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How to Easily Move Your Site from Joomla to WordPress (Step by Step)

Do you want to move your website from Joomla to WordPress? While Joomla is a good content management system, it is NOT as powerful, flexible, and user-friendly as WordPress. Often users might start with Joomla, but they eventually switch to WordPress. In this article, we will show you how to easily migrate your website from Joomla to WordPress.

Moving your website from Joomla to WordPress

Why Switch From Joomla to WordPress?

Both Joomla and WordPress are open source software. They are both written in PHP programming language, use the MySQL database, and have similar hosting requirements.

However, Joomla is more complicated to use and there are fewer extensions and designs available for you. On the other hand, WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world, easier to use, with tons of extensions and design choices. See our comparison of Joomla vs WordPress for more details.

Now when we say WordPress, we are talking about the self-hosted WordPress.org platform and not WordPress.com. Yes, they’re two very different platforms.

WordPress.com is a hosted solution that offers limited features of WordPress whereas WordPress.org is the popular platform that everyone has come to love and use. You can see our full comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org to see the main differences, but in short: you want to use WordPress.org.

Now that being said, let’s take a look at what you would need to move a Joomla website to WordPress.

Step 0. Getting Started

The requirements for both Joomla and self-hosted WordPress are quite similar. You’ll need a domain name and a WordPress hosting account to start with WordPress.

Chances are that you already have a domain name and website hosting account for your Joomla website. You can use them for your WordPress website as well.

If you want to move to a different hosting provider, then we recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the top hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Step 1. Install and Set up WordPress

WordPress is famous for its 5-minute install. Many good WordPress hosting companies will automatically install WordPress for you. You will also find 1-click WordPress installers inside your hosting account dashboard.

Need more instructions? Follow our complete WordPress installation tutorial for step by step instructions.

Once you have installed WordPress, you will be able to login to your WordPress dashboard which would look like this:

WordPress dashboard

Step 2. Import Your Joomla Website to WordPress

Now that you have installed WordPress, you are ready to import content from your Joomla website.

First, you need to install and activate the FG Joomla to WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Tools » Import page. You will see a list of import tools available for your WordPress installation. Click on ‘Run Importer’ link below the Joomla (FG) importer tool.

Run Joomla importer

This will launch the Joomla (FG) importer script, and you will be asked to provide your Joomla website information. First, you need to enter your Joomla website URL and then its database settings.

Provide your Joomla website information

You can find your database information from your Joomla website’s admin area. Simply go to System » Global Configuration page and click on the server tab.

Gather your Joomla database information

This page will show you all the database information you will need except for the database password. If you don’t remember your Joomla database password, then you can find it inside the configuration.php file in your Joomla website’s root folder. You can access this file by connecting to your website using an FTP client and opening it in a text editor like notepad.

After entering your database information in the Joomla importer, click on the ‘Test database connection’ button. If everything is entered correctly, then you will see a success message.

Connection successful

Below that you will find some additional options to control what you want to import. If you are unsure, then leave these options as they are.

Go ahead and click on the ‘Start / Resume Importer’ button to continue.

Start Importing

The importer will now start fetching content from your Joomla website. This may take a while depending on how much content you have.

Once done, you will see a success message.

Succesful import

Now that you have imported content to your WordPress site, the next step is to check for internal links that might be pointing to your old website. The Joomla FG importer will also fix that for you.

You need to scroll down to the bottom and click on the ‘Modify Internal Links’ button.

Modify internal links

You can now visit your WordPress site to see the imported content in action.

Things to Do After Moving Joomla to WordPress

After moving your website from Joomla to WordPress, you will need to perform a few tweaks to finish the migration and setting up your new platform.

Step 3. Setting up Redirects and Permalinks

Your old Joomla website may have a different URL structure than your WordPress site. This means that people finding your articles in search engines will now see a 404 error.

To fix this, you need to set up permalinks and properly redirect users and search engines to the new URLs.

First, you need to visit Settings » Permalinks page in WordPress. Under common settings click on the post name option and then click on the save changes button.

Changing WordPress permalinks structure

Next, you will need to install and activate the Redirection plugin on your WordPress site. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Tools » Redirection page. In the source URL field you will enter http://example.com/index.php/(.*) and in the target URL field http://example.com/$1 as shown in the screenshot below.

Setting up redirects

Click on the ‘Add redirect’ button to save your changes.

WordPress will now redirect old Joomla website URLs to your new WordPress permalink structure.

