From Joomla to Drupal

How I moved from Joomla to Drupal 6.

I’ve written in another article on this site re my gradual disillusionment with Joomla!, and of considering switching to Drupal for some time. This had seemed a daunting prospect; there was an article on Drupal site about converting from Joomla, but involved digging around w MySQL databases – not something I felt up to.

Lately, though, became easier thanks to a module to convert from Joomla 1.0 to Drupal 6. I used this, and soon afterwards there appeared a module to convert to Drupal 5. They don’t do everything – no conversion from Fireboard forum, say. But very handy to a MySQL scaredy cat like me.

Update (Aug 09): Joomla to Drupal module just updated; info on it suggests it’s very nifty.
Update (Sept 2022): after Drupal left the “little guys” abandoned, I’ve moved from Drupal to WordPress.

Here are some notes I’ve posted on Drupal site, based on my experiences with conversion from Joomla to Drupal. (Posted as comment to the article on migrating.)

I’ve looked at the above a few times over the past couple of years or so; found it rather daunting.
Lately tried migrating a site from Joomla 1.0.14/15 to Joomla 1.5.3, but migrator component gave me an error. Hadn’t been real sure re 1.5; I’ve lately set up a few sites w Drupal, so a migration to Drupal looked highly tempting. After failure to 1.5.3, didn’t press on, but looked for info on Joomla to Drupal; found some, tho a little scattered, and gave it a try. So far, not to live site, but these notes may be a little use.
– these notes may be good laugh for power users, who transform MySQL databases with ease, but just might help one or two people.

Using Module to Convert from Joomla to Drupal

Found there is new module, to convert from Joomla 1.0 to Drupal 6 (which as yet lacks quite a number of Drupal 5 modules, but certainly usable for a site, with important modules like Views now ported):

I tried this on local install – MAMP on Mac, equivalent to LAMP on Windows I think – and worked straight away, albeit not complete (nothing from Fireboard forum; no links), and not generating data just as I wish.
Joomla site still running: useful, so can check info like URLs, get various info – inc links from source code, which I simply pasted into new links pages in Drupal.

When I wrote these notes, site still local; but since made it live: (Also converted this site.)

Important to retain the images/stories folders. Can stay in public_html, say, for time being (maybe later can move to drupal’s files folder, within sites – but then may need to do replace all within MySQL to correct the paths to the files; or do this by editing articles/stories etc if only few images).

Joomla Sections and Categories, Drupal Taxonomy, and SEF URLs

The conversion module placed Joomla sections and categories within a Drupal Vocabulary, Topics.
To me, not ideal; I since set up Vocabularies for main Joomla sections; and withing these, set up Terms aka Categories for Joomla Categories; not free tagging, but multiple select. Had to then work thro published articles, to make changes: choosing “none” for Topics choices, and selecting the terms aka categories.
[maybe the newer module, Joomla to Drupal 5, does better than this]

Also in published articles, changed titles to the title alias of Joomla site (as on Joomla site, I’d used SH404SEF to generate URLs; making changes like this in Drupal meant the pathauto module could generate the same URLs, via [term-raw]/[title-raw].html
(If you haven’t yet tried Drupal, and some of this gobbledegook on quick read through, should become clear as n when you try Drupal; tho the taxonomy system can remain baffling for some time I think – key thing w taxonomy, though, is that it’s powerful, and some nifty things can be done with relative ease)
Plus, sometimes adding meta descriptions, keywords; after installing Nodewords module.

– the Joomla meta keywords had become “Free tags”

So, main pages about ok (I think “story” is best content type for them; set by the module; Full HTML input type allows images to display – unlike the stingy Filtered HTML); and photos from images/stories appear to be showing up ok; mostly, anyway.

Users also imported; Drupal made it easy to get rid of spammers who’d signed up but were blocked.

Converting Fireboard to Drupal Forum

Fireboard forum looked maybe troublesome: I read the above re forum, was not at all sure I could do this.
Seems there’s no direct conversion. So, rather long-winded: used converter to Simple Machines Forum 1.1.5; and from this, to phpBB 2 (can download legacy version from phpBB).
Didn’t really take long installing these, doing conversions.
Once done, can delete fireboard, simple machines, phpbb tables from MySQL table.

With conversion done, there’s forum in Drupal – and looks to be working pretty well.
[term-raw]/[title-raw].html giving forum threads the URLs as I’d generated from SH404SEF (hooray!); albeit after edited pathauto settings so it would leave in words like “on”. Forum “containers” look fine.

– could also try bridges for smf or phpbb to drupal. Forums certainly more forum like than in Drupal; but I wasn’t clear re URLs, say; and having forums in Drupal meant that could use the taxonomy etc.

Using Drupal Taxonomy

So, that taxonomy: powerful, but a bit baffling.
Should you try the change, on local machine preferably (before hopefully going live), one thing I suggest you try is the Taxonomy VTN module (and its Taxonomy VTN Blocks module that comes with it). Enable this, publish a block, and presto! – you have a site index, with pages showing Terms/Categories in alphabetical order and linking to pages w articles under Terms also listed alphabetically; and page with all tags (keywords) in alphabetical order – the latter, if plenty of keywords, looks like index to a book.
Views module does far more w taxonomy; lmaybe plenty of coffee and some headache pills required to first try, but can just give it a go, maybe try making a block with titles of articles in a certain Vocabulary (handy for navigation, perhaps).

Well, maybe MySQL and Drupal/Joomla gurus are in stitches w laughter by now, but what the heck – hope this helps someone.

To Drupal Multi-site Install

I’ve now moved towards multisite installs for the Drupal sites.
To me, a bit odd to think of the structure, figure how it works.

Even single site, one thing to note is that can put the Joomla images/stories folder in root of the site, so links to photos etc still work.

With multisite, can combine images/stories folders n files from Joomla sites – should work providing names of the image files are unique.
However, can’t then browse these images using IMCE (an image browser, works w editors like tinymce and fckeditor), say; so not so simple to use the images for fresh articles, maybe via editor. To do this, can put the images/images folders into a specific sites’ files folder, within sites folder – such as in sites/ – no need to retain stories folder.

Rather “extravagant” having two sets of images from each Joomla site, in different locations; a pretty basic way of doing things. But as yet, I haven’t tried search n replace in mysql, to change paths to images, from paths that worked in joomla to paths to images within files.

One comment

  1. SEO

    Good post.I tried to setup a site using Drupal. However, I decided to switch to Joomla . I’ve heard many times that it’s easier to develop in Drupal. That would be a good thing because customizing the Joomla install is a really big pain. SEO

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