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Migrating Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5, a guided tutorial

With the release of Joomla 2.5 a few days ago, we begin to receive quite an influx of requests for guidance on migrating to Joomla 2.5 with JomSocial users and data intact. This tutorial will guide you with hopefully detailed steps on moving Joomla 1.5’s data into Joomla 2.5, and steps needed to safely transfer JomSocial users and data into the brand new site.

If you are not a JomSocial user and looking to only migrate Joomla 1.5, don’t worry, the following instructions are perfectly valid as once you have completed Part 6, the migration is complete.

We have tested 3 migration components listed in JED  and will provide our findings for each of them. We are hoping that this guide will provide our dear users with a thorough and intimate understanding of how each migrator operates and choose the best option to suit your requirement.


The components are:

jUpgrade, Free for download (require registration)

SP Upgrade, Commercial, €24.95

J2XML Importer, Free for download

Target demographics

1. Migrating Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5
2. Migrating Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5, and JomSocial data

Migrated Data

1. Joomla Banners (jU, SPU)
2. Joomla Categories (jU, SPU, J2XML)
3. Joomla Contacts (jU, SPU)
4. Joomla Content/Articles (jU, SPU, J2XML)
5. Joomla Menu (jU, SPU)
6. Standard Joomla Modules (jU, SPU)
7. Joomla Newsfeeds (jU, SPU)
8. Joomla Users (jU, SPU, J2XML)
9. Joomla Weblinks (jU, SPU, J2XML)
10. Joomla Images (jU, SPU)
11. Joomla Templates (SPU)

12. JomSocial Configuration
13. All JomSocial stored images/videos/avatars
14. All JomSocial data such as Events/Groups/Discussions/Profile information
15. In short, everything that makes JomSocial


Reality Check

Do you really need to migrate to Joomla 2.5 NOW? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Joomla 1.5 is one hell of a CMS. It is rugged and has endured a long series of updates that made it highly reliable, secure and yet, robust enough to handle most demand. These three qualities are hard to come by in a single web application. If your website is already flying high with Joomla 1.5, I would say give it a few months before attempting to migrate to Joomla 2.5 due to several inter-related reasons described below. However should you decide to give your website a total makeover, or to start afresh with a new mission, perhaps this is the perfect time to do it.

Are all extensions on your Joomla 1.5 site compatible with Joomla 2.5? JomSocial is definitely compatible since day one, but how about the rest? Are those incompatible extensions critical to your site’s functionality? Given the freshness of Joomla 2.5 (smells good), it is highly possible that some of them are not yet updated to meet Joomla 2.5’s standards. Worse if the extensions are not even compatible with Joomla 1.6 or 1.7 because it may significantly delay support for Joomla 2.5. In light of these incompatibilities, do hold off migration for a while, and start urging respective developers to provide compatibility updates.

Joomla 2.5 is fresh, very fresh. In my experience dealing with JomSocial support, some users tend to be excited with every new major version of Joomla, in such a manner that they spent more time upgrading (in this case, migrating) their site with the latest codes than providing a more meaningful usability or feature upgrades for site users. Yes, new features in Joomla core definitely excite us, but pondering over existing functionalities on your site, do you really need them? Joomla 2.5.0 is barely a week old. I would suggest you to patiently postpone until at least Joomla 2.5.1 before migrating to give your developers ample time to update their extensions which assure quality and to let things settle down. Good thing is, the release of Joomla 2.5.0 will see it being used by a much larger set of users than Joomla 2.5 Beta. This will of course result with more bugs being discovered by users due to such diverse systems configurations.

Forget the extensions; is your template even compatible with Joomla 2.5? If you intend to have the same look and feel after the migration, it is essential to ensure that the Joomla template that you are currently using for Joomla 1.5 has been updated to be compatible with Joomla 2.5. Should the template was designed by yourself, I am pretty sure you have already gone through this official Joomla documentation on upgrading a Joomla 1.5 template to Joomla 1.6/1.7/2.5. However should you rely on those awesome templates by Rockettheme, Joomlart, Gavick and others, it is best for you to contact them for an update.


Navigation. You are now reading Part 1 of a series of 7.
Part 1: Migrating Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5, a guided tutorial
Part 2: Preparing Joomla 1.5 site for Joomla 2.5 migration
Part 3: Comparison of Joomla 2.5 Migrators. In review: jUpgrade
Part 4: Joomla 2.5 Migrator Review J2XML Importer
Part 5: Joomla 2.5 Migrator Review SP Upgrade
Part 6: Moving Joomla 2.5 from localhost to live site
Part 7: Migrating JomSocial Data into Joomla 2.5


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