Many customers got the problem during installing the extension because they did installation in wrong way. So in this article We will show you the right way to install a magento extension properly.

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When installing an extension, you should follow these steps:

1. Backup your site before installing any extension. Some extension might crash your site if you install it in wrong way or it contains the bad code.
* if it is posible then install and review the extension on a stagging server or development site first. This will help you to avoid down time of live site if there is a problem during installing the extension.

2. Make sure you enable magento cache. To do this, go to Admin -> System -> Cache Management
This is also an importance step that some customers missed. If the cache is disabled then magento can start setting up during uploading the extension files. Some importance files might have not uploaded yet and causes the system do setting up in wrong way.

3. If you install the extension via magento connect then go to Admin -> System -> Magento Connect -> Magento Connect Manager. There are some articles show you the detail steps in this way so I will don’t discuss further.
In almost cases you will need to install the extension manually via FTP or SSH. By this way you will need to upload the extension files to your magento location. All extension files should be organized in these folders: app, skin, js and no file should be replaced for the first time you install the extension.

* If you see another folder than app, skin or js folders, be careful before you upload it. Ask the extension provider for making sure it is nescessary and will not effect to your system.

* If the system alerts a file might be replaced in the first time you install the extension, be careful because you might replace the core file and it will crash your site.

4. When all extension files are uploaded, you will need to check the template and skin files to see if they are placed in right folder. Your custom theme might be in these folders:
- magento/app/design/frontend/<theme_package>/<theme_name>
- magento/skin/frontend/<theme_package>/<theme_name>
If your extension template and skin files are in difference theme package:

- <extension_files>/skin/frontend/<other_package>/default

- <extension_files>/app/design/frontend/<other_package>/default

Then you will need to copy these folder to your theme package.

* Some extension might just work in backend and does not have template or skin files. So don’t worry if you don’t see them.

5. Now you can refresh or disable the cache to let magento run extension setting up and start configuring the extension.

6. Logout and login the backend again. Some customers leave this step so they get access denied or 404 error page when accessing the extension configuration panel.

7. Some extension can start working now but some need to do certain configrations in backend or in adjust the custom theme. Follow the user guide of the extension to configure the extension.

8. If you need to customize the extension template or skin, you should copy the files to your custom theme folders. If you do it in the default theme you might lose your work when you upgrade or reinstall the extension.

Here is just some key steps that show you how to install a magento extension properly. Some extension might need to do some special configration or adjust your custom theme so you will need to read the installation and user guide carefully. If you not sure what you are doing then stop and ask the extension provider for help or you might crash your site and lose money in down time. If you don’t have base knowledge about magento then it is better to purchase for installation service. This will keep your head free and avoid risk on your site and business.