I don’t work at bluehost.com; I work at www.globalgiving.org. Even though we have our own servers, it was just WAY faster to set up ushahidi on an affordable and user-friendly hosting service. Here’s how to do it. By the way, Bluehost costs like $8 a month and you get your own domain name. However Bluehost ONLY supports the alpha version of ushahidi. Later versions will crash because you must run php version 5.2.3 or greater. Thus, if you follow these directions on bluehost, you will be crippling your site.
Consider some other web hosting service with the latest version of PHP. In April 2011, www.heliohost.org supported the latest version php and ushahidi and follows the exact same directions below. Heliohost is also totally free!
The test site used here http://www.globalgivingcommunity.com is not an official .part of GlobalGiving, so please just ignore that url.
1. Get a bluehost account and login.
2. Use File Manager on the control panel to find your /public_html folder and upload the ushahidi package to it.
3. In the “file manager,” Unzip the ushahidi package by right clicking on it and choosing “extract.”
4. You can leave the directory as /public_html. It will create a sub-directory called /ushahidi for you.
I needed to make a different subdirectory for each instance, because I’m using bluehost to set up dozens.
5. Smile, because blue host does the next step (PERMISSIONS) for you.
At this point, the ushahidi OFFICIAL instructions have a lot of stuff about PERMISSIONS. Don’t sweat it. Bluehost has got you covered, and will take care of this permission assigning stuff for you. In the rare event that it doesn’t work on step 6, go back and assign the files listed in the setup doc from ushahidi to 755.
6. Open your browser and go to the ushahidi INSTALLER (url will be http://<your domain name>.com/ushahidi/)
in this example: http://www.globalgivingcommunity.com/kitale/installer
7. Run the installation (basic). Switch tabs in your browser over to the Blue Host control panel and click on MySql databases
8. Type in your database name and click CREATE DATABASE.
[Click “go back” after you create it.] save the name of your database. You’ll need it to complete ushahidi.
9. Create a “data base user” and ADD that user to the database. Save name and password for ushahidi.
After you ENTER your database user and password, and you click CREATE USER, you will return here and select that new user and assign them to the appropriate database. CLICK ADD and give this user privileges to everything.
10. Return to your ushahidi install page, click “Let’s get started!” and enter all your database details.
Enter your database name, user name, and password. Leave database host as localhost. DON’T enter a table prefix. I did this and it screwed everything up and I had to reinstall ushahidi. (BUG?)
11. Enter the rest of your site details. You should create your own email account (free on bluehost) and ONLY use it for this purpose.
DON’T enter your personal email address here, unless sorting through spam is your hobby.
12. Success! You can go many places from here, but the best place is to follow the link to your admin console.
CHANGE YOUR ADMIN PASSWORD AFTER YOU LOGIN!
13. Use the ushahidi admin console to enter a GOOGLE MAPS API.
Found under SETTINGS –> MAP on the admin console.
Getting and inserting a google maps API should really be part of the basic setup, but the intaller forgot about it, so I’m doing it now. SET your country and default zoom here while you are at it.
Other cool stuff: I really liked building and importing my own theme.
Adding a theme only required plopping a few files into the directory: /ushahidi/themes/xxxx your theme directory. You can download themes from ushahidi.org.
GlobalGivingCommunity’s custom theme: http://www.globalgivingcommunity.com/kenya/ Be sure to SHARE your instance with mine!
You are up and running now. Everything else can be done from a web browser. You still have a lot of work ahead importing data, setting up FrontlineSMS, and filtering twitter and RSS feeds.
Further questions or to join GlobalGiving.org – contact me at Marc Maxson (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’re always happy to help. and if you are an NGO sharing data, I’ll EVEN INSTALL USHAHIDI FOR YOU if you make all your data open.
For an updated version of this post, see OhMyNoggin’s Blog.
You can also support Ushahidi through GlobalGiving.