Why should I upgrade/migrate my site?
One of the most important things for any website, whether it is Joomla-based or not, is keeping its software up to date. Just like with computer operating systems there are frequent updates to address bugs and security issues and also to introduce new features - by ensuring your site is up to date in this regard means that you will be more secure and have access to all the latest extensions and functionality.
Your site will continue to function just fine even if it isn't up to date, however there is a greater risk that it may be hacked and you will also find that it will get harder to find extensions which are compatible with your site.
Joomla 1.5 Migrations
Joomla 1.5 was been declared end of life in April 2012 meaning that it is no longer being actively developer or updated, this is to allow the Joomla team and all extension developers to focus on the newer versions of the platform, Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3. This also means that if there are any security issues or bugs in Joomla 1.5 they will no longer be fixed and so any sites still running those versions may be vulnerable to hackers.
In addition any sites running on this version won't have access to some of the newer features of Joomla, such as version control and a fully mobile-reponsive administration area.
Don't worry though! We can help you migrate your existing site into one of the platforms and would generally recommend going straight to Joomla 3 to future-proof yourself. Get in touch with us to find out more about migrating from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 3.
Joomla 2.5 Migrations
Joomla 2.5 also went end of life in December 2014 and whilst it should, practically speaking, be okay for a while after that, we do advise that wherever possible sites are migrated to Joomla 3 for security and stability reasons. In addition you will get access to some of the newer features such as:
- Version Control
Joomla 3 stores previous versions of your articles as a backup which can be easily restored
- A fully mobile responsive administation panel
Edit your site on the go using your mobile or tablet!
The difference between the Joomla 2.5 and 3 platforms is less severe than between 1.5 and 3 however as always we would ensure that everything would function just as it had before and that any extensions you use have Joomla 3 versions or equivelants.
What's involved in the migration process?
We refer to it as a migration rather than an upgrade because it's not possible to directly upgrade the existing files and data in Joomla due to changes in the underlying software - so instead a blank 3 Joomla installation is created and then we have to migrate your data, extensions and templates into that.
Regardless of your version, when we are migrating your site, wherever possible, we will take a copy of your site and use that to migrate everything, rather than working on your live site (this isn't always possible, however, but we'd let you know if that's the case). This ensures that your site has little or no downtime. The migration process involves:
- Joomla Core
We migrate the core Joomla system to the required version - this includes users, articles, modules, menus etc.
Most Joomla sites have at least one or two third-party extensions installed (and some have dozens!) and we check that any/all extensions in use on your site have equivelant versions in the platform you are migrating to. Not all developers make versions compatible with new versions of Joomla so if any aren't available then we will check for equivelants to replace that functionality. If any aren't available at all then we'd discuss this with you before the migration
- Site Template
All sites have at least one template installed which controls the appearance of your site. These also need to be made compatible with the new platform. If your template was developed by us then this is a fairly straightforward process. If it is an off-the-shelf template, or was developed elsewhere, then we would assess what is required to migrate the template.
Once everything has been migrated we then often need to go back through your site and basically check that it's all working okay. Sometimes we have to spend a bit of time "reconnecting" things such as menu items and modules as it's not possible to migrate all pieces of information related to these things.
How much does it cost?
The cost will vary from site to site and is charged at our standard hourly rate of £60+VAT per hour, and since we have to migrate the core, template and extensions, it all depends upon what you have running on your site. We are happy to provide costs upon request.
The time required goes up if you have lots of extensions on the site as these need to be addressed one by one - some are straightforward and merely require the new version of the extension to be installed whereas others take a bit more effort.
So if you are interested in getting a migration done then let us know and we'll do a quick assessment of your site completely free of charge to confirm the costs involved.