From Joomla! Documentation
With Joomla 1.6 officially released, there have been a lot of questions as to how to migrate or upgrade to Joomla 1.6 from 1.5. This guide will take you step-by-step through the general procedure of how to migrate to Joomla 1.6. Please read through all the material as this is not a light undertaking.
Don’t let the numerical closeness of 1.5 and 1.6, mislead you. Joomla 1.6 took three years to develop and has been a major undertaking. Countless hours have been spent by many volunteers from around the world to put it all together. Although much of the code is the same from Joomla 1.5, much of it has been written from the ground up, and the changes are comparable to the changes from Joomla 1.0 to 1.5. Because the changes from Joomla 1.5 to 1.6 are so large and because of the massive effort put into getting Joomla 1.6 to where it is today, there is no core upgrade path, this is indeed a migration. In planned future releases of Joomla (which will be released every 6 months), such as Joomla 1.7, 1.8, etc, the changes from version to version will be more incremental and a core upgrade path is planned. Now that Joomla 1.6 is finally here and stable, a community initiative led by the developers of Joomla is turning towards jUpgrade (a 3rd party Joomla extension on the JED originally developed by Matias Aguirre) for help and to help. Many of Joomla’s developers (who are all volunteers that freely contribute their time) are volunteering to put the finishing touches on jUpgrade.
jUpgrade allows you to migrate from Joomla 1.5 to 1.6. Lets get started!
Review the Requirements
Please, please save yourself (and possibly your clients) a lot of headaches and make sure that your server (and in the case of jUpgrade, your browser too) is up for the task. please review the technical requirements for Joomla! 1.6. Please review the requirements for jUpgrade as well.
Before You Get Started
Before you get started, there are a few things that you are going to have to check and/or think about:
- Is your Joomla 1.5 version up to date? At the time of the writing of this tutorial the most up-to-date version of Joomla 1.5 is 1.5.22. Much of the testing of the migration has been done from Joomla 1.5.22 to Joomla 1.6. If your version is not up-to-date you should probably upgrade to 1.5.22 before migrating, especially if you are running Joomla 1.5.11 or lower. Please see the tutorial on upgrading.
- Do all your extensions have Joomla 1.6 native versions? At the time of the writing of this tutorial there are 108 available on the JED. Please note that jUpgrade is not currently able to upgrade Joomla 3rd party extensions, so those will have to be done via their respective upgrade procedures. This is however a work in progress.
- Have you modified any core files? Any changes that you have made to core files in Joomla will be lost so please be forewarned.
- Is there a Joomla 1.6 compatible template available from your template provider? If not, do you feel comfortable making the changes yourself? There are a couple good resources:
- Chad Windnagle’s Joomla Community blog
- Chris Davenport’s “Template Changes for Joomla 1.6” presentation
- Joomla’s Docs Template Tutorial Please note that although jUpgrade is not able to currently upgrade templates, the developers are working hard at implementing the feature.
- Is your language pack available in Joomla 1.6? Find your Joomla1 1.6 Translation.
- Do you have folder or file permissions issues in your Joomla 1.5 installation? Tutorial on Folder & File Permissions
- Do you NEED to migrate to Joomla 1.6? Joomla 1.5 is powerful and very mature. For many people there is not a need to rush into Joomla 1.6. Joomla will continue to support Joomla 1.5 for at least another year and three months, releasing security updates and bug squashing updates when needed.
The two main features of Joomla 1.6 that makes it superior to Joomla 1.5 are: Access Control List (ACL) and nested categories. Gone are the days of simply having guests, registered users, authors, and editors, without being able to specify what they can and can’t do in the frontend. Also, with 1.6 you can have more flexibility of organizing (and therefore displaying) your content with nicely organized categories within categories. No more being restricted to the section >> category structure. Those are all great things to have (especially the ACL), however, for many 1.5 users, it isn’t needed. The main point is to decide for yourself:
Backup, Backup, Backup
Skipping this part is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make. If you have a proper backup (or several) you can always revert back if needed. However, if you don’t properly backup your site and something goes wrong, you are going to waste a lot of valuable time, and sometimes a lot money, getting things back to the way they were. So please backup! If you don’t know how, please see steps 1 through 5 here: http://www.ostraining.com/blog/joomla/how-to-move-a-jomla-site-from-local-to-live-server/
Download the latest version of jUpgrade.