Step 4. Setting up WordPress Theme

WordPress gives you access to an enormous collection of themes that you can use. Themes control the appearance and design of your WordPress website.

There are thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available that you can install on your website. However, not all themes are suitable for all kind of websites and this abundance of choices can make beginners feel a bit confused.

We have made this easy by doing the research and hand-picking the best WordPress themes. Here are some of our theme showcases that you can visit to find the perfect theme for your website.

Need help installing your new theme? See our beginner’s guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Step 5. Install Essential WordPress Plugins

Plugins are the best part about using WordPress. WordPress plugins allow you to add new features to your website.

You can use WordPress plugins for backup, improving security, set up caching, start online store, and more. If you can think of a feature, chances are that there is already a WordPress plugin for that.

There are thousands of free and paid WordPress plugins that you can use. Since it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices, we have created an ultimate guide on how to pick the best plugins for your website.

We have also hand-picked the essential WordPress plugins that you should install on all your WordPress websites.

Step 6. Learning WordPress

WordPress is fairly easy to use. However, from time to time you may come across new things to learn. This is where WPBeginner can help.

WPBeginner is the largest WordPress resource site for beginners. We have lots of helpful content which is created specifically for beginners, business owners, and bloggers.

Following are few of the helpful resources you will find on WPBeginner (all of them are completely free).

  • WPBeginner Blog – The central place for all our WordPress tutorials and guides.
  • WPBeginner Dictionary – Our WordPress glossary is the best place to familiarize yourself with the WordPress lingo
  • WPBeginner Videos – New WordPress users can start with these 23 videos to master WordPress.
  • WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 110,000 subscribers and 10 Million+ views.
  • WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out plugins, tools, and services we use on WPBeginner.
  • WPBeginner Deals – Exclusive discounts on WordPress products and services for WPBeginner users.

Many of our users use Google to find answers on WPBeginner by simply adding ‘wpbeginner’ at the end of their search term.

We hope this article helped you move your site from Joomla to WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on the most useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us.

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Reader Interactions

102 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Great info! What I do not understand is: As we need to pick a theme after the import is complete why migrate the website and not built it from scratch in the selected WordPress theme. What do we win from the migration? Thank you

    • It would depend on how much content is on your site, the export attempts to move the content while the theme styles your content.

      Admin

  2. Hi,
    this article is definitely what I was looking for given that I was asked to update an old Joomla website and I decided to convert it into a WordPress website.
    I have a question: the Joomla website is very old (Joomla version running is 1.5.25). Would this technique work even with such an old version of Joomla?
    Thank you very much for your useful articles!

  3. Thanks for share this helpful article.
    If I migrate my Joomla site to WordPress then my all products will transfer from Joomla to WordPress or only the content & media will transfer on WordPress

    • It would depend on how the products were added. If you reach out to the plugin’s support they can let you know if those products are transferred

      Admin

    • You can certainly move your content from Joomla to a local WordPress site if you wanted.

      Admin

  4. Can we use this conversion process if the website has more than one version of Joomla on it? It looks like ours (I am new) has mostly 2.5.0 but some components, modules, etc. are lower or higher.

  5. Our current website was built in Joomla years ago and we want to revamp it in WordPress.
    We want to keep the current domain name but we don’t want to keep the old Joomla content; instead we prefer to start fresh since most of the content is outdated, anyway. That said, I’d like to keep the old website “live” until the new website is ready to publish.
    Do I still need to technically “move” the site from Joomla to WordPress or can I just change the platform from Joomla to WordPress without importing the content?

    • If you don’t want to keep the content then you could create your WordPress site from scratch without worrying about your content. You would just point the domain name to your host once you are ready for the new site to be live.

      Admin

  6. Hi WPB Team,
    I want to migrate my joomla site to WP. But I don’t have option to backup my Joomla site before i start migration to WP.
    Does WP plugin change anything on Joomla site during migration? Or this is only straight copy > to WP site?

  7. Your guide is very useful for those who decided to migrate from one CMS to another. However, it is not accurate to say that Joomla is not as powerful or flexible as WordPress. I’ve been working with both for many years now and I can say that you are wrong. The fact is that WordPress is simply more popular and perhaps slightly easier to setup for very novice user with very basic functionality. It is like the Windows vs. Linux discussion.

  8. Joomla was the platform we originally built upon, yet the difficulty with imbedding a customizable favicon became a real issue as the website looked incomplete, amateurish, with the seemingly unchangeable default favicon (a Joomla logo). Other WordPress websites of ours easily customize favicon images, thus we have elected to go all WordPress at this time.

