WordPress to Joomla Migration Checklist

Written by | 01 February 2015 | Published in 2015 February
If you're planning to migrate your WordPress website to Joomla for the wide range of features Joomla allows, here's what to keep in mind as you map out the process.

Building a website used to be complicated, time-intensive, and the process was restricted by multiple limitations. A decade ago, people created their websites exclusively using HTML and CSS.

Over time, people have begun to use content management systems – like Joomla and WordPress – rather than static HTML sites. While many people create sites on WordPress, a large percentage are expected to migrate to Joomla in the future.

If you're considering moving your WordPress website to Joomla, you're not alone! Before making the move, however, it can help to understand the benefits of migrating, and what the process will look like on a step-by-step basis.

Why Joomla?

As people switch from WordPress to Joomla, it’s important to analyze the reasons for this shift. After all, we want to know what functionalities our users value and which are the most useful. Here are a few of Joomla's unique capabilities:

  • Portals. Joomla offers portals for many different applications. Community-based, corporate, and other kinds of portals are easy to use on Joomla.
  • Corporate applications. Businesses love Joomla. Among our many corporate offerings are websites, intranets, extranets, portals, e-commerce, and more. Our user-friendly, affordable services are used by many corporations in a variety of industries, including IHOP and Citibank.
  • Non-profits. Non-profits need clear, usable websites to facilitate their activities. Joomla offers easy-to-customize options for non-profits.
  • Personal use. Family and personal websites as well as school and church home pages are best served by Joomla.

Joomla 3.3 is an extremely customizable content management system. A completely free platform with over 900 free themes and 7,000 free plugins, Joomla is preferred by many. Have you considered migrating?

Migrating

If you’re considering making the switch from WordPress to Joomla, it’s important to understand how the process will take place, step-by-step. A basic roadmap for this process is provided here:

  • Evaluate your site. Before migration can take place, you’ll need to evaluate your existing site and identify the different types of content you have – static pages, photo galleries, comments, user account pages, etc. This will help you keep track of any areas that may need special attention during the actual migration process.
  • Set up Joomla. Next, you should get started on your new site by downloading and installing Joomla. If Joomla is completely new to you, there is plenty of information available for beginners or those in need of a refresher. 
  • Determine how you will migrate. Will you migrate your site completely on your own or will you use the assistance of a third-party service like CMS2CMS? There are a variety of programs designed to help you with this change, but it’s definitely possible to take the DIY approach.
  • Focus on content. When doing it yourself, it’s important to understand how the process will work. Start by developing a detailed content inventory that records all of your site’s content and the relationships that exist between each URL and page. Next, clean up your content so that legacy WordPress content is properly formatted for Joomla. This will be one of the most time consuming steps.
  • Create redirects. Naturally, your migration to Joomla will change the structure of some of your URLs. In order to keep bookmarks and links pointing to your site intact, you should create 301 redirects to direct traffic to your new system. (Editor's note: see Ruth Cheesley's article in this issue on redirects.)
  • Migrate design and theme. If keeping your existing WordPress theme and design is important to your site, now is the time to migrate to a custom Joomla theme.
  • Check your data. Following the conversion, you’ll want to check your data and files to ensure everything has successfully transferred from WordPress to Joomla. If there are errors, broken relationships, or other migration-related problems, you’ll need to confirm these are taken care of quickly.

After all these steps are completed, you are ready to go live. While migrating does take some effort, it shouldn't take too much time. Whether you choose to do it on your own or use the assistance of a third-party service, we think you’ll find your move to Joomla rewarding.

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John Rampton

John Rampton

John is an Entrepreneur... He is the Founder of Due. John has spoken at BlogWorld, Affiliate Summit, SES and several other conferences. He has been written about on Forbes as being a leading Blogging expert. Loves helping people out online. Find him online @JohnRampton