Last week, I attempted to migrate (upgrade may be a better word) this website from Joomla to 2.5 to WordPress. Therefore, if you visited the site during the day, you may have noticed links not working, and pages looking a little different.
Migrating from Joomla to WordPress is not an easy thing to do, as there are many things that can go wrong, or get broken. During my attempt, it was successful in the fact that it worked, but I decided to revert back as I wasn’t happy with the benefits verses the risk and problems.
Migrating from Joomla To WordPress: Why Do It?
When I first started JackCola.org, it wasn’t meant to be a blog. It would contain a few articles, and that’s about it. It was meant to be more of a portfolio site. When I decided to use Joomla, it had a lot of extensions that WordPress didn’t have. WordPress now has a collection of some good plugins; so at the time, choosing WordPress was the right thing to do.
As JackCola.org has now turned into a Blog, going to WordPress would be a suitable option. The other reason I wanted to switch is that Joomla core isn’t as flexible as WordPress. Publishing articles is a pain, and I don’t like how Joomla creates its search engine friendly URLs.
I have also been debating with myself on which direction to take JackCola.org.
- Do I keep it as a personal blog?
- Do I allow guest posts, and get a group of writers writing for JackCola.org?
- Should I change the name to allow this?
- How do I implement this without losing search rankings? (For the directory and FAQ)
How To Migrate Joomla To WordPress
Once I had my reason to switch from Joomla to WordPress, the next challenge is how to move the site across.
- Do you manually copy/paste articles and images across?
- How will this affect the current URL’s of articles? I don’t want any 404 errors
- Is there a Joomla or WordPress Plugin that could help?
After searching around, I found a free WordPress plugin called FG Joomla to WordPress.
With the free version, you can:
- Migrate Joomla 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.5, 3.0
- Migrate sections and categories
- Migrate articles
- Migrate all media, images and PDF’s
- Migrate keywords as tags
- Migrate feature images
For a website that just has articles, FG Joomla to WordPress does an awesome job.
However, there was a problem…
Planning your Joomla to WordPress Migration
JackCola.org uses three main and core extensions to operate:
- Komento: Allows users to comment on articles
- Freestyle FAQ’s: Provides the power for the FAQ’s on the site
- SobiPro: Powers the directory
Along with migrating articles, images, ensuring the links work properly, migrating the comments, migrating the FAQ and migrating the directory; things are getting challenging.
Migrating Joomla Komento Comments To WordPress Comments
This was tricky, but I ended up completing this successfully. FG Joomla to WordPress does not support migrating Komento Comments. FG Joomla to WordPress supports JComments and JomComment extensions. However, these are each 9.99 Euro, plus the premium version of FG Joomla to WordPress is required, which costs 29.99 Euro.
Unfortunately, Komento doesn’t allow exports and JComments doesn’t import from Komento – but you can switch from JComments to Komento, because I previously did that.
So migrating from Komento to Jcomments was a manually task. You could probably write a script to do it, but I did by simply changing the table around in the database.
Komento to JComments
1) Login into your database and browse for the Komento_comments table.
2) Click on Export, and export the comments as a CSV file, and open it up in Microsoft Excel and setup your SpreadSheet so that the data is formatted nicely.
3) Install the JComments extension in your Joomla website. We now have to import the Komento comments into JComments’ comments table.
4) It is now the matter of changing your excel SpreadSheet around to you can import comments directly into the database ensuring you use the JComments table headings. In the end, my excel SpreadSheet went from:
5) Save the Excel SpreadSheet and upload it to the Jcomments comment table in your database.
6) Log into Joomla Administration, browse to the JComments Extension, and you will see all your comments.
JComments to WordPress
Now, you will be able to use FG Joomla to WordPress with the JComments Plugin to move your comments across.
Using FG Joomla to WordPress
Therefore, I ended up buying both the FG Joomla to WordPress and the JComments plugin, and I have to say, it just worked. It took all the categories, articles, and images from Joomla, put them in WordPress. It updated all the internal URL’s and would redirect old Joomla URL’s to the WordPress URL. It was amazing. In fact, this is what I achieved today.
The only problem I now have is:
1) I need a new WordPress Theme
2) I need to move the directory to WordPress, or leave it running on Joomla
3) Move the FAQ over to WordPress and work a redirect script to ensure I do not get many 404 errors.
Joomla to WordPress: Reducing 404 Errors
A 404 error is the error code for when the file you are looking for cannot be found. The premium version of FG Joomla to WordPress handled this well for articles, but not for the directory. To resolve this issue, I was thinking of merging the directory and FAQ into a forum, and then gradually going through the directory, and importing them manually. However, when I got to this stage, I aborted, and reverted everything I have done back to Joomla. The reason of reverting back is because I need to work on a WordPress theme and think how I will structure the directory and FAQ section.
Since I decided to abort the migration, I put in place my recovery plan which was restore a zip file, dropping the Joomla database and importing the backup .sql file I took beforehand.
I will continue working on moving my site from Joomla to WordPress, but last week wasn’t the day. Until I sort out my other issues, it won’t be happening. At least now, I know it is possible, and if you have a small Joomla website that you would like help with moving across, I can now help you out.