Optional Testing Environment
If you are really nervous by this point and your heart is beating fast, then you should probably set up a testing environment. You can follow this tutorial to make a copy of your site to test on your localhost or another remote server: http://www.ostraining.com/blog/joomla/how-to-move-a-jomla-site-from-local-to-live-server/
Go to your Joomla backend. e.g. www.yoursite.com/administrator
Extensions >> Install/Uninstall
Browse >> Select com_jupgrade >> Upload File & Install
Components >> jUpgrade
Do not exit the screen until everything has finished loading. Scroll down to check if finished.
Behind the Scenes
As explained in the background information, the changes from Joomla 1.5 and 1.6 are quite significant. The fact that jUpgrade creates a new Joomla 1.6 installation for us is, in my opinion, pure genius. If the migration process was not 100% successful, your Joomla 1.5 is still perfectly intact and none of your users are affected. You have an opportunity to check out your site both in the frontend and the backend to make sure everything is up to par. So what actually happens? jUpgrade downloads the latest version of Joomla 1.6 for you to the jupgrade directory (which it creates) in the root folder of your Joomla 1.5 installation. It then extracts all the files from the download. Once extraction has completed, jUpgrade installs Joomla 1.6 and then proceeds to migrate your old database to the new Joomla 1.6 database which it has created. Your Joomla 1.6 site will be installed in www.mysites.com/jupgrade assuming that your Joomla 1.5 installation is in your html root.
Check Your Joomla! 1.6
Please do a full site review of your Joomla 1.6 installation and make sure everything is set up properly. Your Joomla 1.6 site will be installed in www.mysites.com/jupgrade assuming that your Joomla 1.5 installation is in your html root. Here is a general checklist to check:
- Templates – Work is currently being done on the template upgrade feature of jUpdate and it is not yet fully functional. Your module positions may have to be adjusted in module manager.
Backup Joomla! 1.6
If everything looks good to go, then let’s backup the new Joomla 1.6 installation. You can follow this tutorial: http://www.ostraining.com/blog/joomla/how-to-backup-a-joomla-16-site/
Overview of the Rest of the Process
Quick overview of what we are going to try to do now:
- Relocate our Joomla 1.5 installation to a subfolder as a “just in case”.
- Relocate our Joomla 1.6 installation to the html folder.
‘It should happen in this order’ If you do it in reverse order, the Joomla 1.6 files will get mixed with the Joomla 1.5 files (many of 1.5 files will be overwritten) and you will have a big mess! Your site will likely still work, but it’s a security ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
Next log onto your host’s file manager (e.g. cPanel, Plesk, etc) or an FTP Client, however, preferably a file manager. The general procedure is (it should take about 30 seconds if you review the steps before you start):
- Create a subfolder (e.g. myoldsite) for the Joomla 1.5 installation in your html root, e.g. public_html/myoldsite
- Select all the folders (***except the jupgrade folder***) and files in the html root and move them into the Joomla 1.5 subfolder (e.g. myoldsite)
- Select all the folders and files in the jupgrade folder and move them to the html root
- Double check the frontend and backend
You can use this tutorial to guide you through the process: http://www.ostraining.com/blog/joomla/move-a-joomla-site-from-test-directory-to-live/
How You can Contribute & Help
Creating an extension as significant as jUpgrade requires an enormous amount of time and effort considering the major structural changes between Joomla 1.5 and 1.6. Add to this the fact that during each release of Joomla 1.6 betas, the extension would have to be modified to work with the new changes between releases, and all of a sudden it’s too hard for any one person to complete in a short period of time (especially when you are not being paid). With this being said, it’s time to step up and make a difference, whether big or small. Have you profited from Joomla in the last year? Are you excited about the future of Joomla? Would you like to contribute back and show your gratitude? Now you can in this project! We, as part of the Joomla community, are calling on the entire Joomla community to help out in whatever way you can. You don’t have to be a master developer, just go through this tutorial on a test site and if you come across any bugs, report it. If you know how to fix it, create a patch for it. If you are a master developer, step up to the challenge.