You manage a Joomla website, but that becomes too friemelig to you with the time? Then a migration to WordPress could be worthwhile. In this article we take a closer look at the advantages of switching. In addition, we provide you with a helpful guide to migrate your website successfully from Joomla to WordPress.
What is Joomla?
Joomla is an open content management system (CMS). It is equipped from the ground up with a bundle of features that are also useful for businesses. You can basically build and manage all kinds of websites with Joomla, from portfolio pages to online magazines and community portals to company websites and online stores.
Joomla shows its strengths especially when it comes to larger and more complex projects. The system allows you to add multiple users and manage individual rights. In addition, it is search engine optimized and allows you multilingual content management.
Joomla is available free of charge. Additional costs can arise from paid extensions and plugins as well as from the hosting of your Joomla website.
What is WordPress?
Among content management systems, WordPress is by far the most popular. It is both SEO and user-friendly - meaning, you can create diverse websites that perform well via the intuitive interface without any programming knowledge.
The biggest strength of the free open source CMS is its flexibility. With the help of themes, plugins and page builders, you can design your website as you wish and expand it at any time. Whether you're a freelancer presenting your portfolio, a company running an online store, inspiring your community with exciting blogs or building a club site - WordPress has something for everyone, from beginners to professionals.
Why move from Joomla to WordPress?
In the ranking of the most popular content management systems, Joomla was still in second place after WordPress a few years ago - albeit with a huge gap. While WordPress continues to gain popularity, Joomla has now slipped to fifth place with a market share of 2.7 percent. Even when comparing WordPress vs Wix and WordPress vs Squarespace, WordPress remains uncatchable with a market share of 63.5 percent.
Migration to WordPress at a glance
This fact alone might be reason enough to switch from Joomla to WordPress. After all, who wouldn't want to be part of the leading CMS community? But there are more reasons that could speak for a migration from Joomla to WordPress:
WordPress offers more extensions
Joomla comes standard with a number of features that allow you to build a successful business website right out of the box. If you want to extend your website even further, it's worth taking a look at the Joomla! Extensions Directory. There you will find about 6,000 free and paid extensions.
WordPress is still quite "naked" after the installation. But you can change that quickly. After all, there are over 60,000 free plugins available in the WordPress library alone. Also in the design you can let off steam thanks to the over 10,000 free WordPress themes. So in the end, WordPress gives you more choice and more options to customize your website.
Due to the large community of active developers, the pool of WordPress extensions is also growing day by day. So if you have special ideas or requirements for your perfect website, you will most likely always find a solution at WordPress.
What are the best WordPress plugins?
Need help choosing the right extensions? Whether for SEO and performance, e-commerce or community management - we present you the best WordPress plugins for different purposes in our blog. It's worth browsing!
WordPress is easier to use
Due to the fact that Joomla is packed with functions right after installation, it is also more complex. The Joomla Dashboard is not quite as clear in comparison, which is why it takes a while to find your way around. Especially for beginners this can be a hurdle.
WordPress, on the other hand, is much more streamlined and more intuitive to use. If you want to implement smaller web projects as quickly and easily as possible, you will probably make better progress with WordPress. At the same time, you always have the option to expand your WordPress website with more complex structures and functions.
WordPress is better suited for blogs
As a blogger, you quickly reach your limits with Joomla, as the CMS offers you only few functions to manage blogs. For example, there is not even a special page type for your blog posts.
WordPress, on the other hand, as the original blog system, is perfectly designed for your needs. The blog function is directly integrated, so you can also add a blog to your company websites or other website types at any time. In addition, there are many matching themes and plugins. What you should pay attention to when you start blogging with WordPress, you will learn in our article Create WordPress Blog: In 7 steps to the goal.
Fun fact: According to Statista, around 85.30 million blog posts were published on WordPress in January 2023.
Migration from Joomla to WordPress in 6 steps
Are you ready to upgrade your content management system? Then you certainly can't go wrong with a migration from Joomla to WordPress. The migration is not done with a snap of your fingers, but it is definitely doable with the following six steps. And it's worth it!
Step 1: Create Joomla Backup
In the first step we recommend you to backup your Joomla website. This way you are on the safe side site, in case something goes wrong during the data migration from Joomla to WordPress. You can install and run a backup extension for Joomla.
It's also best to make screenshots of your website and document all the plugins, modules and other features you use. It is also advisable to download all your images and texts manually and save them separately. Better safe than sorry.
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Step 2: Hosting & domain setup
For a successful WordPress website you need the right hosting partner. You have a free choice, because almost all web hosts also offer WordPress hosting. In the best case, however, you should look for one that specializes in WordPress in order to benefit from tailored services and support.
