Joomla and WordPress have been considered two of the best content management systems out there. How can they not? They’re both powerful open-source platforms that allow you to create a website with ease.
Both also have an excellent level of functionality and features. Although there are other areas that WordPress does better than Joomla, namely the number of plugins and themes available.
If you’ve been using Joomla as your platform, you may be in shock at how many benefits WordPress has to offer. Feel like migrating? Don’t worry, there is no need to start from scratch – you can easily migrate all your content from Joomla to WordPress. I will guide you every step along the way in this article.
Why Would You Migrate from Joomla to WordPress?
You may be wondering – is it worth changing from Joomla to WordPress?
Joomla is just as reliable as WordPress when it comes to creating various types of websites – blogs, websites, landing pages, ecommerce sites, you name it.
So, what is Joomla lacking exactly? Well, WordPress has a much more sizeable user base than Joomla. The fact is, according to W3Techs, 33.9% of websites in the world are built on WordPress, leading to the market share of 60.7% while Joomla is only used by 2.9% of all websites, only filling in 5.1% of the market.
They both are open-source. Meaning, users can have free access in distributing, modifying, and using the platforms. This fact alone allows the possibility of endless development – seeing that anyone can pitch in to make the platform better.
In this case, WordPress has more winning point for having a much larger user base than Joomla – it’s proven by how vast its collection of plugins and themes is.
That said, wouldn’t it make for a sensible choice to move to WordPress?
Migrating content from Joomla to WordPress is actually not that hard. I will guide you through every step of the process.
Still, you need to prepare a few things first – for starters, the WordPress site itself.
To create a WordPress website, you first need to have hosting and a domain name. There are lots of good quality hosting providers you can choose, such as Hostinger.
Most reliable hosting providers also come with an auto-installer that allows you to start using WordPress in just a few simple clicks, including Hostinger.
However, if that’s not the case on your preferred option, you can also manually install WordPress using the official tutorial here.
Migrating Your Joomla Site to WordPress
Now that you have a WordPress site, it’s time to fill it with your old content. Normally, it’s a hard and long process to move content from one platform to another. But, with the help of a WordPress plugin, everything can be done in just a few minutes! So, let’s get started.
Step 1: Install the FG Joomla to WordPress Plugin
FG Joomla to WordPress is a free plugin that you can use to migrate any type of content from Joomla to WordPress – posts, comments, categories, images, etc.
Plus, it lets you adapt Joomla’s internal link structure to WordPress and solve the term difference of each platform (“Sections” will become “Categories,” “Articles” will become “Pages,” “Alias” will become “Permalinks,” and so on).
To install it, you need to go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins –> Add New and simply type “FG Joomla to WordPress” in the search bar. Then, click Install Now.
Wait for a little while until the button that says Activate shows up, and click it.
Step 2: Import Your Joomla Content to WordPress
Once the plugin is ready to use, you can start the migration process. Still on your WordPress dashboard, head to Tools –> Import.
You will see a list of platforms that you can import from. Find the importer for Joomla (FG) and click the text that says Run importer.
In the next page, you need to put in some details required by the importer to pull the content from your Joomla site – the website parameter (your site’s URL) and the database parameter (host, port, database, etc)
You can find the information you’re looking for through the Joomla dashboard. Click System on the horizontal menu at the top, then select Global Configuration.
Then, navigate to Server tab and you’ll see your database setting on the right side that looks like the one below.
Simply copy those credentials to the importer page on your WordPress dashboard – but leave the “database” and “port” options as they are. Once you finish inputting your site’s URL and the database parameters, click Test database connection.
If the information you provided is correct, a green message saying “Connection successful” will appear. However, if it doesn’t work, the inputted details may be wrong or your WordPress and Joomla sites are located on different web hosting providers and servers.
If it’s the latter, you can export the database through phpMyAdmin on your control panel. Export your Joomla’s database to an SQL file, and import it to the WordPress database. Then, you can input the details from your WordPress database parameters on the form above.
You can also set additional preferences if you want to remove all of your WordPress content to start from scratch, importing the meta keywords from your Joomla site as tags, etc.
Once you’re done with the settings, click Start/Resume the Import.
Now, you have finished migrating your content from Joomla to WordPress. However, I advise you to modify your internal linking – which I’ll explain in the next section below.
Step 3: Modify and Redirect Your Internal Link
Modifying your internal links after migrating is crucial. You wouldn’t want them to end up as error pages, would you?
Yes, that’s likely to happen because Joomla has a different linking structure than WordPress – and you need to adapt the links to function normally.
Scroll down a bit and look past the “After migration” section – you’ll find the button that says Modify internal links. Click it.
Then, the next thing to do is changing your permalinks. Go to Settings –> Permalink and pick Post Name.
This part will make your internal links better structured and straightforward – which can help a great deal in preventing 404 error pages.
The thing is, you can’t make sure all of your links are working properly after a migration. So, you might want a solution that can help track error pages and even redirect to the right content (or any page you want).
To do this, you need a plugin called Redirection. Just install it the same way as JF Joomla to WordPress and activate it. Then, go to Tools –> Redirection to set up the plugin for the first time.
There are two important tabs to focus on – “Redirects” and “404s”. The former allows you to input the source link and the target link while the latter lets you monitor your visitors (which page they’re trying to access, their IP addresses, etc.) who stumble on an error page. By keeping track, you can deal with a dead link at the exact time as it happens by redirecting it.
Now that you have finished the migration process, your WordPress site has all the content of the previous platform.
However, your new site may still have a long way to go before it’s “launch-ready.” There are still things to deal with, such as installing themes and finding the plugins you need.
Let’s start with the themes first. There are tons of websites that provide the most eye-catching themes that you can install – both free and premium (paid). For starters, you can look for them on the WordPress theme directory. A few third-party websites such as ThemeForest and Themify are also good choices – you can find many unique and niche-based beautiful themes there. Then, once you find one you like, upload the theme to your WordPress site and set it up.
Also, don’t forget to install some plugins that can improve your site’s functionality. Here are some recommended plugins to install right now:
- Yoast SEO – you can improve the SEO of your writing (readability, keyword distribution, meta description, and so much more.)
- Google Analytics by Monsterinsight – it can display an analytics report that you can use to evaluate site traffic (plus other metrics as well.)
- WP Rocket – this plugin can give a boost to your site’s speed and performance by enhancing performance-related aspects such as file compression, page-caching, etc.
- WP-Optimize – once in a while, your WordPress site’s database can get cluttered and it may affect performance. You need WP-Optimize to rid leftover data so that your site can run smoothly.
Migrating content from Joomla to WordPress doesn’t have to take much of your time, don’t you agree? As expected of WordPress, there are plugins that can automate a larger part of the process.
Let’s take a step back and review the process:
- Before you begin, you need to have a WordPress site. To do that, get a domain name and reliable hosting, and install the CMS using the provided auto-installer or do it manually.
- Install the FG Joomla to WordPress plugin from the WordPress dashboard.
- Set up the plugin using the credentials from your Joomla site’s backend (the database parameters).
- Modify and redirect your link using Redirection plugin to avoid 404 error pages that can drive your visitors away.
So, that’s it! I hope you can make use of the guide to change platforms easily. Hopefully, you can reap the benefits of using WordPress to help grow your project in the best possible way. Good luck on your new site!