Joomla Backend Login Redirects to “Sorry” Page on WHM/cPanel

Yesterday, we were commissioned to move a large website (for a US clinic) from one server to another: we moved the files, we installed the database, we modified the configuration.php file to reflect the new server’s settings, we modified our Windows hosts file (to force the domain to point to the new IP), and then we started testing the website.

Everything worked very well, but, when trying to login to the backend of the Joomla website, we were greeted with the default WHM/cPanel Sorry 404 page. We quickly noticed that the website was being redirected from http://www.[ourclientjoomlawebsite].com to https://www.[ourclientjoomlawebsite].com/, which meant that the problem was with the secure mode of the website.

A very quick research revealed that this problem occurs when the SSL certificate is not installed on the server, which was exactly our case.

So we had 2 options: We either had to install the SSL certificate on the new server or we had to make the admin backend work in normal (non-https) mode. We chose the latter because we didn’t have the SSL certificate. Here’s what we did:

  • We logged in to phpMyAdmin.
  • We clicked on the #__modules table.

  • We searched for the module named Login that has the field client_id set to 1 (typically the id of this module is 2).

  • We changed the following string in the params field from:




  • We saved the row (module) and then we closed the browser (note: you may need to also clear the browser cache in FireFox), and then we launched the browser and tested the login.

  • The login worked!

As you can see, solving the problem was quite easy. The alternative solution, of course, is to install the SSL certificate. But, if you don’t have to the SSL certificate, then the quick solution is the one we explained in this post. If you need help implementing this solution (or the other solution), then please contact us. We work 24/7/365, we work professionally, we work quickly, and our fees are super affordable!

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