Joomla User Manual

Manual Index

Why Migrate

Undecided if you should migrate or not? After all, your site is running fine. Why rock the boat? Somehow you’ve heard/learned that you need to migrate to a newer life cycle or version and landed here. You’ve come to the right place. This documentation is a funnel. At the bottom of each page there are up to two options to take you to the next step. Now, here are all the reasons to take the plunge to Joomla 4.x!

First of all, you have to check which Version of Joomla! is running on your website.

Why should I migrate?

A Joomla! migration gives everyone a new opportunity to:

  • Revisit site goals and rethink its purpose
  • Clean up “great ideas” that never saw the light of day
  • Inventory third-party extensions that may have been installed but not used
  • Simplify and clean up old articles, menus and other content
  • Create new functionality on the site
  • Change design and navigation
  • Add accessibility to disabled visitors
  • Make the site mobile-friendly
  • Improve search engine optimization
  • Utilize new features you may have been using third-party extensions for
  • Insure your data against security breaches by having all the latest software

Features and usability enhancements

Typically new life cycles of Joomla include new features and usability enhancements. These sometimes can eliminate the need of a third-party extension and enable the increased use of Joomla core components. Read more about Joomla 4.x features.

Technology Changes

Significant changes have taken place! Major releases of Joomla have restructured the data and require a “migration” as opposed to an update or upgrade. Technology changes have also been made within the versions of PHP and MySQL running on your hosts server. These changes force all content management system (CMS) technology to change with it.


When a CMS changes its structure, a migration is required. The previous version will only be supported for two years from the release of the new life cycle. This creates potential problems with security as security patches are discontinued and unsupported versions of Joomla are not maintained.

Many hosts don’t want older software scripts (Joomla is a script - all third-party extensions are scripts) running on their servers because security is compromised as software ages. They have to update their servers to remain secure. More and more older versions of Joomla cease functioning because of server upgrades on the part of the host.

Migration is like moving to a new house or a remodel

You can think of migration like moving from one home to a new home. You filter through your belongings and furniture and pack the important pieces to take with you. You discard lingering trash or eliminate items you no longer need. Once you get into your new home, you may find you need to acquire some new pieces of furniture or fixtures to make your new home operate smoothly.

Same with migration. You are deciding what to take with you and what to get rid of on your site. What stays? What goes?

When you move to a new house, you may have the skills and expertise to move the entire household yourself or you may need to get some help moving (not everyone can move a piano by themselves). You may only need your own two hands and a few boxes. Alternatively, you may need a moving service with a gigantic truck and a lot of helpers. Same is true with migrating from one life cycle of Joomla to another.

How to use this documentation

Simply follow the buttons at the bottom of each page that are applicable to you. The Self Assessment will help you determine if doing the migration is within your skill set. Please don't skip the Planning pages as they include important information for your migration.

Take the Self Assessment to determine if you can/should perform the migration yourself or if maybe you should get some help. If you have the skills to migrate the site yourself, continue to the Planning phase of the migration.

Self Assessment Migration Planning