I am new to expression engine. I have installed expression engine using my own created theme.

But when I am trying to install, it is giving error as "Your config file does not appear to be formatted correctly." http://bit.ly/1mtOlTC

What I did :-

I have installed fresh copy of expression engine at local and then created theme after that on server, I have again installed expression engine but copied the theme to site_themes folder ad then installed using the server host, db and username. But it is giving the error stated above.

Any help is really appreciated.

  • So EE was working and now it isnt or its never been working? May 5, 2014 at 7:43
  • at my local when i created theme, its working. But on the server, when i installed ee with my theme, its not working.
    – user930026
    May 5, 2014 at 7:52

4 Answers 4


I had a look at the link you posted. The error appears to be a different one. "No database connection settings were found in the database config file."

Did you follow the official instructions: http://goo.gl/wX84vq ?

Usually you get the error you've mentioned if ExpressionEngine has not been installed yet. This appears to be the case. Please visit http://creativescripters.com/expressionengine/admin.php and complete the installation.

  • The problem is that when i follow the instructions , I have to stop at this puu.sh/8zYBE.png as if i click it installs new rather then installing my theme and the error "No database connection settings were found in the database config file." was as i tried coping the local config file to server but otherwise the error is as given in question.
    – user930026
    May 5, 2014 at 8:26
  • Alright, I suggest the following: 1) Upload your complete 'local' install to the server. 2) Upload the Database if you haven't already done that. I'd recommend to use phpmyadmin. 3) Verify all permissions according to the official install instructions 4) Open up config.php and database.php and verify / update all settings... Here's some additional info goo.gl/QrTV4D
    – Franz
    May 5, 2014 at 9:17
  • One more thing: Since you're not 'updating' ExpressionEngine to a newer version, it won't be necessary to run the install again. Simply make sure to update that both database.php and config.php reflect the new environment.
    – Franz
    May 5, 2014 at 9:19

Firstly, when you say "theme" I am assuming you mean a set of templates.

There are a few ways to approach this.

Copy your entire local installation to the remote server

If you have the site working on your local machine and simply want to now put it on a remote server then you do not need to run the installer on the server. You can copy the files to your server via FTP then create a backup of your local database and use this to recreate a database that your remote site can connect to.

The problem then, however, is that you will need to update any paths used to make them work on the remote server. This can be done manually but is a bit fiddly or you can look at something like Deeploy Helper or Reelocate which will let you update all the paths used in one place.

My preferred option is to use Focus Labs Config which will allow you to create different configs to be used in different environments.

or, Install a fresh copy of EE and update parts of it

This is the approach you are partly taking already. Basically create a completely clean installation of EE on your remote server, complete with a fresh database, then replace some of the files and upload a copy of your database.

Once you have a fresh installation on the remote server:

  1. Back up your local database to an SQL file and use that file to overwrite the freshly installed remote database.

  2. Then copy your templates directory to overwrite the one on the server

  3. If you have any third party add-ons installed then you should also copy the /system/expressionengine/third-party and /themes directories to your remote server.

  4. Copy your local images directory to the remote server as well as any upload directories you have created.

  5. Update the config file on the remote server to reflect the new environment

  6. You will also need to update paths and set permissions for config files, templates, cache, and file upload directories to reflect the new environment


Have you set permissions to 666 on config and database php files?


I've just experienced this when moving my EE3 site to another server, to be used with a different domain name. I found that were "installer" directories in the /system/ee/ directory. Deleting these has removed the error and I can now access the Control Panel. :-)

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