If you are like us and you like to have your website running on recent versions, although the popular expression says "si funciona, no le muevas" (Spanish for: if it works, leave it alone), then we want to share with you, our experience migrating to Joomla!™ 3
Importance of the backup!
From time to time, you may have noticed that our site went offline because of a minor update of the extensions we use in our website. In such cases, the most time consuming task is, doubtless, the backup. However, we consider that it's mandatory in any modification to the website, regardless of its expected complexity.
Last Sunday August 6th, we have tried to perform an upgrade from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla! 3.1, which took us more time than expected and at the end, we finished restoring the "blessed" backup.
Because of the above, we installed a copy site, which helped us to find out an upgrade procedure that works flawlessly for our website. Such procedure of update to Joomla 3.1, involved the stages of extensions' update below.
Get the extensions list: as you will notice while reading below, it's very important to have a real list of all the installed extensions in the website, so you can get the updates or you may plan to discontinue its use. For this important task we relied on Site Credits (available for free from our downloads section), which if well does not have a current version for Joomla! 3 yet, it does for Joomla! 2.5
Uninstall of discontinued-use extensions: extensions that will not be used anymore in the site, by any cause, must be uninstalled before the Joomla upgrade. This is because it's very probable that they can't be uninstalled from Joomla 3.x because of incompatibilities in XML files.
Immediate update of extensions: there are some extensions that work in both, Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.0. So, it's a good idea to update them before attempting to upgrade Joomla's core. This way we are reducing any chances of interruption in the update process by cause of an incompatible extension.
Disable non-updated extensions: this mainly refers to plugins and modules which have not a both-versions-in-one release, thus require a separate installation pack for Joomla 3. Disabling this extensions, reduces the chances of interruption in the update of Joomla!
Joomla update: there are plenty of good tutorials and resources regsrding this subject, so we will omit the details.
Afterward installations and updates: Once you have updated Joomla to its 3.0 version, certainly you will want to update all the pending extensions besides any new extensions you want in your updated site.
Re-enable updated extensions: Once you have completed the update of all your extensions, it's time to re-enable the extensions that were disabled some lines above.
If well some update tutorials globalize the update of extensions as a single step, we have found that, depending on the extensions involved, this may be far more complex than that.
This was our experience and we accomplished a successful upgrade to Joomla! 3.x