joomla - website gives error when clicking on menu item

website under construction:

http://utahkidsfoundation.com/

Please go there and click on the "Projects" menu.  (note:  not on a sub menu item, but the main menu item titled "Projects").  You will get the error message.

I am brand new to joomla.  How can I track down why I am getting this error?

I can administer both the joomla CMS and the underlying MySQL database.  I just need some help with where to look and what to change.

joomla error menu item click
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAsked:
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Rowby GorenConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Most likely yes.

While joomla can be hosted on a Windows server, I would say most would agree that Joomla lives better on a Linux server.  

A few weeks ago Godaddy support told me that there are issues on their Windows servers with Joomla.  

Now you would want to make a backup of your site - or get Godaddy to do that.  You need a backkup of your site and your sql database.  

See if they would do the transfer for you.

See what they say and report back.  

Rowby
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Hi knowlton

Have you created a page for your "projects" link?

I don't think you did.

Create a projects page and link to that page.  Put something on that page as a test.

I think that will fix the error.

Your other links appear to be going to actual pages.

If you don't have content for your main "projects" link there is a way to handle that.

But first try creating a page, and link to that page from your menu manager just like you did with the other links that seem to be working fine.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
I will report back on the error getting fixed here in a minute.

I had a few other questions come up while reading your response.
 
1)  Is there a way to make the error messages not-so-friendly?  Make them more verbose and informative?

2)  Where would the "server logs" be that the current error message refers to?
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
3)  Do you know ARI soft DataTables module / plugin?
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
I notice that under the "Projects" main menu ...  under "Required Settings"  where it says "Choose a Category" it is set to Projects -- and that is when I get the error.

If I change the category to "General" the error goes away, but then it goes to the wrong page.
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Hi Knowlton

1)  Is there a way to make the error messages not-so-friendly?  Make them more verbose and informative?

That particular error is coming from the server (not from joomla).  I'm not sure how that message could be modified.  You'd have to ask that on I guess the Experts Exchange Apache forum.  Or Linux forum.  It is something that probably your hosting's system administrator would have to change.  

If your host lets you see error logs you would probably find them in the "Cpanel" or control panel of your host.  Who is your host?  

But all of the above seems unnecessary in fixing this issue.  It's a joomla issue. And most likely easily fixed.

But you menu issue would most likely not be resolved by digging through the error logs. It's a jooomla issue and we'll get to the bottom of it.

I am not familar with Arisoft tagble tables module, but I have use joomla items from Ari soft.  What does it do?

When you are in the required settings and select a category, do you also select an article in the category.

What type of menu are you creating. You have a choice when you first set up a menu.  For example it can link to a single article, or a category -- the category can be displayed in different ways.

When you create a new menu item the steps are approximately

1)  Select NEW
2)  Select Menu Item Type
     You can choose a single article, List all Categories, Category Blog, Category list, etc.
   
      Which did you select?

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
The entire site itself is a template.  I did not create the menus or submenus.  They came with the template.  I am sorry I should have clarified that a bit earlier.

joomla (and the accompanying modules, plugins and templates) has been very frustrating for me, I am sorry if some of that leaks-out in my posts.

I chose joomla because I thought a CMS might make things easier.  It seems the opposite has been true. </vent>

I believe the top menu items, including Projects, are all Category List.
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Hi

Once you know Joomla it is a very powerful system.  Yes, there is a learning curve, but once you get the basics you might even like it.

Also there are lots of YouTube videos that will help you.  And of course help here on Experts Exchange.  

One thing we need to get clear is what version of Joomla you are using.

To find the version, if you are in one of the more recent versions of Joomla, you will see its version on the bottom right.   Let us know what version it is so we can give you specific info on the steps needed to fix this specific issue.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
2.5.17 ?

I am hosting both my domain and site on godaddy.com.

I've been told a few times to switch over to linux.  I guess joomla was intended for or written to be used on linux?  

But I am hosting on a Windows OS using Plesk, because I know Windows better.


