I have a site that the developer died before he could fix some bugs in it apart from doing some site maintenance. The site was done using Joomla 1.5 some years ago. The owner likes the way it is designed I mean the template. After struggling to get the administrator password I log onto the Administrator account where I find a lot of errors that are showing due to the terminated support of some components and plugins. A scary error shows on top that Joomla 1.5 is no longer supported. I want to create a new site from scratch then add the few articles and components that I can from the old site. However the owner is ready for a change. He likes the interface and only wants me to fix the errors.

Migrating also has a number of obstacles. For instance I will not find templates, components and plugins that work like in the old site. Please enlighten me on how to go about this issue

  • 1
    I think you also need to remind your client of security vulnerabilities. I suspect you don't even have the unofficial hotfixes developed by Joomla members. Developers are trying to move forward with the time and it's hard when people like your client do not wish to. You WILL find templates and components
    – Lodder
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 9:42
  • Are all installed extensions have new / compatible version with latest Joomla version?
    – webchun
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 12:59
  • Many are not available on Joomla 3.3 platform
    – Jack Siro
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 13:43
  • I am not sure I understand what exactly you are asking.
    – FFrewin
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 13:44
  • Not to mention you should NOT migrate to 3.3 but to 3.6.4!
    – Mikan
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 18:19

2 Answers 2


The best way to go about this issue is to persuade your client to undertake a migration to a modern stable version of Joomla (currently 3.6.4) or build a new site from scratch in case there is very little content. It may be and often is viewed by clients as unneccessary hustle and expense but in the long run it proves to be the best practice both for clients and webmasters.

Reasons to migrate

Step by step instruction on migrating J1.5 to 3.x

This is very likely you would not find an exact match to the old extensions used on J1.5 especially design-like but you should be able to find the ones that function close enough. I would have been more specific if you told us what are the extensions that you need to replace.


I recommend stabilising the current website while you work out how to migrate to the latest version.

Stabilise the Current Website

Backup the current website using Akeeba Backup or similar.

Upgrade to Joomla v1.5.26 (if the site isn't already on the latest version in the series) and apply all the relevant EOL patches which you can find at https://docs.joomla.org/Security_hotfixes_for_Joomla_EOL_versions.

Compile a list of the currently installed third party extensions.

Remove any third party extensions that are not being used.

Update the remaining third party extensions to the latest versions.

Check that none of the currently installed third party extension versions are listed in the VEL at https://vel.joomla.org.

Set the hosting to the latest version of PHP that Joomla 1.5 will run on (e.g. PHP 5.6 is usually fine but you will probably need to suppress "deprecated" warning messages.)

Migrate to the Latest Version of Joomla

Check on the template developer website whether there is a version of the template for the latest version of Joomla. If not there may be something similar from the same developer or another developer where you can add a custom CSS file to make it look like the current template.

Using the list of third party extensions from the previous step, investigate which extensions have equivalent versions for the latest version of Joomla and find substitutes for any extensions that have been discontinued since Joomla 1.5.

Depending on how many users, menus, categories, articles, contacts, modules, links and so on you have to migrate, decide whether to use a migration utility such as SP Upgrade or similar or whether it is practical to migrate items manually.

It is usually best to create the new website in a subdirectory e.g. /new until you are ready to make the new website live. This means you can take your time and test the new website thoroughly while the old website is still available to website visitors.

When the new website is ready, I recommend moving the current website into a subdirectory e.g. /old and the new website into the root folder so you still have the old website to refer to for a few weeks in case anything has been missed in the migration. (Remember to update the paths to the tmp and logs folders in Global Configuration).

Once the new website has been active for a few weeks and everything is working well, remember to delete the old version and you can then set the hosting to an up to date version of PHP.

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