Upgrade from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x is Not So Scary - JoomShaper

Upgrade from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x is Not So Scary

17 December 2014
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Upgrade from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x is Not So Scary

The Joomla! Project in December 10 announced availability of Joomla 2.5.28. This is the last release for the 2.5 series of Joomla! and is the final scheduled release of the series. Official support for Joomla! 2.5 is scheduled to end on December 31, 2014.

This means that there are no new releases planned for Joomla 2.5, as the Joomla project is putting all its efforts in its Joomla 3.3 and upcoming 3.4 series.

But don't worry and relax, it doesn't mean that after this date you CMS will be turned off. Your website still be on-line, and still secure as much as it was before.

upgrade from joomla 25 to joomla 34This CMS series began in January 2011 as Joomla 1.6 and in July 2011, Joomla 1.7 was released. Both of these versions were steps to the long-term release of Joomla 2.5, which came out in January 2012. So yes, it was long two years. In mean time Joomla 3.3 has appear. Joomla 3.3.6 is currently the latest stable release of the powerful and flexible CMS. Do you need to hurry up and upgrade to Joomla 3? Hmm, hard question. It's depends of many elements. But of course we suggest to think intensively about this task in next upcoming months.

Here is short list of preparations before upgrade (mini migration). Please reserve at least 2h for this procces. It's better to finish before this time, than be in hurry. They allows you to be calm and focused on the task:

  1. Full backup (files & database) - you can use free version of Akeeba Backup component
  2. Check if your hosting is ready for new CMS version. Requirements for Joomla! 3.x are here: http://www.joomla.org/technical-requirements.html
  3. In Hosting panel create a new sub-domain, for example j3.domain.com. Create also a new database.
  4. On this new sub-domain recover whole site from back-up.
  5. Rewrite to your notes all addcional extensions (modules, components, plugins) which you have there. Then one by one check which version you have and on developer site if there is a new version for J3 only, or this is this same package as you have. Download all new versions.
  6.  Also check your template, but in most cases also "old" template should work after upgrade.
  7. Then if you're not sure about especially plugins turn them off, because mostly only plugins can "kill" administrator panel.
  8. Componets -> Joomla! Update -> Options. Here, you will need to switch the Update Server option to Short Term Support then Save changes.
    joomla update
  9. You should see message about possibility of upgrade with action button. Click upgrade, and in mean time you can make a coffee, tea or mango shake.... it will take few minutes.
  10. If no errors, you can say "ufff". But I suggest to check database. Navigate to Extension Manager: Database. You will initially have Database problems when you check the Database. Click on the Fix icon to correct the problems. Now the screen should show that the database is up to date.
  11. Now you have to reinstall all modules and components which have new version for J3 only. It's important to note here that all of your extensions should be Joomla 3.3+ compatible. If they are not, your site could lose functionality or fail to load properly after the update.
  12. Check if template still working, if not or have errors from template only, reinstall it also.
  13. Then plugins part - check if those which were turned off after publishing them don't make a blank screen or any other strange issues or error messages.
  14. And if you're sure that everything is working well. Time to make another full copy and transfer this upgarded version to new location, to "old" domain.

How to fix errors after upgrade J25->3.4+

Tip #1: Sometimes even after successful upgrade from 2.5 -> 3.x and migration from localhost or sub-domain into domain you will not be able to login into admin. You will see blank (white) screen or error message. It might be caused by "old" foler: libraries/cms/controller. In Joomla 3.3+ he is not necessary, it should have been removed since J3.0 ! Please do it via FTP, then clean cache and probably you will be able to login into J!3 administration dashboard.

Tip #2: I think it's good idea after migration from server A to B to reinstall Joomla 3.3+ again. It can fix some problems which were hidden after update addcional extensions. This is very simple part, just install Joomla patch package using Extension Manager, for example use this file:  Joomla_3.3.x_to_3.3.6-Stable-Patch_Package.zip (download from Joomla.org). It will take you less than 3 minutes but can solve many problems with database structure.

Tip #3: Most problems on front-end after upgrade from old Joomla into new one are caused by old, incompatible or poorly written plugins. I suggest to set showing errors in Global Configuration into maximum - to see which one generates error messages and crash layout. In most cases you can disable them, then uninstall and find replacement which will work with Joomla 3.x without ay problems.If you are not php developer this is the only way. Of course you can always try to ask t developer about "quick" update.

Tip #4:  For not yet blocked Joomla 2.5 at the error page during update the easiest solution would be to disable the "System - Remember Me" Plug-in before running the update and re-enable it just afterwards. In some cases JoomlaUpdate may fails if remember me plugin is enabled,

Others resources about Joomla migration

Please also read those articles about Joomla 2.5 -> Joomla 3.x migration problems / issues:

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