    Your post is a tremendous resource. Thank you!

  9. How can you tell people that Joomla is not powerful or flexible? At Joomla’s core, it is more powerful and flexible than WordPress and more secure.

    • We do not say that it is not flexible or powerful, it is our opinion that WordPress is MORE powerful, flexible, and user-friendly

      Admin

    • Hey Ronny,

      WordPress can be multilingual using third-party plugins. We are not sure if those plugins would be able to recognize and sort multilingual content from another platform.

      We would suggest that you import your Joomla site to a WordPress installed on local server first.

      Admin

  10. Hello! Thank you for the great article.
    I have a Joomla website that I want to migrate to WP. I have no subdomains available and I want to install WP on a subdirectory of the website, then install the plugin, import all the Joomla data into WordPress and finally change WP installation from the subdirectory to the principal root.

    Do you think it’s a good way to do it?

  11. Thank you for the article, but I do have a question: MySite has Joomla installed. As I understood, I need to have another domain+hosting where WordPress is intalled, so I can migrate from MySite.com to MyNewSite?

    Is there a way to do it within the same hosting account?

    • Hi Gjergji Kokushta,

      Please contact your hosting provider. Many Joomla hosting providers also support WordPress. In fact, your account may already be fully ready to install WordPress. However, if it is not, then you will need to move but you still wouldn’t need to change domain names as you can point your existing domain to your new WordPress website.

      Admin

  12. I successfully moved my site from Joomla to WordPress. Thanks for sharing this important piece of information.

  13. I am very new to this field. I want to transfer my joomla website to wordpress. I have 3 domains parked on 1 hosting. When I installed wordpress for one of my domain which was working on joomla already, other website started working strangely.
    Can anyone assist me what should I do to use wordpress in place of joomla.

  14. How is the current existing WordPress site affected by the import of Joomla data? Do photos transfer over without premium?
    Does having a copy of the imported data live on another domain affect SEO?

    Thanks so much WPBegginner you guys have been so great!!

    Helene, WPnewbie

  15. i have a lot of products in my joomla website and i want to move them to my wordpress site and i want to keep links for seo…
    How can i move the products not articles?
    kindly help with it
    Thanks

  16. Hi
    I have question, i have a lot of products in my joomla website and i want to move them to my wordpress site and i want to keep links for seo…
    How can i move the products not articles?

  17. Hello All,

    I am completely new in this field. I find one classified template on Joomla. and its almost related to my requirement. they using plugins for DJ-monster.

    I am new on this. I want to start my classified web business on wordpress using woocommerece. can I use joomla classified template offline in my laptop and then transfer it in to wordpress or not. with DJ-monster plugins.

    this is the joomla template which i want to use.

    please your answer and guidelines will make life easier. as I am only the one person who investing limited budget on this business.

    many thanks in advance

    regards
    faisal

  18. Hello,

    great stuff shown here.

    I have a question. Is it possible to somehow “migrate” from joomla to wordpress if the joomla version is no longer online? I have everything stored locally.

    Thanks

  19. Hey WPBeginner thanks for a great article!

    I plan on moving my site from Joomla to WP but most pages on the Joomla site has a .html extension on the end of the URL.

    From my research it seems that it’s hard or not possible for WordPress pages to have .html extensions, only posts.

    Is there a way around this or should I just migrate the content and create the pages without the .html extension on the URL? I’m scared this will effect rankings and will take some time to get indexed by Google.

    Regards
    Josh

    • Hi you can use wordpress plugins to have .html extension of page and posts
      like the below one :

      Add HTML Extension to Specific Pages

      this may solve your problem
      Cheers… (y)

  20. I want to migrate a decent size online magazine that’s on Joomla to WP,

    Can you recommend someone that can do the actual migration for me?

    Moshe

  21. thanks for the article…I have, on the Joomla site, a customized theme/template…(home page)…Not sure of the correct term…I am assuming that I have to select or create a WP theme on the fresh WP site and that the import process will fit what it can and that I will have to make “adjustments” to get it all into WP?
    Is there a particular step to prepare for receiving content that was in the customized theme on Joomla? Ta

    • WordPress comes with a couple default themes pre-installed. The latest of the default themes will be automatically activated on your site when you install WordPress. You can import content from your Joomla site and then adjust or change your WordPress theme.

