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As we have informed you in our previous blog post Joomla 2.5 will no longer be supported with the end of 2014. This is why many Joomla 2.5 users will have to upgrade their Joomla websites to the latest available version.

The upgrade from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3 is quite simple and in this blog post we show you exactly how to do that yourself. The first thing you should do is to create backup of your Joomla 2.5 website files, folders and MySQL database. TMDHosting generates backups for all our shared hosting users. However, it is always a good idea to create such a backup on your own.

1. Locate your Joomla website files and folders. 

If you access your TMDHosting account with your favorite FTP client, you will notice a folder called “public_html”. This is the main folder for the content that is accessible via the primary domain name of your account:

www.example.com

This means that if your website is accessible via the link above, the Joomla! 2.5 content is located in the public_html/ directory of your account and this is the folder that you need to create a backup for.

However, if your Joomla! 2.5 website is in a subfolder, for example called “joomla” and your website is accessible via the following link instead:

www.example.com/joomla/

This indicates that will find a “joomla” folder in the public_html/ directory of your account. In this case, you only need to create a backup of the “joomla” directory.

Once you are sure about the location of your Joomla! 2.5 website on your TMDHosting account, you need to download the whole folder to your local computer, using your FTP client.

2. Locate your Joomla database.

To create a backup of your database, you first need to determine its exact name. You can locate such information in the configuration file of your Joomla! website. If your Joomla! 2.5 website is installed directly in the public_html/ directory of your account, the location of the configuration file would be:

public_html/configuration.php

The configuration.php file of Joomla! 2.5 provides you with quite a lot of different options. However, the most important option in it is the database setup. From this place, you will be able to review the details for the database set on your Joomla! website.

Once you find the database set on your Joomla! 2.5 website, you need to:

Step 1: Log into your cPanel account
Step 2: Navigate to the Databases tab and then access the phpMyAdmin tool.

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Step 3: Select the database of your Joomla! 2.5 website from the list on the left-side of the screen.

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Step 4: Select the Export button from the top-menu.

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Step 5: Click on the Go button to export a dump backup copy of your database on your local computer.

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Once your database file is downloaded to your local computer your backup is completed and you can proceed with the next step of your Joomla upgrade.

3. Review your Joomla modules, components and plugins.

You should review all of your extensions that are currently installed on your website. This way you can easily find out what you want to keep and what you can remove before you proceed with the upgrade. This can be performed from your Joomla Administrator area > Extension Manager > Update tab and click Find Updates which will add a tooltip in the Manage tab giving some compatibility information from the backend.

This functionality only supports extensions that update via the Extension Manager Update tab. If you have extensions installed that do not use the Joomla extension update then they need to be assessed manually as detailed below. The same goes for those extensions that have a tooltip. You will still need to check the type of package and migration path with the extension developer to verify how to upgrade/migrate.

Go to Extension Manager > Manage tab > Click the drop-down for Type and then click on > Select Package from the drop-down.

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Selecting Package first is recommended because if there is something you need to uninstall in a package, it will automatically uninstall the associated Modules, Plugins, or anything else in the package at one time. Make sure that you will uninstall any Packages that are no longer needed or will not be migrating to Joomla 3.

Once you have uninstalled your third-party extensions that are not compatible with Joomla 3 you can go to System > Global Configuration > Server tab and turn Error Reporting from System Default to Maximum. Make sure to Save & Close the performed changes.

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The next step is to disable the Remember Me plugin. To do that you can go to Extensions > Plugin Manager and enter Remember Me into the Filter and press enter. Disable the Remember Me plugin by clicking the green check mark and making it a red circle.

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The next step is to initiate the upgrade of your Joomla instance. To do that go to Components > Joomla Update. (It should say no updates found. If it doesn’t, update Joomla to the latest version and test again. Then do another backup.) Click on the Options button at the top right corner. Select Short Term Support (This is the current text – it may be different in the future) from the drop-down for Update server and save your changes.

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You will then see your Installed Joomla Version, and the Latest Joomla! version and the URL for the update package.

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If you are not being displayed with similar data on your end you should go to Extension manager > Update and press Purge Cache from the toolbar. Now go back to Components > Joomla Update where the update should be displayed as in the example above.

From this point you can only press the Upgrade button. Before you do that please, double check your backup files and in case you are not sure what you are doing read this article once again and backup your website and press the Upgrade button.

The upgrade process will take a while depending on how big your website is. Once the upgrade is over you the page should reload and you should be displayed with the new Joomla 3 admin area design.

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Congratulations your Joomla instance is now upgraded from 2.5 to 3. You should now purge the cache of your Joomla instance and check it’s database structure from your Joomla Administrator areaExtensions > Extension Manager > Database.

Note that if your custom theme is not Joomla 3 compatible your website design might not be properly rendered. In such case you should install another Joomla 3 template or restore your old Joomla 2.5 backup files.

Last but not least in case you are not sure how to take the above steps or you have any further questions and concerns please, do not hesitate to contact our Genius Support Team. Our Joomla specialists will be more than glad to assist you.