Both Joomla and WordPress.org are first-rate website platforms for different reasons.
WordPress is the most popular CMS (content management system) globally, powering over 40% of the internet. On the other hand, Joomla has the second biggest market share and fuels as many as 9% of all business websites.
That said, if we compare by numbers alone, WordPress takes the victory. So it’s no surprise that many Joomla users consider switching over to WordPress, the top CMS platform on the web.
WordPress may better meet your business’s needs. After all, it’s the more evolved solution where customization and web design are concerned.
If you know what you’re doing, migrating your website from one CMS to another has the potential to help scale your business in ways your current platform can’t facilitate. However, suppose you don’t boast this know-how. In that case, the process will likely present a colossal hassle, causing problems both now and possibly further down the line too.
In light of that, we’re looking at how to switch from Joomla to WordPress using the FG Joomla plugin. As we just hinted at, successfully migrating a site takes time and caution, so we hope these steps will help you comfortably relocate your content.
Let’s get started
Joomla vs. WordPress: The Differences
You might have started your business with Joomla because, at the time, it reflected your requirements. But WordPress is forever evolving, and by now, your business, too, might need a more scalable and flexible solution.
That said if you’re wondering whether it’s worth migrating your website from Joomla to WordPress – especially considering there’s a degree of risk and effort involved, it’s worth examining how these platforms differ.
Here’s how the two platforms compare:
Joomla vs. WordPress: Their Main Similarities
- Both WordPress and Joomla are open source platforms written using the PHP programming language. They use MySQL databases and have similar hosting requirements.
- Both are free software and strongly community-driven. These active communities enable you to rely on peers and various professionals if you have a question or problem.
- Both allow you to add plugins to create a more sophisticated website (for example, an eCommerce store).
- Both are built using very secure code.
- Both platforms offer options to add extra protection against vulnerabilities.
- Both Joomla and WordPress come with modules and templates.
Joomla vs. WordPress: Their Main Differences
- While both platforms are easy to use and suitable for beginners, WordPress is the more user-friendly option. It’s more straightforward to get acquainted with. Joomla, in comparison, comes with a steeper learning curve.
- With WordPress, you can purchase thousands of premium themes and support options. It also comes with more than 58,000 free plugins in its official plugin directory, compared with 7,900+ extensions with Joomla. This makes it easier to expand upon than Joomla.
- WordPress runs automatic updates, so this is one less thing to worry about. In contrast, Joomla requires manual updates.
- Joomla offers out-of-the-box multilingual support. Whereas WordPress sites require an add-on for this, there isn’t an out-of-the-box solution at the time of writing.
- As Joomla is less prevalent on the web, it’s more expensive and difficult to find a developer to help with Joomla-based projects. In comparison, many web professionals learn how to code specifically to work alongside the world’s most popular CMS. This makes it much easier to get assistance from high-quality WordPress developers.
In summary, WordPress takes everything to a grander scale. You benefit from a vaster selection of themes and plugins, a more active community, and your pick of WordPress professionals to assist with customizing and developing your site.
That’s why if your site’s grown, migrating to WordPress might be the next natural step. So, let’s dive into how to do just that.
How to Prepare to Migrate from Joomla to WordPress
Before kickstarting any migration process, preparation is critical for ensuring nothing gets lost in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong.
With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to ensure the migration’s as smooth as possible:
- Create a complete backup of your Joomla website, just in case.
- Prepare a full list of all your Joomla URLs. If your website has lots of content, this simplifies redirects later on and avoids the loss of any current SEO (search engine optimization) rankings.
- Get a domain name and WordPress hosting. Your choice of web host is critical with both Joomla and WordPress, but if you’re migrating, you might want to switch hosting providers as well. Many hosting providers offer managed hosting services specifically for WordPress, with added services like extra security, updates, staging environments, and more. Now’s your chance to find the best web hosting for your new WordPress website.
- Install WordPress and set up your site.
How to Migrate from Joomla to WordPress
As previously stated, we’re focusing on migrating from Joomla to WordPress using the FG Joomla to WordPress plugin. We don’t recommend performing the migration process manually, as this involves copying and pasting your website piece by piece. Unless your website is minimal and straightforward, this will take a very long time, increasing the likelihood of human error seeping in. For instance, you might end up losing posts, SEO rankings, or worse.
In contrast, using a plugin like FG Joomla to WordPress makes the process simple and hassle-free. That said, here’s what you need to do in just five simple steps.