      Admin

    • Hi John,

      There is a way. you must need to implement and activate the theme and installed.
      Post that, you can see the latest imported content and with new layout.

      Let me know, if any help required.

      • Hi MICHAEL,

        Yes, you can import members. Might need to go for premium plugin.
        Let me know, if any doubts.

        Regards,
        FAD.,

  22. This looks great!

    Was wondering if by importing the Joomla site, if it erases all the data from the Joomla site.

    For instance,

    I would like to create a copy of the joomla site on a test WordPress domain and edit it. Once the site is ready to replace the original Joomla site, then I would point it to the WordPress site.

    Would this be possible with this method?

    Thank you!
    -Arbel

  23. Thanks for sharing, this article help me to migrating

    I was install wordpress on mydomain/dir and completely import content from Joomla using FG joomla to wordpress plugin. My question, how to move all content and database to public directory?
    Did you have article about it?
    Thanks before

  24. Thank you so much for the link to the FG Joomla! to WordPress plugin!

    Worked like a charm to import my 292 J! articles into my WP posts. Easy, quick and perfect!

  25. Do modules transfer with the other content? If not, do you have any recommendations on how to transfer modules from Joomla to a WordPress page?

  26. Again, might be a silly question but I am new-ish to WP. I have my site all migrated and set up with content (mostly) as I want it for now. Moved my old joomla site to a protected folder on the same server just in case I should ever need to refer to it again.

    Now my plugin manager keeps bugging me that there is a new version of the Joomla to WordPress available. But I shouldn’t need that, right? I’m all done with it. Can I delete the plugin without messing with the data it migrated for me?

  27. if i import my website from Joomla to WordPress, the Joomla site will exist or will be automatically deleted?

  28. May be dumb question but I only have access to Joomla Admin panel, not the installation directory. Is there a way to find DB password from admin panel without having access to configuration file?

  29. maybe a dumb question, but how do I make the url go to my new wp-site instead of my old-joomla one? I guess I have to change that somewhere in my webhosting. But where?

  30. Are there any issues with moving a Joomla site to WordPress on my local server to do development and then moving the new site back to replace the old site?

  31. This is a great add to your articles and it worked like a charm. In fact, imported 5 years of data off my old Joomla 1.5 install and brought the site back up on WP. Thanks for posting…

  32. Hi,

    I read in the previous comments that it’s better to have a new database when migrating on the same server. But what does it mean? If my host only provide me with one database, I’ll buy another and when I install wordpress in a new directory I give the details of the new database and when migrating joomla I give the joomla database code in the plugin. Thoses database are completely independent aren’t they? Then I move up the wordpress directory at the root and I’m done? All my content will have gone on my new database won’t it?

    By doing that, assuming I have kept the same domain name, I guess only my wordpress site will be live, but what about the old links that are still visible on google? Don’t I risk a duplicate content and be blacklisted? i’m a bit confused..
    Thanks !

  33. i have joomla site, i need convert all them to wordpress.
    can i do export ALL THE THINGS into wordpress without deleting joomla site,

  34. hi iam nagababu i want to Migrate my existing Joomla website (1.5) to WordPress and i have one question can you please help me

    First what i have to do
    may i need to uninstall Joomla and fresh installation Of wordpress in existing domain

    Can you please clarify this

    • If you have joomla installed on the location where you would want to install WordPress then the best way to go is to create a new directory and then install WordPress in that directory. Once you have successfully migrated your Joomla site you can change your Domain’s settings to point to to the directory where WordPress is installed.

      Admin

  35. Thanks for this article ! Great Job !!

    I have little different issue here,I’m facing a technical confusion !

    Problem
    One of our client want to purchase a WordPress theme and do a fresh installation on server ! (This can be done easliy)
    but the old website is working with joomla and it has around 8 other websites running on its “subfolder”
    eg : http://www.example.com ( main web) , http://www.example.com/abcd, http://www.example.com/1234 etc
    all web is working on joomla.

    This is sort of redirection done !

    My task
    I have to install and develop the main web ,and connect the other webs as it is

    how to reconnect the sub installations on WordPress ?

    eg : http://www.example.com ( will run on wordpress ) but can’t change the subdomains which is running on joomla

    it should work as http://www.example.com/abcd even after the installation

    What hosting people told me
    They said, i can’t do this because different platforms , but there should be a solution right ?

    Could you help me ?

    Thanks in advance !

    Links : (http://www.nispana.com) has to install wordpress , Sub domain, can’t change any installation (http://www.nispana.com/buildindiasummit/)

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