You found this page most likely because you run Joomla 3.0 and you're getting an error on your website that is database related (joomla 2.5 database errors can be found here). We want to help you resolve this issue. Let us first tell you how the database connection is supposed to work, and then we'll try to help show you which issue is causing your problem.

How Database Connections Work in Joomla 3.0

It doesn't matter if you're running Joomla 1.0 or Joomla 3.0, the following principles apply:

1. Your Hosting Account 2. Joomla's configuration.php file

On your server, you must have:

  1. A database configured
  2. A database username and password
  3. The database user must be allowed to access the database (IE. referred to as MySQL privileges)

Your Joomla configuration.php file must match your server settings. For example:

  1. Your configuration.php file must have set the same database username and password that is set on your hosting account
  2. Your configuration.php file must have the correct database server set. Most often it is localhost, but only your hosting provider can tell you the correct answer.

If your hosting account is not setup properly with a database, or, if your Joomla configuration file is not setup with those same credentials that are setup on your host, you're going to get error messages. In this Joomla 3.0 tutorial, we are going to purposely break Joomla 3.0 and show you the error messages that result.

Error: Error displaying the error page: Application Instantiation Error

The following issues caused this error message to appear:

  1. The database username in our configuration.php file does not match that of what is configured on our hosting account
  2. The database password in our configuration.php file does not match what of what is configured on our hosting account
  3. The database hostname in our configuration.php file could not be connected to

In your Joomla configuration.php file, ensure that your database username, password, and hostname match what is set / provided by your host. They will be defined in the following variables in your configuration.php file:

// database username goes here
public $user = 'database-username';
// database password goes here
public $password = 'database-password';
// database server name
public $host = 'localhost';
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Post a comment
2013-05-03 2:46 am
You are so good Man! You have solved two very challenging joomla 3 problems for me: getting that horizontal menu and this Application Instantantiation error; and they were all spot-on! Many thanks for the good work.
2013-06-28 4:15 am
Thank you so much. You are a life saver! I thought I had to do several difficult procedures before I could use my website again, but you showed that it isn't that difficult at all. GREAT!
2013-07-24 1:32 pm
i already changed the configuration.php .. But sometimes i encountered this problem again and again..
because i used wamp server then i transfer the files to ..
5,444 Points
2013-07-24 2:12 pm
Hello harvey,

We are happy to help you, but we would need more information to investigate further.

What is the website having the problem? Can you provide a link, so we can try to view/replicate the error?

Have you checked if your Hosting provided is aware of any known issues?

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

2013-08-18 4:10 am
I had hosted the files in web server.Am getting the error "Error displaying the error page: Application Instantiation Error". I had checked thoroughly with the configuration for database connection.configuration.php is made changed with the correct db name, username and password as that provided in the hosting account. Could you assist me in further processing as still getting same error.
5,603 Points
2013-08-19 3:29 pm
Hello SaranyaMareeswaran,

Unfortunately using the email address you submitted your comment under, I was unable to find an account with us to review your code.

The error you mentioned "Error displaying the error page: Application Instantiation Error" typically as explained above in the article, happens when the database information is not correct in your configuration.php file.

Are you sure that you are entering in the full correct database information? Also are you sure that after you've created your database user, that you also assign your database user to at least one database?

Please let us know if you're still having issues after verifying the correct database settings.

- Jacob
2013-09-22 1:10 am
Fyi- I had the same issue. After confirming user name, password, db name, & host server- it turned out to be the table prefix. it turns out the prefix is case sensitive. Check your table prefix manually and update config file to match it. It is usually all lowercase.
n/a Points
2014-04-05 2:14 am

hi, Can I use CryptDB as a backend instead of Mysql

5,603 Points
2014-04-05 2:50 am
Hello parmesh,

It doesn't look like there is any documentation that I can find specifically for running Joomla via CryptDB, but technically it should be possible.

You would still be using MySQL as the database backend, to store an encrypted database. Then you use CryptDB as a MySQL proxy which encrypts queries and the returned data from that encrypted database.

Running Joomla with CryptDB should be possible as they tout no application changes are necessary to take advantage of the encryption. You might want to take a look at the CryptDB README for more information on how you would go about setting it up and testing.

Please let us know if you had any other questions at all.

- Jacob

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