Installing Omeka

Omeka is an open-source web application that can be used to create and display online digital collections. Developed by programmers at George Mason University, Omeka was designed to be user-friendly, both during installation and setup and during daily usage. To install Omeka, use these simple steps:

  1. To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel ( using your Colgate username and password.
    screen shot of sites login page
  2. Once logged in you’ll be at the homepage of your control panel. Navigate to the Web Applications section of the cPanel and find Featured Applications. Then select Omeka.Screen shot of Omeka installer icon
  3. This page gives you more information about the Omeka software. To begin the install, click install this application in the upper-righthand corner.
    Install Omeka application
  4. On the next page, the installer will ask for some information about this install. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to install it. If you’re wanting to install Omeka on your main domain, you can leave the directory area empty. If you created a subdomain, you can select it from the dropdown menu. You also have the option of installing Omeka in a subfolder by typing in the folder name in the Directory field. Click here for more information about subdomains and subfolders.
    Omeka installer options
  5. Scroll down to the next Setting section. Set a Adminstrator Username and Administrator Password. You will need this again shortly.
    Screen shot showing how to Admin user id and Password--remember these!
  6. By default the installer will automatically backup your website and update it anytime a new version comes out. While we recommend you keep this option, it is possible to only do minor updates, or turn them off completely. The installer will also create a database for you automatically, but if you’ve already created one for this website you can choose Let me manage the database settings and enter the details. Click Install to continue.
    Screen shot of advanced database options and install button
  7. The installer will take just a few moments to install Omeka and a progress bar will keep you updated. When it is complete you will see a link to your new Omeka site as well as a link to the backend administrative section for your Omeka site. Click the Omeka Admin link to configure your new Omeka installation.
    Screen shot of Omeka admin link
  8. When you visit your new Omeka Admin link, you are asked for the admin username and password. Enter the Username and Password that you set for the administrative superuser (i.e. yourself).
    Omeka login screen
  9. Begin adding content in the Admin Dashboard. You’ll find lots of instructions, tips, and ideas on the documentation site.
    Omeka dashboard

Installing Plugins

There are a variety of plugins that enable additional functionality in Omeka, but in order to easily add them, you will first need to install Escher, a plugin installer. All the plugins available for Omeka and their descriptions can be found on this page.

  1. Find the Escher plugin listing at and click the red button on the right to download the Escher zip file. Make sure that you have the downloaded .zip file on your computer. Some browsers may automatically extract the folder. If that happened to you, and you do not see the original .zip file, right-click on the folder and compress it back into a .zip Escher plugin
  2. Next, open up your cPanel Dashboard and click on the File Manager. You can find the File Manager under ‘Files’ or by typing “File Manager” in the upper right search bar.
    screen shot of files manager
  3. Go to the public_html > omeka > plugins folder by clicking on the folder icons in the file menu, or by typing “public_html/omeka/plugins” into the navigation bar at the top and clicking ‘Go’.File Manager--Omeka plugin folder
  4. Next you will need to upload the Escher zip file you downloaded into the plugins folder. Select the Upload option in the top menu.File upload button
  5. Upload the zip file. When the upload is complete, click the ‘Go back to home/yourdomain/public_html/omeka/plugins’ link at the bottom of the page to return to the File Manager.Upload file and return to File Manager
  6. You will see that the Escher zip file has appeared in the plugins folder. Make sure the Escher zip file is selected (it should be highlighted in blue), then click Extract from the menu at the top of the page. A small window will open up to confirm where the file will be extracted to. If you were in the plugins folder, it should say public_html/omeka/plugins, if not, type that into the box before you hit Extract File(s).Extract file
  7. Another window will open that outlines the contents of the file. Just hit the Close button and the installation will be complete.Extract the Zip
  8. Confirm the new Escher directory is there, and delete your no longer needed file.confirm folder and delete zip
  9.  The Escher plugin should now be available in the plugins tab in your Omeka. To use Escher to install other plugins, click on Escher in the left hand sidebar. find and install escher plugin in Omeka dash
  10. Escher is installed! You should see it in your dashboard menu.Escher plugin is now on dashboard menu
  11. You can now select and use this plugin to manage other plugins.screen shot of scher plugin in Omeka dash

Using Omeka

You can learn how to use this application in the official Omeka Support Documentation. This support guide will help you get started and begin creating your Omeka site.

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