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In this tutorial we will show you how to prepare your Joomla website for upgrading from 1.5 or 1.6 to 1.7, the latest version of Joomla. Once you have conducted your pre-checks we will then show you how to go about upgrading your Joomla install using a copy of your backup to test it for any complications before proceeding to going live with your upgraded site.

Joomla: Migrating from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 1.7

Pre-Migration Checks

Is your Joomla 1.5 install up to date? If the Joomla install is not the latest version of Joomla 1.5 this could cause complications so upgrade to the latest version if not already done.

Do all your plugins and extensions have native versions in Joomla 1.7? Check all plugins etc for native version in Joomla 1.7. If they do not have one you may need to look at other plugins to take their place. Check these new plugins are compatible with the existing plugins.

If your website relies heavily on a particular plugin that does not have a native version for Joomla 1.7 do not attempt migration until such time as it does. Joomla 1.5 will be support till well into 2012 so there is still time and Joomla 1.5 is still very hardy and secure.

Check if any core files have been manually modified? If any core files have been modified by hand these changes will be lost. Please notify your IT department if required so that these changes can be implemented again if required.

Is there a version of the template you are using that is compatible with Joomla 1.7? If not you may need to track down something similar and modify it to match your needs or the needs of your client.

Do you require a new language pack? If your website involves languages other than English you will need to check to see if a language pack is available in Joomla 1.7

Do you have all the requirements on your server to run Joomla 1.7? To run Joomla 1.7 you require the following at a minimum on your server.

  • Apache: v2.x or Microsoft IIS: v7
  • PHP: v5.2.4 +
  • MySQL: v5.0.4+

If you not have these available on your server please contact your ISP to see what your options are.

Do you have jUpgrade? If not download and install it. This can be found here.


Use Akeeba to back up all files on the existing website.

If you do not have Akeeba please download it from here.

If you have never used Akeeba before it might also be a good idea to take a look at this tutorial on how to use it.

Anything not backed up WILL be lost during the migration process.

Create a back-up website to work on

DO NOT attempt to do the migration straight up on your website. One false move could wipe your website out. Use a backup copy of your website to create a test site to do a test migration on. Once you have completed the migration back it up and then move use that to install your migrated website online.

Enable Mootools plugin

Enable the Mootools plugin on your site in the admin section. It is advisable that you do this both on your site and using on a backup of the site so you can perform a dry run on the backup to check everything works before you attempt to perform the migration on your main website.

In the administration section of your website or backup website go to Extensions>> Plugin Manager then enable “System- Mootools Upgrade”


Start and Configure jUpgrade

Go to: Extensions >> jUpgrade and hit the parameters button in the top right hand side of the page.

On the configuration page you need to under global configuration select Joomla 1.7 from the Distribution drop down box. Prefix for the old database should only need to be changed if you chose to change it when you installed Joomla last time. Prefix for old database and new database should match by default. However if you wish to change the database prefix now would be a good time to do it. If you existing database prefix is jos_ then you should change it now for security reasons.

Leave all the skips at their default no settings.

Keep original positions is set at no by default but by changing it to yes all modules will maintain their current positions on the template upon a successful upgrade.

Click the save button in the top right hand corner to go back to the jUpgrade plugin page.

Once on that page hit the big Start Upgrade button to begin the migration.

Once the process has been completed the upgraded version of your website will now be installed in a folder inside your Joomla folder called jUpgrade. So if your installation of Joomla is in a folder called Joomla inside of your htdocs folder your new installation will be located in: htdocs/Joomla/jupgrade

If you create a sub-folder and move the contents of your Joomla folder into it then move the contents of the jUpgrade folder back to the original Joomla folder your upgrade will be complete with the exception of any minor tweaks you may need to get things right. This is why you should do this on a backup not the actual website.

Once you have everything looking as it should be you can then back your site up with Akeeba again and reinstall it on your website to make the changes live.

Hope you all found this helpful and see you again soon.

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