The Joomla! Community Magazine™

Why Migrate? And Then…How?

Written by | Monday, 01 December 2014 00:00 | Published in 2014 December
Ah migration. Many look at it as a chore and it may be. Migration is really an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to reassess goals, clean up messes, increase functionality, security, and efficiency. But many have struggles. The Update Working Group has been established to make the process of migration clearer and easier to find. The group hopes to reach those who haven’t yet migrated and need to.
Why Migrate? And Then…How? Photo credit: Paul Orwig

That starts with some newer and clearer documentation that fills in some of the holes that were there before. Where better to have this documentation but on the Joomla! Documentation site?

A “funnel” has been created and it starts with a doc titled Why Migrate. The Why Migrate page describes some reasoning as to why one should migrate their website from an older life cycle of Joomla! At the bottom of the page visitors are presented with two options to continue: Self Assessment and Planning.

The Self Assessment page takes visitors through a series of questions to ask themselves to attempt to determine if they can (or should) move forward with the migration themselves or if it would be better to hire some help. At the bottom of the page visitors are presented with two options to continue: a link to the Joomla! Resource Directory (JRD) and Planning. The link to the JRD is pointed to the Migration category of the JRD.

The Planning page describes briefly the differences and some clarifying points about Joomla! 1.5 and 2.5 migrations. At the bottom of the page visitors are presented with two options: Planning for 2.5 to 3.x and Planning for 1.5 to 3.x.

The Planning for Mini-Migration - Joomla 2.5 to 3 page lists ways for the visitor to plan for their migration. Planning is a very important step in migration and has been missing from documentation in the past. Included is a worksheet for site admins to inventory their third-party extension if they wish to use it. Within the text of the planning page is a link to supplementary pages for Template Considerations. At the bottom of the page visitors are presented with a big button to take them to the step-by-step documentation to migrate from 2.5 to 3.

The Planning Migration - Joomla 1.5 to 3 page lists ways for the visitor to plan for their migration. Planning is as important from 1.5 to 3 as in 2.5 to 3 if not more so. Again the third-party extension worksheet is included for site admins to inventory their third-party extensions if they wish to use it as well as a link to the Template Considerations. From the Template Considerations page, a new fabulous page of documentation is linked giving instructions to convert a 1.5 template to Joomla 3 for those who might wish to do this. This was another hole the Update Working Group found when assessing existing migration documentation. At the bottom of the page visitors are presented with a big button to take them to the step-by-step documentation to migrate from 1.5 to 3.

The Joomla 2.5 to 3.x Step by Step Migration is just that. It takes visitors step by step on how to migrate from 2.5 to 3 along with happy screen captures. Within the text is a link to Common Errors when migrating from 2.5 to 3.x which is in progress and you can add to it if you would like. More on that below.

The Joomla 1.5 to 3 Step by Step Migration takes people step by step on how to migrate from 1.5 to 3. A specific tool isn’t used for this process as different sites may require different tools. The Migration category of the JED is linked to for people to select a tool on their own and follow the developer guidelines. This was a sticky topic (as you can imagine) so it’s recommended people select a tool based on their sites needs, their budget, and reviews which are very available. Developers for migration tools will want to tidy up their sites and documentation for the migration candidates are making decisions on what tool to use.

Every site is different thus every migration is different. The documentation should take people in the right direction to do most everything or give them the resources to learn more, do more, or get help if needed.

Obviously as things change the documentation will need to change. The beauty of the documentation being on the Joomla! Documentation site is that it can be maintained by many and will be translated into many languages. If you find an error in the documentation that needs to change, you can help by making those edits if you already have an account. If you don’t have an account, it’s easy to register at the Joomla! Documentation site.

In addition to the documentation, there has been an excellent plugin written for the backend of Joomla! 2.5 that will show admins a system message that 2.5 is End of Official Support on December 31, 2014 with a link to the Why Migrate page. This should increase awareness to 2.5 users that a mini-migration is required and make it easier for them to get it done.

The next step for the Update Working Group is marketing. Expect to see more in an effort to get people to migrate from older life cycles of Joomla to Joomla 3 in the coming days.

Starting now, you can use the documentation to migrate your sites, in your JUGs, and to help people on the Forums.

If you would like to be involved in the Update Working Group, contact Jacques or Patrick to join.

Happy Migrating!!

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Jennifer Gress

Jennifer Gress

Jennifer Gress has been working with Joomla! since 2006 with its beginnings in corporate america for employers. Clients began approaching her to build websites for them in January of 2010. Jennifer's skills from corporate life; project management, training and more, combined with her knowledge and experience with Joomla! make her a well rounded web designer and co-leader for the Joomla! Users Group in the Bay Area. Jenn enjoys singing, bird watching, geology and real estate.