Moving From Joomla To WordPress

Joomla is a fairly sophisticated content management system. No doubt it is a good system, but many website owners who are not so tech savvy may want to move to something that is easier. What better option than the popular and easy to manage WordPress Content Management System?

There are many reasons why you may want to make the shift to WordPress,

  • WordPress is the most popular content management system, with Joomla coming in a distant second.
  • It is an open source software and has a growing community which contributes actively. There is plenty of free software in the form of plugins and themes which are freely available and highly intuitive to use.
  • Almost every hosting service offers one click WordPress installation to get you started.

Joomla is equally feature rich and highly effective at delivering content via a website, and it has a plethora of additional software options. It is very flexible, but that flexibility seems to come at the cost of ease of use. WordPress is incredibly easy to use, while Joomla is a wee more complex.

Moving from Joomla to WordPress is not as hard as one may think. You have a few useful plugins to thank for this. And Tutorials like this one are helpful too :) Just follow the below stated simple steps.

  1. Choose a host for your WordPress website. You may want to check out Jerry’s “Top 5 Web Hosting Picks For 2015” . If you want to keep your new WordPress site at the same place where your present Joomla is located, then you may have to create a new directory, install WordPress in that directory, and later change domain settings to point to the new directory.

You can set up the custom URL for WordPress site at this point. If this is done after migration, it is possible that internal links may not work properly and site navigation might break.

2. Install WordPress. The installation process is intuitive, but you can read up a bit more on WordPress.org.

3. Install FG Joomla to WordPress plugins and activate it.

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A free version and a premium version  (which has some SEO features and allows use of add ons) are available. This plugin migrates categories, sections images, media, posts and tags from Joomla to WordPress. It works with Joomla versions 1.5 through 3.4 and WordPress 4.3. It is also compatible with multisite installations.

Please note that plugins, themes and modules may not be transferred, due to obvious possible complications and compatibility issues which will in all likelihood break your website.

There are a couple of plugins to do the job of transferring, but we will stick to FG Joomla to WordPress for this tutorial, as it is very popular with over 10,000 active installs and has (well deserved) a rating of 4.8 out of 5.

4. Now, go to Tools > Import. A list of systems for importing will show up.

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Click on Joomla. The page below will open, and you need to fill in the details of your Joomla site.

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To fill in the database details you can head to the Admin panel of your Joomla website, and check under Global Configuration > Server tab. Take care to enter the correct login credentials or it may throw up database connection errors.

Or, you can access configuration.php in your Joomla root folder by connecting to your website using an FTP client. To do this, log into the Control Panel and click the File Manager icon under Files. In the pop-up box, select open Web Root, check Show Hidden Files and click Go.

Click + sign against public html folder and then the folder containing the Joomla installation and locate configuration.php file. Click on the file and select Code Edit. Copy the database settings from here.

Some things to remember:

  • The import may not go through if your web host has disabled the allow URL option in php.ini.
  • Take care to click on Force Media Import option, if you want to import media files.
  • It is possible you’ll get a message that reads: “Fatal error: Allowed memory size of **** bytes exhausted”. No cause for panic. You can fix this by increasing PHP memory.

Finally, click on Import Content From Joomla to WordPress.

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The import will take time depending on the amount of data to be imported. Once the import is over, you should see a screen like this.

After the import process is complete, move to the Modify Internal Links button at the bottom of the Joomla (FG) importer page and click on it. This will fix all broken internal links.

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The plugin can be deactivated after installation.

Now that you have imported your website into WordPress, you can go about customizing it with the theme and plugins of your choice. And you are done!