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.
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 fewer extensions and designs are available for you.
Now, when we say WordPress, we are talking about the self-hosted WordPress.org platform and not WordPress.com. Yes, they are two very different platforms.
WordPress.com is a hosted solution that offers limited features of WordPress, whereas WordPress.org is the famous platform that everyone has come to love and use. You can see our complete 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 will 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.
Bluehost is one of the top hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.
Plus, WPBeginner readers can get up to 73% off web hosting with Bluehost, which includes a free domain name and SSL certificate. Basically, you can get started for only $2.75 per month.
Note: At WPBeginner, we believe in full transparency. If you sign up with Bluehost using our referral link, then we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain + SSL certificate). We would get this commission for recommending just about any WordPress hosting service, but we only recommend products that we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.
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. Or, you can find 1-click WordPress installers inside your hosting account dashboard.
If you’ve signed up for a Bluehost account, WordPress will automatically be installed for you. Simply click the ‘Log into WordPress’ button from your hosting account dashboard.
This will bring you to the WordPress admin panel.
It will look like this:
Need more instructions? Follow our complete WordPress installation tutorial for step-by-step instructions.
Step 2: Import Your Joomla Website to WordPress
Now that you have installed WordPress, you can import content from your Joomla site.
Upon activation, go to the Tools » Import page from your WordPress dashboard. You will see a list of import tools available for your WordPress installation. Click the ‘Run Importer’ link below the Joomla (FG) importer tool.
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.
You can find your database information from your Joomla website’s admin area.
Simply go to the System » Global Configuration page and click on the ‘Server’ tab.
This page will show you all the necessary database information, such as the database username, database name, database tables prefix, etc.
The only information it doesn’t show is 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 the ‘Test database connection’ button. If everything is entered correctly, then you will see a success message.
Below, you will find additional options to control what you want to import, including featured images, content images, and more. If you are unsure, then leave these options as they are.
Click on the ‘Start / Resume Importer’ button to continue.
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.
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.
You can now visit your WordPress website 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 WordPress migration process and set 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 page.
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 the Settings » Permalinks page in WordPress. Under the ‘Common Settings’ section, click on the ‘Post Name’ option.
Then, click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.
Upon activation, you need to visit the Tools » Redirection page.
In the ‘Source URL’ field, you will enter your old Joomla URL, and in the ‘Target URL’ field, enter your new URL, as shown in the screenshot below.
Make sure to select the ‘301 – Moved Permanently’ option, and then click on the ‘Add Redirect’ button to save your changes.
WordPress will now redirect the old Joomla website URL to your new WordPress permalink structure.
Repeat the process to add redirects for any other pages or posts. Remember to visit the old URLs to make sure that they are redirecting properly to the new URLs on your WordPress website.
For more details, see our guide on how to set up redirects in WordPress.
As an alternative, you can also use All in One SEO (AIOSEO) to redirect pages and posts from Joomla to WordPress. AIOSEO comes with a powerful Redirection Manager that lets you set up full site redirects.
AIOSEO also offers 404 error tracking to easily catch any broken links that may occur when moving your site from Joomla to WordPress.
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 new WordPress site. However, not all themes are suitable for all kinds of websites, and this abundance of choices can make beginners feel a bit confused.
We have made this easier by doing 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:
- Best free WordPress blog themes
- Best WordPress business themes
- Best minimalist WordPress themes for writers
- Best magazine-style WordPress themes
- Best WordPress themes for photographers
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 of using WordPress. WordPress plugins allow you to add new features and functionality to your website.
You can use WordPress plugins for backups, improving security, setting up caching, starting an eCommerce store, working on your search engine optimization, and more. If you can think of a feature, chances are that there is already a WordPress plugin for it.
There are thousands of free and paid WordPress plugins and add-ons 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.
To help you out even more, here are a few of the top plugins we recommend installing on your new WordPress website:
- WPForms – The best WordPress form builder that makes it easy to create contact forms, payment forms, registration forms, surveys, and more.
- SeedProd – A powerful drag-and-drop website builder for WordPress. You can use it to create custom WordPress themes and page layouts. No coding is required.
- AIOSEO – One of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. It helps you optimize your entire site for better search engine rankings in less than 10 minutes.
- MonsterInsights – The best analytics plugin for WordPress that lets you know how many visitors are coming to your site, where they come from, and what they do on your site.
- OptinMonster – A powerful conversion optimization toolkit that will help you turn website visitors into email subscribers and customers.
For more plugin recommendations, here’s our list of the essential WordPress plugins you should install on all your WordPress websites.
Step 6: Learning WordPress
If you are not a WordPress expert, then don’t worry. WordPress is fairly easy to use. However, occasionally, 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 that is created specifically for beginners, business owners, and bloggers.
The following are a 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 videos to master WordPress.
- WPBeginner on YouTube – Need more video instructions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel with more than 296,000 subscribers and 53 Million+ views.
- WPBeginner Blueprint – Check out the 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 terms.
We hope this article helped you move your site from Joomla to WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to create a free business email address and our picks of the most useful tools to manage and grow your WordPress site.