- Install the FG Joomla to WordPress plugin. Head over to your WordPress dashboard and go to the “Plugins” tab. Click “Add new” and then search for the plugin. Hit “Install now” once you find it, and activate the plugin when it’s ready.
- Find the Joomla database parameters. In a separate tab, login to the backend of your Joomla website and navigate to “System,” then “Global Configuration.” You’ll find the database settings in the “Server” tab. Note down the following information:
- The hostname
- The database username
- The database name
- The database table prefix
With this information noted, switch back to WordPress.
- Empty WordPress content. Click on the “Tools” tab, followed by “Import.” You should now see Joomla (FG) as one of the options. Run the Importer.
On the following page, you have the option of emptying your WordPress content, clearing it of all posts, pages, categories, tags, and media files. If your WordPress site isn’t brand new, you might want to back up some of this content before proceeding. Otherwise, remove all WordPress content. This will take a few moments. Then, reset your WordPress database by selecting “Remove all WordPress content”, then clicking the “Empty WordPress content” button.
- Migrate your content from your Joomla site to WordPress. Navigate down the page until you spot the Joomla website parameters. Here, you can post in the URL of your Joomla site and fill in the four fields below with the information we noted down in the second step. (Hostname, username, database name, database table prefix). Test the database connection by clicking the button at the end.
Scroll down further to see the main import options. You only need to worry about the settings for “Archived posts and media.” Select “not imported” if you don’t want to bring the whole archive along. Alternatively, you can import content as drafts or even as published posts.
Decide whether you want to import media, and choose whether the content images set for your Joomla posts should become your new featured image on WordPress.
Finally, make sure to click “Import meta keywords as tags” to transfer your SEO settings across.
Now, all that’s left to do is scroll down and hit “Start/ Resume Import.” The hard work is done. Time to lean back and let the plugin do the rest.
- Modify Internal Links. Once you’ve received the message that the migration is complete, you only need to click on the option to “Modify Internal links.” This will map existing internal links to the new WordPress URLs, which is where having noted down your URLs in the first place comes in useful.
Congratulations! Your migration from Joomla to WordPress is done. Now you’re free to customize your new website with all the flexibility of WordPress.
What to Do After the Migration
Work on your website doesn’t end with a successful migration. Your Joomla content now lives on a new CMS platform, where you have access to all of WordPress’s powerful themes, plugins, and blogging capabilities.
Here are a few final steps you should take to ensure your website is fully set up and ready to go:
- Move your site from the development environment to the live domain. When you complete a project like migration, you should always do so in a staging environment, so your content is safe no matter what. Now that migration is complete and successful, it’s time to make all your old content live again.
- Choose a fabulous theme for your brand new WordPress site. There are thousands of beautiful free and premium WordPress themes available for you to browse, so you’re bound to find one that meets the needs of your brand.
Pro Tip: If you already have a strong brand identity, choose your theme carefully. It’s wise to maintain a style similar to your previous site to avoid confusing users. Keep your brand voice and imagery consistent. Alternatively, if you’re looking to re-brand yourself, you can, of course, revamp your style entirely and pick something fresh.
- Improve your site with plugins, extensions, and widgets. Ever thought of a feature your old Joomla website couldn’t provide? Chances are, those barriers are removed now that you’re with WordPress. Browse WordPress’s extensive directory of plugins and apps to find and add new functionality to your site.
Pro Tip: Not all plugins are of the same quality and/or value. So do your due diligence by reading reviews before you install new tools.
- Improve the security of your site. Perhaps your hosting provider offers extra options for this? Alternatively, you can find a plugin or extension for this purpose.
- Learn how to improve the user experience. Delight your customers with improved site speed and performance by improving your core web vitals.
Are You Ready to Migrate from Joomla to WordPress?
Migrating from Joomla to WordPress doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you’re diligent and follow step-by-step what we’ve discussed. You, too, can have access to thousands of themes and plugins from the WordPress directory and benefit from the most active CMS community on the web.
If you’re nervous about handling the WordPress migration process independently, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Hiring an expert to help you with this critical step can put your mind at ease and ensure every stage is completed successfully.
The easiest way to find a vetted and reliable expert is through Codeable. Codeable is a platform that matches WordPress experts with site owners like you. All our experts are background-checked and experienced in similar migration projects.
Submit your project to Codeable today to get a free, no-obligation estimate, 100% risk-free.