Here is a screenshot I hope will be helpful.  I can take screenshots of anything you want to see.

joomla version
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Ok

In order to fix the internal server error you need to redo the menu link.

In Joomla 2.5 go to the Menu link and select from the dropdown Main Menu (I think that would be the name).

You will see a list of Menu names, including the Projects menu item.

Click on Projects.   There is a field named "Menu Item Type *"    What type of menu is entered there.   If it is a Category it would say "Category Blog" or "Category List".  

Then report back and we'll go to the next easy step.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
This is what I see when I click on the "Project" menu:

one
two
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
So...  I think it is:

Category List

at the moment?
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Rowby GorenCommented:
I assume you have some articles in the Projects Category?

If so it should work.

What I suggest is you temporarily change Category List to Category blog and save that.

Let's see if by doing that you eliminate the Server error

If that works then we can redo the Category List.

Rowby
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Rowby GorenCommented:
After you do that let me know and assuming no server error, you would go back in and redo the menu item as Category List and I don't think you will see the server error again.

After you do that there are a few other things you might want to do, and I will make some suggestions.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
I tried changing the menu item type from Category List to Category Blog.

It still gives the same error.



Here is the Main Menu list of menus and submenus (partial list):

main menu
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Rowby GorenCommented:
First a long shot.  Do you have an actual folder in your root that is named Projects?   If you can ftp there let me know.  You should NOT have a folder named Projects.  I am wondering if there is such a folder -- and perhaps that is what is confusing Joomla...

If there is no folder in your web server named Projects then we will try something else.

Go into the Menu item and Instead of a Category Blog or Category list make it a link to any article in the Projects category.  

Then we'll see what is happening.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
I am not sure if this answers your question about if there is a "Projects" folder in the ROOT of my site.  I don't believe I do:

root one
root two
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Hi

This is unusual indeed.  But we will fix it.

I want you to create a temporau new Menu Item in your Main Menu.  

Call it Projects2

And make that menu item a Category List and link it to the Projects category.  

Let's see what happens.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
Before we pursue your last suggestion...


I did change the Project menu to point to Food Bank ... and it worked.

Can you verify that this is the case?

Go to:

http://utahkidsfoundation.com/
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Yes. it works.

Now I want you to create a new main menu item named Projects2  and make that item a Category List and point it to the Projects Category.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
I get the same 500 internal server error when I try to create a NEW menu item that I got before when I clicked on the "Projects" menu item on the website.

So, right now, I cannot do what you are asking...
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Hmmmm mm.....

Very strange.    OK.   Create a new category.   Call it "Our Projects."    Then go into each article and change the category it is assigned  to to the Our Projects category.

Create a new menu item and call it Our Projects  and link that to the new Our Projects category.

ROWBY
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
>>>Create a new menu item and call it Our Projects  and link that to the new Our Projects category.


That's the problem - I cannot create new menu items.
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Rowby GorenCommented:
What exactly happenswhen you try to create a new menu Item?
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
steps
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
You won't see the error right now, because the menu is pointing to "Food Bank" article.



Inside the Administrator itself, when i click on "NEW" to create a new Menu Item...I get this error:

inside the joomla admin
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Ok.

I need to have access to your site so I can check it.  Something is weird.  

Any way to let me log in?

But first, you most likely have a file called .htaccess on your site.  If you can ftp to your site, download that file and post it here.  Sometimes these errors are caused by a "wrong" htaccess file.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
I am not sure about granting you access to the administration portion of the website, but here is the htaccess file:

While glancing through the htaccess file, this caught my eye:

Options +FollowSymLinks

Let me know if the above line, or other lines in the file need to be commented-out.