With the Managed WordPress Hosting from Raidboxes you get the all-around package: We help you with our various features to comprehensively manage and optimize your WordPress websites. So you can take care of your business in peace.
We also allow you to take your old Joomla domain with you. Or you can simply register a new one through us. Leave your Joomla website live for the import and change the domain only when the new WordPress website is up and running.
Free WordPress migration
Already on WordPress but unhappy with your current hosting? We will create a copy of your website for free, so you can test it on our server without any obligation. If the test phase has convinced you, we will activate your website without any complications. Try WordPress migration now!
Step 3: Install WordPress
Now, in order to set up a WordPress website, you first need to install WordPress. You can do this by downloading the CMS from WordPress.org and then manually uploading it to the server.
Usually, there is a simpler solution: With many web hosts, WordPress is installed automatically as soon as you create a new website. This is then done with one click.
Step 4: Start Joomla Importer
To transfer the data of your Joomla website to WordPress, it is best to use a migration plugin, in this case FG Joomla to WordPress is recommended. The importer guides you through all steps of the migration. This is how you start it:
- Install the migration plugin FG Joomla to WordPress via your WordPress Dashboard.
- Then select the option Joomla (FG) via Tools → Import . This is how you run the importer.
- After that, all the contents of your WordPress website will be displayed. Even if you have newly installed WordPress, the system contains some content by default. If you want to keep the content (e.g. because you want to migrate your Joomla content to an existing WordPress website), make a backup of it before you continue. Otherwise, it is recommended to start with an empty website. To do this, go to Empty WordPress Content.
Step 5: Import data from Joomla to WordPress
Now your WordPress website is prepared. Next you need the right data from Joomla.
Log in to Joomla (via a new window/tab):
- Go to System → Global Configuration → Server in the menu.
- Select the appropriate server.
- Get the following information via the database settings: Host, database username, database password, database name, database table prefix. Make a note of the data or just leave the window open to copy it later.
After that, go back to WordPress:
- In the Joomla Importer, scroll to the Joomla Website Parameters section.
- In the Live Joomla Website URL field, enter the URL of your Joomla website.
- Select data transfer via HTTP.
- Click Test Media Connection.
- If the test does not show any problems, you now enter all information (best simply by copy and paste) that you have previously fetched from the database settings of Joomla.
- Then click Test database connection.
- If everything fits, you can import the content.
- In the Behavior section, you can customize the import settings. For example, you can specify which content should be transferred and which should not.
- Click Start/Continue Import and wait for the process to complete. Your WordPress website is now filled with your Joomla content.
Step 6: Update WordPress website
Now the real work begins. Because with the migration plugin only your Joomla content was taken over, but not the design and structure. That means you have to adapt your new WordPress website first.
This step takes some time and can become quite tedious as you need to check and update all pages, posts, features and content.
Pay particular attention to the following:
- Check the internal links. Using the migration plugin, you can check your WordPress website for broken internal links right after importing the Joomla content.
- Adjust the permalinks . This is important for the search engine and so that the visitors can find their way around your website.
- Choose a new WordPress theme. You are spoilt for choice to pick the right one from the best WordPress themes.
- Research suitable plugins. To replicate the design and features of your Joomla website on WordPress, you need the right extensions.
In this step, feel free to use your screenshots and the documentation of all your old Joomla functions to guide you. But don't let that limit you: use the many possibilities WordPress offers to give your website a new look. After all, that's what you moved for.
Design your own WordPress website
Not sure how to best build your WordPress website? In our blog article Create your own WordPress website - in 8 steps we give you tips for the structure, the selection of plugins and the most important content, among other things.
If you are happy with your new WordPress website, you can now say goodbye to your old Joomla website.
Frequently asked questions about switching from Joomla to WordPress
Which is better, Joomla or WordPress?
It depends on what you want to use the content management system for. Joomla offers you strong basic functions to build more complex websites. WordPress, on the other hand, is easier to use. So you can realize especially smaller projects quickly. But even larger websites can be set up thanks to the numerous plugins and options for developers.
For whom is Joomla suitable?
Joomla is especially interesting for those who want to build websites with a nested structure or develop more complex web applications. Community portals can also be realized well with Joomla.
When is the migration from Joomla to WordPress worthwhile?
Switching to the most popular content management system WordPress is worth it if you want a more streamlined user interface. On the other hand, WordPress offers a huge pool of extensions and a strong support community. So you benefit from almost infinite possibilities.