Monday, 29 September 2014 19:12

How to Switch a WordPress Site to Joomla – Finding the Smoothest Ways

How to Switch a WordPress Site to Joomla – Finding the Smoothest Ways

First of all let us persuade you that we are not going to tell you what CMS WordPress or Joomla is better here. Lots of web developers changed Joomla to WordPress a few years ago. The fact is that right now WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. It started as a platform exclusively for blogging, but has grown and advanced significantly over the last years. Being the category leading software with millions of installations, unfortunately, WP is exposed to hacker attacks and spam bots. This is the price of popularity and you can do nothing with it.

Both Joomla and WordPress offer numerous advantages, capabilities, flexibility and ease of use to those who are looking to create a website. But it’s not a competition. Each case is individual. And we are sure that there are either WordPress or Joomla fans among our readers. The goal of this article is to show the easiest way of switching a WordPress site to Joomla for those who want it and list the possible reasons why this should be done.

Now, when our goals are clear, we can start the discourse. As we have promised at the beginning of the entry, we wouldn’t praise neither of the CMS. The main idea is to leave making final feedthroughs to our audience.

Main frequent reasons why users convert their WordPress websites to Joomla

To tell you the truth, in the PHP/MySQL open source content management system space, Joomla climbs down to WordPress only in terms of popularity, but not in terms of capability. It possesses all necessary features to design, develop and maintain modern dynamic and responsive websites from scratch. It doesn’t matter whether your website is static or dynamic, built on other platforms like HTML or WordPress, it can be converted to a Joomla website to benefit from its multiple features. If you think about switching from WordPress to Joomla, it’s a great time for this now with Joomla 3 version released.

We are sure that the above arguments are not enough for a reasonable person to start the process of conversion, that’s why, just continue reading.

RAD or the Rapid Application Development framework has been on top of the core code of the new Joomla version. Based on the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) philosophy, the development work becomes faster and more productive the moment you start using it. This happens because when developing extensions, the RAD framework requires about half the code unlike the projects when you don’t use the framework. The additional framework allows maintaining the backward as well as the forward compatibility of the code. This also incorporates a lot of features which would otherwise be very difficult to incorporate in the Joomla core code. It uses Bootstrap and jQuery, and provides JSON support as well.

Joomla supports multiple languages. In other words, using Joomla, you can create multilingual websites without any Bootstrap installation. There are more than 60 languages to choose from and you can install them during the installation process. Let’s imagine that you want to upload an article to the website in English together with its version in French. Then you can label them under these two different languages and link together. When users will open that article, they will get an option to see it either in English or in French.

Version control is perhaps the most important and serviceable feature of Joomla. Every time you save an article, Joomla saves a spare copy of the previous version. The Version button can be seen on the tool bar at the top of the window. When you click this button, you are able to view and compare all the saved versions of an article. When comparing articles, you see that the content removed is marked in red and the parts which have been added appear in green. The best part is that it not only stores the articles but also their settings, isn’t it?

Using the Bootstrap framework you can create mobile-friendly responsive Joomla websites. As you know, such websites are viewed perfectly across all types of mobile screens (laptops, tablets and smartphones). Therefore, you give your users an opportunity to seamlessly browse your website on the go from any device they have at hand at the moment.

One more strong feature of Joomla that is worth mentioning here is its web repository. It gives you access to thousands of Joomla extensions that add extra functionality to your website. When you install from web features, only trusted extensions get into your hands. Why? Because maintenance team conducts audits to check the quality of extensions on the website on regular terms. Therefore any patchy or broken extensions are removed immediately. Don’t you think that this Joomla feature provides you safety, freedom and simplicity?

Did you hear about ACL (Access Control List) Support? Joomla gives you much more access control then it was in Joomla 1.5 times. Joomla 3.x has a powerful and flexible access control system. You can think of it as of one being divided into two completely separate systems. One system controls site elements the users can view onsite. The other controls the actions the users can take here. The ACL is set up differently for each case and works in two ways, using groups and access levels.

Front-end editing is also a handy feature. You can edit not only articles but also modules and menus. This is what we call a helped front-end site management.

Now articles, newsfeeds, contacts, and categories have a new tags field. The same tag can be applied to many different content items across the content types. Please, make no mistake, tags aren’t responsible for your site’s URLs but are able to join multiple types of content. Once an item is tagged with a specific tag, browsing to the link for that tag will give a list of all items that have been tagged with it.

The smart search is actually a newly-build extension aimed to improve not only the search functionality itself, but to incorporate more techniques for searching. It works similar to many tricks and techniques supported by Google. The Smart Search allows you to create the pre-defined filters so you can provide your users with a specific set of results. After running the first indexation, Joomla will then index your content automatically.

New security layers have been integrated to Joomla. They allow the required higher level of password encryption. But beware that to be able to update or install Joomla 3.3, your server must meet the minimum requirements of PHP 5.3.10 (but 5.4 will be better, of course). At present Joomla ships with two-factor authentication: the integration to Google Authenticator and YubiKey. Once this feature is turned on, it can be applied to any user account. Joomla 3.3 enhanced the encryption of all its password hashing and storage using BCrypt.

Joomla’s extension directory is also a huge plus for the CMS users. This is the official source for all Joomla extensions. There are more than 8 350 extensions available to use here now. Nearly half of them are free to download and the other half is commercial. All extensions have helpful detailed descriptions and reviews. Plenty of them have dedicated versions compatible with new Joomla using integrated Bootstrap.

As to templates for WordPress & Joomla websites. We believe that there is no real difference in difficulty levels when it comes to developing custom templates/themes for either CMS. Though, WordPress themes are generally designed with a specific purpose in mind; usually content curation or blogging while Joomla templates seem to be more versatile. You can click here to view the top-class Joomla templates examples or follow this link for similar WordPress themes for your future of existing websites.

It’s somewhat surprising, but in comparison with Joomla, WordPress lacks a community-building initiative. Its website is bland and seems to rest on the fact that WordPress is already the most popular CMS on the web. Joomla, on the other hand, really is trying to foster its community. The website is really attractive and intuitive, it has a number of great initiatives on the go and its support forum is phenomenal.

To sum up all the above said:

Despite the fact that WordPress and Joomla are built on the same technology stack, their features and capabilities vary significantly. Joomla 3.x have found its market among the advanced web developers and designers who are ready for something a little more powerful than WordPress, but easier to manage than Drupal. Can you beat that? WordPress is a quick comfy solution for an average user, which requires tons of plugins to get the features already built-in into Joomla. Listen, maybe you have much more reasons to switch from WordPress to Joomla or vice versa. We just listed the most important of them from our point of view. Hopefully, they will help you choose a CMS that really fits your requirements. Bu the way, surfing the internet, we’ve come across the following infographics. It might be helpful or just serve as a visual aid if you are still hesitating whether to switch your WordPress site to Joomla or just give up the idea.


Now when we discussed the possible benefits of switching from WP to Joomla, it’s time to show you the best ways to accomplish the task

Actually there 3 ways of website migration.

  1. Manual import. You may copy/past all the content components, but such process is rather time-consuming and data losses are also possible.
  2. Hiring a specialist. This variant is much more reliable but not cheap.
  3. You may import data automatically with online migration tools & tutorials listed below. We consider this way the most unsophisticated and economical, but the decision is up to you, of course.



Core PHP


If you are already using Joomla, try this component: jfusion. The latest version allows integration of almost any software into Joomla (such as Wordpress or Magento).


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