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How to update your Joomla 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7 website to Joomla 2.5 and 3.x

upgrading to joomla 2.5 or 3.5Updating your Joomla website, depending on what version of Joomla you have, can be a tricky time consuming process. There are many variables to consider. However, the benefits to getting on the latest versions are completely worth the cost of the upgrade. Three of the biggest examples are the SEO capabilities, the automatic update capability and the upgrade to the database to name a few.

Each of these aspects are a huge change to how your website runs. The update to the database increases speed and delivery of your website thus increasing speed load times. The automatic updates will save you in the long run cost wise in that you wont have to rebuild your website for years and years to come. And finally, the SEO upgrades really allows you to implement some of the latest techniques that you could not implement in Joomla 1.0 or 1.5. So updating your Joomla Website to 2.5 or Joomla 3.x is a wise investment. However, there are things that have to be talked out first. Sometimes and some sites cannot be upgraded and will have to be rebuilt. Below are some of the questions that need to be asked before you upgrade your Joomla Website.

Upgrading your website to Joomla 2.5 or 3.x

Questions that need to be asked:

  • Are you using a template from RocketTheme or YooTheme or from another template provider? What version of the template are you using? Not all templates will upgrade. So, if you upgrade to Joomla 2.5 or 3.x and your template does not support it, your website will be trashed. And trust me, most Joomla Service Providers do NOT tell you this before they start the jupgrade process on your website.

  • Did you have a custom design built for an earlier version of Joomla like 1.5 or even 1.0? If this is the case, depending on the Joomla developer and their skill set/your requirements at the time, your core Joomla installation could and most likely have been edited. If you upgrade to Joomla 2.5 or Joomla 3.x any custom coding would be lost and thus trashing your website.

  • Components - What components are you using on your site? What functionality has been built into your website? Depending on how you answer these two questions, determines if you can upgrade or not. Joomla 2.5 is not that old and we are already on Joomla 3.x which most components and extensions not supporting it yet. This means all components will have to be re-written for this platform. Upgrading your website without having your component upgrades for Joomla 2.5 or 3.x would most definitely break your functionality.

  • Database - If you are on Joomla 1.0 or 1.5 you are using MySQL. Joomla 1.6, 1.7, 2.5 and 3.x can take advantage of MySQLi which has somewhat of a different format. However, depending on your setup, you could have a newer version of Joomla and still be using MySQL. If you are not familiar with what version your site is using, and you upgrade without knowing which database version you are using, you can actually slow your site down and cause major problems. We have already seen this.

Note: Using Joomla Automatic Updates within Joomla itself, on an upgraded website, or components that say they will update your site for you automatically stay away from. Unless you have a development environment to do all the testing, this will more than likely break your site.

We have already received many phone calls on upgrading to Joomla 2.5 and 3.x. Joomla 2.5 as well as the new Joomla 3.x is very similar to Joomla 1.7 in that themes for 1.7 generally work with 2.5 (sometimes). However, you would want to have the latest theme if possible.

A word of caution when updating from 1.7 to 2.5 or 3.x. Make sure your theme is compatible with Joomla 2.5 or 3.x, your database structure is the same and that all your components will be supported.

Your business is too valuable to make an update without discussing potential problems with a Joomla Specialist. In 60% of the cases we have found we have just had to completely rebuild the site for various reasons. Our team knows exactly what to look for, how to chart an upgrade path and all the issues to look out for. We are here to help. Please contact us via the options below and let us take a look at your site so that we can work with you so that you have no down time, no upgrade issues and that your transition to 2.5 or 3.x is seamless. Our Joomla Web Design Team has the skills to make sure your upgrade is a success.

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