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Converting our website from Joomla to WordPress

When I started Blogging Theme Styles (BTS), I literally spent 6 weeks trying to decide if I was going to use WordPress or Joomla for this website. As you read this, some of you are probably wondering what is Joomla? A fair question as it’s not as popular as WordPress, but it does have a strong following. But, let’s not dwell on that and focus on why I am converting from Joomla to WordPress. Oh, and yes, BTS has been running on Joomla!

Starting With Joomla

I had a very difficult decision to make on whether to use WordPress or Joomla and it took me 6 weeks to decide.  I kept going back and forth, but eventually I went with Joomla as my website content management system. Joomla is an extremely robust CMS and can do a LOT as it includes lots of feature by default without needing to add extensions (plugins) as with WordPress. Joomla is best suited for e-commerce, membership based websites, and anything that is heavy with mixed content. Yes, WordPress can do this, but not as efficient as Joomla. To give you an example, if I were to make this website using WordPress, I would need to install around 25 plugins. Using Joomla, I only needed to install around 6 extensions (plugins) because Joomla has mostly everything built into the core. Compared to WordPress, Joomla wins over WordPress when it comes to managing content… especially images and other forms of media. There’s so much more I can talk about Joomla, but this story is about converting from Joomla to WordPress.

Why I’m Converting Joomla to WordPress

The Blogging Theme Styles (BTS) website has been up and running for around 11 months. During this time, a few things became evident with the biggest relating to the process of updating your WordPress theme. The idea of using FTP to upload files to overwrite the existing theme files for most users is a scary prospect. Many people don’t even know what an FTP program is, so this just added more nervousness to the idea of updating their theme. There are a few other reasons, but ultimately it’s about you and to make things easier when you purchase, install, and update your theme from Blogging Theme Styles. More specifically, the primary reason to allow 1-click updates of themes. You are already familiar with this concept because when you install a theme or plugin from the website, you get update notifications in your Admin area. When you see an update, you just click on the update link for the plugin or theme, and you’re done! If you get your theme from a third party source, the 1-click update is not always available.

What is Going to Happen Now?

I’ve started to make preparations to convert the site over to WordPress. This is a long process and will probably take me about 2 weeks to put everything together. Here is a list of things that are going to be involved:

  • Set up a development location for a WordPress version of the BTS website
  • Redesign the site theme/template
  • Create a new website structure of sections for content
  • Begin importing and re-creating content – there is at least 500+ pages/posts
  • Setup all the plugins and most importantly, a new membership download system for themes. This will include the capability of having 1-click updates.
  • The last thing to do is to important all the users/members into the new site. The problem with this is that I will have to manually re-add the theme and memberships to each user account. Basically 1 user at a time. The other problem with this is that users may have problems logging into the new site with their password. Kind of technical to say why, but If this happens, you will need to contact me to reset your password.
  • Should anything go wrong, I can always restore the Joomla site version.

As you can see, it’s a big process, but I’ve done this a few years ago with another website, and it only had a few glitches which were fixed.

In Summary

Starting today, I will be converting the BTS (Blogging Theme Styles) website from Joomla to WordPress. This will take me a couple of weeks to convert it and to test it before it goes live. Expect to see a slightly different looking website in style and layout, but this is to accommodate the change to WordPress. The good thing though that later, you will eventually have the ability to update your theme with 1-click updates.

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