How to Upgrade Joomla 2.5.x to Joomla 3.x without loosing data ? Joomla upgrade is not an easy task like WordPress site Upgrade Why ? bcoz of the API features and all. WordPress is mainly focused on blog system so the core is small in files and API also small number of DB tables.
When you compare Joomla with WordPress, its a huge thing everybody loves WordPress due to its simplicity and everyone loves Joomla due to its security. Yes I worked on both the system for years and experienced many challenges. Here I will explain How to Upgrade Joomla 2.5.x to Joomla 3.x professionally. first of all I’m saying its not an easy task unlike you’re lucky!.
Joomla forum and developers says its a quite easy job to upgrade Joomla 2.5.x to Joomla 3.x version but its hard to an upgrade from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 3.x (Its more complicated). but based on the site behavior it may easy or complex .
I can guarantee your Joomla site upgrade from Joomla 2.5.x to Joomla 3.x when you found this article on Google. means you’re reach here with an Upgrade problem It will solved .
Once I started my site upgrade the version I used is Joomla 2.5.15 and there are almost 10+ version for finest Joomla 2.5.x so I start from here.
there are many important thing you have to consider while upgrade your site to latest version.
- Extensions compatibility.
- Template compatibility.
- Server PHP/Mysql version support.
- Joomla 3.3.6 required PHP 5.3 or above.
So first take a note pad and make a list of all your third party plugins/modules/components and templates even admin and site template.
The first thing first, you have to take a full back of your site first. you can use Akeeba backup tools for that. Install it on the site and take complete backup. then we can start with confidence.Upgrade to Joomla 2.5.27
When I wrote this article the final Joomla 2.5.x version is Joomla 2.5.27 so first safely land on that version then you can simply do a one click upgrade.
Login to Administrator -> Extensions -> Extension Manager -> Click on update button.
make sure there is no core Joomla plugins/modules/components required updation on current version Some how it may happend altering some core files or missing some required files. If any of the core extensions found on the list update that (Figure out its core or third party using author details you can figure out that ). If the list empty click on the discover Tab and click on Discover button. then check the list it find few plugins only update core files.
Also check the database tab and make sure its schema version is upto date with your current version. If everything ok then we can start now!.
Components -> Joomla Update -> Will list the next version avilable for you.
Its a Long Term release so you may see Joomla 3.x version directly then do not try to upgrade directly to Joomla 3.x bcoz of your extensions compatibility. So better to land on Joomla 2.5.27(final as on Day).
Just click on the options on the toolbar select short term release once you are not in Joomla 2.5.27. save and close it will show the latest update available
Then simply update the site , normally this will not a huge problem all your extensions are joomla 2.5.x compatible so it will do this step smoothly. Once the process completed make sure few things.
- Check your current version.(Site -> system Information).
- Make sure you’re on Joomla 2.5.27(final).
- Check the Extensions updates (Extensions -> Extension manager -> Update & Discover If any update it).
- Check your Database schema upto date with version number.
- All are ok upto 2.5.27 Good to Go.
Here is the big challenge before doing this step you have to make sure few things. first you have to note all your third party templates/plugins/modules/components in a notepad. and check its compatibility on the JED. keep two list compatible and not compatible bcoz many developers not yet upgraded their extension version to Joomla 3.x compatible. So make sure the list with all details. then follow.
- Uninstall all the Extensions that are not compatible for Joomla 3.x.
- Upgrade the Extensions that are compatible for Joomla 3.x (make sure both compatibility means some plugin may compatible for Joomla 2.5 and 3.x with single patch) only this types of plugin you have to update.
- If they provides two different version for the J2.5 and J3.x then uninstall them too and download a J3.x compatible version for later install.
- Tip: You can remove the extension files only and keep the DB tables this may help after upgrade the Joomla version extension upgrade make simpler. But its too complicated until you’re not confident don’t do this.
- The template is also an extension so don’t forget that too. even admin and site.
- Also make sure if you are using third party templates that are not compatible for J3.x then uninstall them and switch to default admin and site templates.
- Keep a backup using Akeeba or even files and DB manually ( Bcoz step 3 may effect for Akeeba plugin too).
Once all the steps are done Good to go to Joomla 3.x.
