I would like to know, if there're many differences between Joomla 2.5 ad Joomla 3.X How can I update my joomla website (2.5) to the last version without losing data. Same for my modules, plugins etc

5 Answers 5


What's available in Joomla 3.x?

There are loads of new features that were introduced in the Joomla 3.x series. Some of the main features that I personally like are:

  • BCrypt for password hashing, which is one of the most sophisticated methods available today.
  • Two Factor Authentication, for additional security
  • Ajax Interface, allowing us developers to integrate Ajax much more easily in our extensions.
  • Mobile ready, which makes life much easier for maintaining your Joomla site on the go
  • Everything is moving towards jQuery and moving away from Mootools
  • Article Tags (another step closer to not having to use K2)
  • Ability to install extensions directly from the backend, rather than having to manually download them from the developer site
  • Multi-Lingual sites are easier to make

A list of everything can be found here:


But it might be best to check out the Github Repository for very new additions to the CMS

Why migrate?

2 simple reasons:

  1. The features listed above and in the link provided
  2. Joomla 2.5 is not officially supported anymore, which means no more features, security updates and developers will also start to cease support for those using Joomla 2.5

Will the migration be easy and will I lose any data?

The migration will be an easy task that should not take too long. Migrating your CMS does not migrate the 3rd party extensions, so as already mentioned, you will need to install Joomla 3.x compatible version of all 3rd party extensions unless they are built to work with both J2.5 and 3.x.

There should be no data loss, however if you've installed some big extensions that are extremely old, the migration will take a little longer.

How do I upgrade?

Rather than me type every single step, have a read of the detailed migration process:


I'll just say that there's no software and it's done directly from your Joomla admin backend

Important: Do not migrate your live site. Take a backup, install it on a subdomain or localhost and run that migration on that.


For the Joomla core, it updates smoothly from 2.5 to 3.x. However, each individual extension would need to be looked at individually.

For some, the data transfers gracefully because it's built on the same core. Many extensions use the same version for 2.5 and 3.x and you just need to reinstall after update.

For others, the extension developer did an overhaul to code between 2.5 and 3.x and the database tables may be different.

You'd need to seek out each extension developer's site and evaluate it.

  • Then, which program should I use to migrate it? (Free software)
    – Antonio
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 19:29
  • @Antonio: You don't need other software. Joomla 2.5 provides the ability to upgrade to J3 through the Joomla Upgrade component. You just need to change its options to allow Short Term Releases upgrade notifications.
    – FFrewin
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 20:27
  • Yes please use the method described by Lodder, and take an Akeeba backup, then inflate that site in a subdomain or elsewhere, upgrade, then move into your live site again via Akeeba.
    – Toni Marie
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 21:05

The Joomla update is always good for your website, But before doing that you have to make sure all your components,modules,plugins and templates are compatible for your target version otherwise you will end with joomla fresh install and your basic data (Means menus,pages,blogs etc).

I had also faced a challenge in joomla update from 2.5.x to Joomla 3.x .

I think this might help full for you too.

Good luck.


I won't speak about Joomla 2,5 / 3 and their differences, but I would try to give you a frame regarding your attempt to fix the issues on your site (as seen in other questions you posted recently) and the possible upgrade you are considering.

Upgrading to Joomla 3, is a good step, but it won't necessarily resolve any other possible issues you might have.

It looks like you have many extensions installed on your website. This will add an extra level of difficulty and more stuff to consider, for your the upgrade task (as others pointed you should check each extension for compatibility and upgrade instructions).

The most important recommendation, is that this is a good chance for you, to clean up your website, from all the unneeded extensions, I have a feeling that you might have many of them.

So, before upgrading, Backup, and Restore (clone) your website on another directory of your hosting account with a new database, or preferably on your local computer - there are many resources on how to do that inside this site or if you google it.

Then in your cloned site, review all the extensions installed in your site : Components, Modules and Plugins and remove (uninstall) everything that you don't need, so you will end up with a lighter site.

With your site cleaned up, you may look for the updates of the extensions you are actually using, and for their update method at their developers' sites.

Keep in mind that most components, require to have them up-to-date in Joomla 2.5, before upgrading Joomla core.

Lastly, don't forget to check about your Template which will probably need an update as well.

Then you will be ready to upgrade to Joomla 3. Follow online instructions you will find easily and if you stuck anywhere - feel free to come in JSE and ask again.

Good luck.

  • If I'm honest, I have removed a lot of useless modules, articles, plugins, components... But, I still have a lot of plugins and components... and I don't know which ones I don't need and should remove... Is there any program that tells you the components/plugins that your website isn't using?
    – Antonio
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 9:13

Posting my comment to Antonio as answer, because it might not be obvious for many people how to enable the upgrade to Joomla 3, within Joomla 2.5.

You don't need other software for Joomla 2.5 to 3 upgrade.

Joomla 2.5 provides the ability to upgrade to J3 through the build in Joomla Update component. (If not present in the admin menu, check in the extensions manager->manage extensions to see if it's disabled and enable it). You just need to change its options to allow Short Term Releases upgrade notifications.

  • Admin Menu: -> Components -> Joomla Update.

  • In Joomla Update Component:

    • Click on the "Options" Button (up right).

    • Change: "The update Server" option to "Short Term Support". Click Save.

You should be able to see the option to upgrade to Joomla 3 now. If not do clean Joomla's cache.

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