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Moving a Site from Joomla to WordPress



moving a site from joomla to wordpress

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.



Overview

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



 

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Moving a Site From Joomla to WordPress

Step 1

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).

Step 2

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:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress



Step 3

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:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 4

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”.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress



 

Once the search runs, click the “More Details” button for the “FG Joomla to WordPress” plugin shown above.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

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.



Step 5

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.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 6

One you see the screen below, click the “Activate Plugin” link:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress



Step 7

Once the FG Joomla to WordPress plugin is installed and activated, you’ll be brought back to the “Plugins” page.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 8

Once again click on “Tools” and then “Import” in left column menu of the WordPress dashboard:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress



Step 9

Look, there’s a Joomla Importer now, yay! Click the “Joomla! FG” link to get this migration started:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 10

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.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress



Step 11

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”:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 12

On the next screen, click on the “Server” tab as shown here:



moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 13

On the “Server” tab, write down the information from the “Database Settings” section (yours will differ from ours):

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 14

The next piece of info you’ll need is the address of your Joomla site:



moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 15

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.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 16

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:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

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:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 17

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.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 18

If all goes well, you’ll see messages similar to those below at the top if the Joomla importer page:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 19

At the bottom of the Joomla importer page, there are two post-content-import tools.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

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).

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 20

Go ahead and click on the “Remove the prefixes from the categories” button:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 21

Once the job is complete, you’ll see the following message at the top of the Joomla importer page:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

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.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

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!

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 22

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:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 23

As you can see, on the right, the first “Uncategorized” category is checked:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Click on the second “Uncategorized” category and then click the “Update” button:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Now the category address is fixed for that post. Repeat for all the rest.

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 24

Finally, back on the bottom of the Joomla! importer page, click on the “Modify internal links” button:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Once it’s done, you’ll see the following message at the top of the Joomla importer page:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 25

That’s it, your Joomla content has been moved to your WordPress site:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

 

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

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.

Step 1

On your Joomla administration dashboard, select “Components” then “Redirect”:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 2

If, as shown below, the Redirect Manager is disabled, click on the “Enable it in the Plugin Manager” link:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 3

In the Plugin Manager, find the “x” button next to the “System – Redirect” plugin:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Click the “x” button to activate the System — Redirect” plugin:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 4

Next, select “Components” then “Redirect” again:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 5

On the Redirect Manager page, click the “New” button on the top left:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 6

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:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 7

Your redirect has been saved:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Next, head on over to your content by selecting “Content” and then “Article Manager”:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 8

Find the check mark button next to article you just redirected:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Click on the check mark button to unpublish that content. The check mark will turn into an “x”:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 9

Now when you refresh that post or just try to go to it…

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

…you’ll be automatically redirected to the post’s new home on WordPress:

moving a site from joomla to wordpress

Step 10

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.

Wrapping Up

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.

Image: Joomla More in: 5 Comments ▼



Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor and SEO Specialist at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s, and lists of small business resources as well as increasing the reach of our content.

5 Reactions
  1. Haven’t tried Joomla. They said that it is easy to code. But I have been using WordPress ever since I started blogging. It is easy to learn and use.

  2. Hi Matt, thanks for sharing. Looks like your guide makes sense and the steps are clearly explained. Having my Joomla site online for a while now, with backlinks coming from good sites like Wikipedia, I’m still reluctant to convert my site into WordPress, even though Joomla has becoming more and more troublesome for me to maintain. Your guide will be usable when I finally find the courage to move on with the migration plan.

  3. Hi Matt,
    excellent guide!
    Sometimes, the migration process can be really difficult, but approaching with the right steps, make it easier.
    I would suggest to take care of redirections and broken links. Joomla is a good CMS, but I prefer WordPress!

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Categories Import is not working. 4K articles imported but categories import is not working the articles has been shifted under one category – Uncatigorized.

    I am using Joomla Latest Version.

  5. I was recently having issues with an older version of joomla and this tutorial definitely helped. The wordpress integration was flawless!

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