Components -> Joomla Update -> Check short Term release with Options toolbar.
And figure out next Joomla 3.x version clicks upgrade It will take little bit long and once it completed successfully your admin layout may messed. Its due to your current Joomla version is not good in previous admin template so just go to
Extesions -> Templates and select isis ist joomla 3.x default admin template.
Once you’re are see everything looks and templates is showing well then fine.
check your current Joomla version and database schema is upto date then Done.
Now you can update all extensions that you’re downloaded for J3.x and try to install your old templates and configure them too.
Hope you will Upgraded Joomla 2.5.27 to Joomla 3.3.6 (As on Oct-21st-2014).Now the Challenge
In my experience the I did many sites with few step upgrade but some how a complex site will not be that much easy so here the real challenge starts. Once I follow the above steps It stuck with an error.
Error: 1091 Can't DROP 'usertype'; check that column/key exists SQL=ALTER TABLE `xxx_users` DROP KEY `usertype`;
So a one click update from Joomla 2.5.27 to Joomla 3.3.6 is failed and unable to access the admin area it stuck with this error. So I think an alternate option like WordPress manual Upgrade why don’t we upgrade Joomla manually.
First I tried with Joomla 2.5.27 to Joomla 3.0.0
you can see a complete Joomla versions available based on Oct-1-2014 Here.
Who made this l really thanks to him bcoz it help me lot. So I successfully upgraded in a way like below.
Started with Joomla 2.5.15 -> J 2.5.17 -> J 2.5.27 -> J 3.0.0 -> J 3.0.1 -> J 3.3.6
When I stuck with above error and I reverted back to Joomla 2.5.27 from my backup. Then I try to upgrade to Joomla 3.0.0 from the url updates.
Extensions -> Extensions Manager -> Install from a URL give the 3.0.0 url //http://joomlacode.org/gf/download/frsrelease/17520/76466/Joomla_3.0.0-Stable-Full_Package.zip
Then the update stuck with a white page . When I type administrator/indxe.php I found the admin layout get messed so Changed the admin templates to ISIS means files upgraded to Joomla 3.0.0. When I check the system information I found the files are updated based on 3.0.0 and check the Database Schema under Extensions -> Extensions Manager -> Database.
I found many errors on tables like .
article title alias on #__content table around 23 table errors. So use the fix button on the toolbar. Once it get fixed you are more lucky . If it failed again struggling starts!
Its due to your files are upgraded to Joomla 3.0.0 but DB schema is still on Joomla 2.5.27 but few tables upgraded.
Keep in mind do not sign out from admin panel for now You can fix this tables update manually by download the joomla 3.0.0 version locally and extract the zip version to a folder then search for.
Open the sql file and run the query manually on the phpmyadmin you may face many error’s its due to your DB is updated few lines so figure out the upgraded tables by removing each table query from top of the file one by one. then run the rest Once you successfully run the queries check the admin panel you will see only few fix like 3 or 4 tables. Just click Fix database errors.
Then your system will be uptodate with version Joomla 3.0.0 files and DB schema. Ok what about failing Fix DB mismatch again! like you have still 3 or 4 table error and DB schema still showing 2.5.27 ??.
Don’t worry keep a backup of this stage files and DB. then move to next version like Joomla 3.0.1 from URL options. Bcoz Joomla Update components may not successfully run until you fix all DB errors bcoz its still read Joomla 2.5.27!
So Install from URL is much better in this case use Joomla 3.0.1 url.
It also may stuck with white page but when you check the System Information you will find your version is now Joomla 3.0.1 when you check DB Schema still Joomla 2.5.27 and same error nos! So try to Fix DB now. most probably it will get fix Now. If it not try to download the Joomla 3.0.1 zip extract same path
3.0.1.sql. So it will upgrade your DB schema and fix errors now try to check DB schema and fix errors It will get resolved!!
Now Update to Joomla 3.3.6 by using Joomla Update components it will show the next upgrade once you select short term release on Joomla Upgrade components!. This will never fail bcoz now Joomla are in Joomla 3.x (2nd version) so oneclick will work and you must land on Joomla 3.3.6.
Happy Joomla Upgrade From Joomla 2.5.x to Joomla 3.3.x .
Hope this will help you guys to fix the challenges in Joomla Upgrade.