When it comes to the most popular website building solutions, the distance between first place WordPress and second place Joomla is huge.
At first, this seems odd — Joomla is just as robust in terms of features, functionality, themes and extensions (think plugins) as WordPress so why is WordPress so far ahead?
Perhaps, as posited here, it all boils down to the simple fact that WordPress developers seem to have mastered the critical balance between powerful functionality and ease-of-use. Joomla may be a bit more flexible than WordPress overall. However, that flexibility comes at a price: complexity (i.e. less ease-of-use).
Whatever the reason, moving a site from Joomla to WordPress can seem like a daunting task however, it should be a snap when you follow the steps below from beginning to end.
During the course of this post, you’ll see how to import the content (posts, pages, links and images) from this Joomla site to the WordPress site shown below it:
Moving a Site From Joomla to WordPress
The first thing you need to do is get your new self-hosted WordPress site up and running (these steps will not work with a site hosted on wordpress.com).
WordPress provides us with a number of importing tools – to access them importer, click on “Tools” and then “Import” in left column menu of the WordPress dashboard:
Uh-oh, it seems like there’s no importer for Joomla. No worries. Just click on the, “search the plugin directory” link underneath the list of importers:
Ever helpful, WordPress has already run a plugin search using the term “importer”. Unfortunately, that won’t help you find exactly what you need, so go ahead and type in “Joomla” and hit “enter” or “return”.
Once the search runs, click the “More Details” button for the “FG Joomla to WordPress” plugin shown above.
The basic FG Joomla to WordPress plugin is free however if you require advanced features, you can purchase the premium version. All the steps below were done with the free version.
To see if you need the premium version, take a look at the plugin page for more information.
In the pop-up shown below, you can review anything you’d like – when you’re ready to install the plugin, click the “Install Now” button on the bottom right.
One you see the screen below, click the “Activate Plugin” link:
Once the FG Joomla to WordPress plugin is installed and activated, you’ll be brought back to the “Plugins” page.
Once again click on “Tools” and then “Import” in left column menu of the WordPress dashboard:
Look, there’s a Joomla Importer now, yay! Click the “Joomla! FG” link to get this migration started:
This is the Joomla importer page. We’ll be taking a look at each part of it separately as we move through the steps below.
Before we can begin filling in the information on the Joomla importer page, we need to gather some details.
Start over in your Joomla administration dashboard by select “System” and then “Global Configuration”:
On the next screen, click on the “Server” tab as shown here:
On the “Server” tab, write down the information from the “Database Settings” section (yours will differ from ours):
The next piece of info you’ll need is the address of your Joomla site:
On the Joomla importer page back in WordPress, fill out the form with the information you just collected. Note that you’ll also need your Joomla database’s admin password as well.
Once you’ve entered the information, click the, “Test the connection” button.
You’ll see one of two results when you test the connection:
If the connection doesn’t work, you see the following message at the top if the Joomla importer page:
If this happens, check your information against your Joomla dashboard again, ask your site administrator for help (if it’s not you) or call your hosting company for support.
If the connection does work, you’ll see the following message at the top if the Joomla! importer page and can move on:
Now it’s time to import your Joomla site’s content to your WordPress site. Scroll down the Joomla! importer page and complete the “Behavior” section.
It’s OK to accept the defaults, but feel free to change any of the settings to fit your situation. If you do change the settings, make sure to click the “Save settings” button before the import.
Once you’re ready, click the “Import content from Joomla to WordPress” button.
If all goes well, you’ll see messages similar to those below at the top if the Joomla importer page:
At the bottom of the Joomla importer page, there are two post-content-import tools.
The first of these tools helps you get rid of any extensions that were added to your imported content categories if the category was a duplicate of one already in WordPress.
You can see an example of what that look like in the image below. Note that there was a duplicate “Uncategorized” category so the importer added “c2-” to the front of the imported category’s slug (the part of the web address that WordPress uses for that category).
Go ahead and click on the “Remove the prefixes from the categories” button:
Once the job is complete, you’ll see the following message at the top of the Joomla importer page:
However, as you can see below, the prefix was not removed from the category’s slug. This is likely due to the fact that there’s still a duplicate category and, since that category is “Uncategorized” the importer can’t do anything about that because WordPress protects that category.
As you can see in the bottom left of the next image, when I hover over the orange “uncategorized”, the address of the link is using the “c2-uncategorized” slug. We don’t want that!
If this happens to you, click on “Posts” in left column menu of the WordPress dashboard then one by one, click on the “Edit” link under each post in the “c2-uncategorized” category:
As you can see, on the right, the first “Uncategorized” category is checked:
Click on the second “Uncategorized” category and then click the “Update” button:
Now the category address is fixed for that post. Repeat for all the rest.
Finally, back on the bottom of the Joomla! importer page, click on the “Modify internal links” button:
Once it’s done, you’ll see the following message at the top of the Joomla importer page:
That’s it, your Joomla content has been moved to your WordPress site:
Redirecting Joomla Posts to WordPress Posts
When you’re moving from Joomla! to WordPress, you want visitors to your old blog to be redirected to your new one. Happily, Joomla has an easy-to-implement method of doing just that.
On your Joomla administration dashboard, select “Components” then “Redirect”:
If, as shown below, the Redirect Manager is disabled, click on the “Enable it in the Plugin Manager” link:
In the Plugin Manager, find the “x” button next to the “System – Redirect” plugin:
Click the “x” button to activate the System — Redirect” plugin:
Next, select “Components” then “Redirect” again:
On the Redirect Manager page, click the “New” button on the top left:
On the next screen, enter the address of one of your old Joomla posts and then enter that post’s new home address on your WordPress site.
Make sure the “Status” dropdown is set to “Enabled” and add a note to remind you why the redirect was added.
When you’re ready, click the “Save” button at the top left:
Your redirect has been saved:
Next, head on over to your content by selecting “Content” and then “Article Manager”:
Find the check mark button next to article you just redirected:
Click on the check mark button to unpublish that content. The check mark will turn into an “x”:
Now when you refresh that post or just try to go to it…
…you’ll be automatically redirected to the post’s new home on WordPress:
Repeat steps 4-8 for each post and page you want to redirect from your Joomla! site to your WordPress site. To speed it up a bit, you can create all the redirects first and then unpublish all the content — that saves you from bouncing back and forth.
Now that we’ve shown you all the steps in moving a site from Joomla! to WordPress, you’re ready to go.
There are a lot of stages, but if you take the process one step at a time, you’ll find the site migration straightforward and doable.
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