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How to upgrade Joomla 2.5. to 3.x

Sometimes, you do not want to use out-of–date version of your favorite CMS and decide to update to the newest edition. This article contains a tutorial that will explain you how to update Joomla from version 2.5 to the newest 3.x.

First, there are some things you must remember before upgrading.

  • Joomla 3.1 is the latest edition of Joomla, but it is still unstable. If you are satisfied with your 2.5 installation, do NOT upgrade to 3.1 and wait for public release of 3.5 instead. If you do need features from 3.1 – follow instruction you are reading, but remember that you are doing this on your own risk.
  • This instruction is useful only for simple sites. If you are using Joomla 2.5 installation with lots of extension or any self-written extensions, continue using it or hire a specialist to update\rewrite your website. Following this instruction can be lethal for it.
  • Soon there will be more sophisticated upgrade process available for Joomla 3.1

If you still up to the task, let’s begin.

Step 1. Make a backup copy of your website

There are two types of system administrators – ones, who are not making backups yet and ones, who are already making them. So, let’s be wise and make a backup copy of your Joomla 2.5 installation, using Akeeba backup.

If you do not know, how to operate this software, you can read instructions here.

Step 2. Make sure that all your extensions are up-to-date

To do this, you can access Extension Manager in your Administration Panel. If some of them have updates, do them.

Step 3. Make sure your system is compatible with Joomla 3.x

Right now, Joomla 3.1 does not use pre-upgrade check, though it has been in bug reports for quite long time. So, you will have to check it manually, cause in case of incompatibility, you will not be able to use Joomla 3.1. That’s how you can do it:

Step 4. Make sure, that all of your extension and templates are compatible with Joomla 3.x

Even updated to latest versions, not all of your Joomla 2.5 extensions may be compatible with 3.x. So, unless you want to break their functionality, you’d better check if they are. To do this, you need to visit all extensions pages and look for Compatibility status.

Step 5. Create a test site

If all of the requirements above are done and your website is completely compatible with 3.x installation, then you need to create a test site, there you can make sure, that it will work.

If you don’t know how to do it, check out this tutorial.

Step 6. Upgrade a test site

  • Go to the Administration Panel, select Joomla! Update from Components menu.
  • Now go to Options, and set Update server to Short Term Support. Click on Save & Close button.

Wait until update is over and make sure your test platform works alright. If everything works correctly, continue.

Step 7. Upgrade the live site

After successful upgrade of your test site to Joomla 3.1, do the same to your live site.

After it is done - congratulations!

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