##
# @package		Joomla
# @copyright	Copyright (C) 2005 - 2013 Open Source Matters. All rights reserved.
# @license		GNU General Public License version 2 or later; see LICENSE.txt
##

##
# READ THIS COMPLETELY IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE THIS FILE!
#
# The line just below this section: 'Options +FollowSymLinks' may cause problems
# with some server configurations.  It is required for use of mod_rewrite, but may already
# be set by your server administrator in a way that dissallows changing it in
# your .htaccess file.  If using it causes your server to error out, comment it out (add # to
# beginning of line), reload your site in your browser and test your sef url's.  If they work,
# it has been set by your server administrator and you do not need it set here.
##

## Can be commented out if causes errors, see notes above.
Options +FollowSymLinks

## Mod_rewrite in use.

RewriteEngine On

## Begin - Rewrite rules to block out some common exploits.
# If you experience problems on your site block out the operations listed below
# This attempts to block the most common type of exploit `attempts` to Joomla!
#
# Block out any script trying to base64_encode data within the URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} base64_encode[^(]*\([^)]*\) [OR]
# Block out any script that includes a <script> tag in URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (<|%3C)([^s]*s)+cript.*(>|%3E) [NC,OR]
# Block out any script trying to set a PHP GLOBALS variable via URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} GLOBALS(=|\[|\%[0-9A-Z]{0,2}) [OR]
# Block out any script trying to modify a _REQUEST variable via URL.
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} _REQUEST(=|\[|\%[0-9A-Z]{0,2})
# Return 403 Forbidden header and show the content of the root homepage
RewriteRule .* index.php [F]
#
## End - Rewrite rules to block out some common exploits.

## Begin - Custom redirects
#
# If you need to redirect some pages, or set a canonical non-www to
# www redirect (or vice versa), place that code here. Ensure those
# redirects use the correct RewriteRule syntax and the [R=301,L] flags.
#
## End - Custom redirects

##
# Uncomment following line if your webserver's URL
# is not directly related to physical file paths.
# Update Your Joomla! Directory (just / for root).
##

# RewriteBase /

## Begin - Joomla! core SEF Section.
#
RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]
#
# If the requested path and file is not /index.php and the request
# has not already been internally rewritten to the index.php script
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/index\.php
# and the request is for something within the component folder,
# or for the site root, or for an extensionless URL, or the
# requested URL ends with one of the listed extensions
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} /component/|(/[^.]*|\.(php|html?|feed|pdf|vcf|raw))$ [NC]
# and the requested path and file doesn't directly match a physical file
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
# and the requested path and file doesn't directly match a physical folder
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
# internally rewrite the request to the index.php script
RewriteRule .* index.php [L]
#
## End - Joomla! core SEF Section.

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Rowby GorenCommented:
Looks pretty standard htaccess file.  i don't see anything wrong with it.  I am thinking now it may be a permissions issue.

I think your site is hosted at godaddy.

I also think you said someone else put the site up on godaddy.

Have you contacted Godaddy support.  They should at least be able to look at your files and see if there is either a permissions or ownership issue, or if there is some other kind of server issue.

I don't think this is directly a Joomla issue.

If you haven't already, please contact Goaddy support and have them check the issue.  And ask them if there is a permissions or ownership issue.

They can quickly check your files and answer the permissions and ownership possibility.

And, of course report back here!

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
What if they recommend I move from Windows to Linux?   Should I do it?
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
Well, guess what?

Switching over to Linux  seems to have fixed the problem.  I've not seen a 500 Internal Server error since I switched over to Linux, not for the Projects menu, and not when trying to add a new Menu Item in the Administrator.  : D

So - thanks, Rowby!
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
Well done!
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Rowby GorenCommented:
Great!    

Feel free to ask any questions here.  There are several Joomla experts here who will be happy to help you.

BTW there are some excellent tutorials on Youtube.

ALSO it is very important you back up your site.  Download and install the free Akeeba backup program.  You'll find it on the joomla extensions site.  I think the domain is akeebackup.com

Akeeba makes it real easy to back up your site and database  I back my sites up before and after I make any changes -- it's so easy to do and has saved me several times.

Rowby
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
RE:  backup website:    I sure will!

Thanks again!
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