


I upgraded to v2.3.1 and whenever I try to run the upgrade I'm taken back to the home page

Because of some security enhancements added to v2.3.0patch4 (and later versions), you must now be already logged in as a super-admin in order to perform an 'upgrade'.


My .htaccess file is correct, but turning On Search Engine Friendly (SEF) still doesn't work

This can be caused by one of two issues: 1) the main web server configuration does NOT allow overriding settings (AllowOverride) which requires changing the server configuration, or 2) on some (apache based) servers, the configuration requires adding an additional line to your .htaccess file if your site is within a subfolder of the root web folder. The entry is 'RewriteBase /subfolder-name/'. This entry comes immediately after the '
RewriteEngine On' line.


I attempted to install/upgrade v2.3.3 patch#1 and only see a blank page

If you are attempting to install or upgrade to v2.3.3 patch#1 you will receive a blank page when browsing to if your web server is running php version 5.2.x.  As of Exponent v2.3.2, the package requires php version 5.3.x or later.  Versions release after v2.3.3 patch #1 will produce an error message instead of a blank page when this error occurs.

I'm attempting to install Exponent and the pages are blank

If you are attempting a new Exponent installation on a (new) server, you've not yet had a version of Exponent running on and all you see are blank pages, your php server is not configured properly.


I'm attempting to install Exponent and the pages are only partially formed

During the installation process, if you see a page with NO button to proceed to the next step (the page was only partially formed), your web server has timed out before the script was completed.  On slow web and database servers, the default php configuration settings (30 seconds is the default) may cause the server to 'time out' before all the actions required for that page are complete.  This normally only occurs on 'test' type servers and not those dedicated as production web servers.  The fix is to increase the 'max_execution_time' setting in php.ini.

I'm attempting to upgrade my Exponent site and now the page is blank

If you were attempting to upgrade an Exponent installation where the older version was running smoothly, but now since you installed the newer version you only see a blank page...try the following.


I've changed/added 'something' and the site hasn't changed

Exponent CMS uses several caches to help speed up page display. In most cases when you change code, styles, items, or add pages or items, they don't seem to appear. This could be the result of some caching on the Server side. Some things for an Admin user to try are: