Learn Joomla

Extendable CMS platform that allows for seamless creation of basically every type of website!

• Last Updated: 01/31/2020
• ( 6 minutes reading )

How to configure System Settings in Joomla


In this tutorial, we will review the second part of your Joomla website Global Configuration - the “System” settings. You will learn how to manage the Debugging, Caching, and Admin Session Lifetime settings.


Accessing the Global Configuration page

In order to begin, please log in to your Joomla Admin Dashboard and navigate through the top menu bar to System > Global Configuration.


Accessing the Global Configuration page


The “Global Configuration” page is where you will find the general settings allowing you to control your Joomla website.


Configuring System Settings

Now that you have accessed the “Global Configuration” page, please make sure to switch to the “System” tab. You will notice it is split into few sections grouping settings relevant to different aspects of your website. In order to keep it consistent, we will review each of the settings by following the same order they are displayed and explain every setting in detail.

First is the System Settings” section under which you will see the “Path to Log Folder” field. It displays the path to the directory under which Joomla log files are stored. Please note that it is not really recommended to apply any changes to the default path unless strictly required.

Second the “Debugging Settings” section - here you will be able to control the debugging mode of your Joomla website. Note that it is NOT recommended to keep these settings for live websites. You can temporarily enable them while performing certain tests or troubleshooting.

  • Debug System - If this setting is enabled diagnostic information will be displayed in the footer of each page containing errors ( session information, database queries, log messages, etc.). Note that this information will be visible on the backend, as well as on the frontend even if the “Site Offline” option is set to "Yes". Bear in mind the public availability of that information could negatively influence your website security.
  • Debug Language - If this setting is enabled, special characters: (* …*) and (?? … ??) will be used to indicate all translatable strings in Joomla Language files. The asterisks (*) indicates that a match had been found in the language definition file and the string surrounded had been translated. The question mark (?) indicates that no match had been found in the language definition file, but the string surrounded had been translated. If the string is not surrounded by any characters it means it is not translatable,


Configuring System and Debug Settings


Right below is the “Cache Settings” section.

  • Cache Handler - This setting determines the caching mechanism used to manage cache storage. By default, it is file-based.
  • Path to Cache Folder - In this field, you can specify a custom cache folder, by entering the full path to it. Please note that it is required the folder to be writable.
  • Cache Time - This setting determines the maximum time (in minutes) for storing cache files before they are refreshed.
  • Platform Specific Caching - This setting controls whether the platform-specific caching is enabled or disabled. It is intended for cases in which the HTML output on mobile devices varies compared to other devices.
  • System Cache - From this dropdown menu you can control if the caching is enabled/disabled and the caching level. As you will notice, it is disabled by default. If you want to enable it you can choose between “ON - Conservative Caching” (a standard type of caching) and “On - Progressive Caching” (advanced, bigger and faster system cache).

And finally, the last “Session Settings” section, which will allow you to control your admin session duration. 

  • Session Handler - From this dropdown menu you can select the mechanism Joomla uses to identify users once they are connected to the website and hold session information. By default, it is set to “Database”.  If “PHP” is selected the “session.save_handler” value defined in the PHP configuration will be applied.
  • Session Lifetime - Determines the admin session lifetime length in minutes. Note that the value defined here will be counted for a period of user inactivity after which they will be automatically logged out. Due to security reasons, it is not recommended to configure a long session lifetime.
  • Shared Session - If this setting is enabled, the session will be shared between the administrative area and the frontend.


Configuring Cache and Session Settings


As soon as you perform the desired changes, please make sure to click on the “Save” button to record them. Once this is done your job here is done and you can continue further with your Joomla configuration.

We would like to congratulate you on covering the second part of your website configuration. Hopefully, you have found the information provided in this guide helpful and well explained. In case you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Support Team.

Content Marketing Specialist

Sebahat is a young and bright woman who has become an invaluable part of our team. She started as a Customer Care Representative, mastering that role and, along the way, growing into a tech-savvy individual who is well acquainted with every support layer of the company. Driven by her aim to improve our customers’ experience constantly, she is committed to enhancing the extraordinary support we deliver.