A Joomla 2.5 Upgrade with an SEO Perspective
These past months I have upgraded a number of Joomla 1.5 websites to Joomla 2.5. Some of the upgrades have gone really fast and others not so fast. If you have limited components I have found it goes much quicker, but if you have to upgrade your components and sometimes recreate them then the site can take a lot longer upgrade. It really depends on how extensive the site is.
Along the way I have created a check list of details I need to remember to do. It has saved me a few times. All my upgrades have been done with JUpgrade. It is a wonderful component and I am so grateful for it. This is my checklist and I hope it assists you as you go through the process. It is not in any specific order but some tasks should be done before others. If you have something to add to this list please do so in the comments. It would be helpful to all of us.
- Back up the Joomla 1.5 website before doing anything else. I use BlueHost, so I do this through the CPanel. I know there are components that can do this.
- Create a sitemap of the Joomla 1.5 website. I do this so I can create 301 redirects when the Joomla 2.5 site is complete. Joomla 2.5 creates all new url’s
- Get the Google Analytics code or any extra code that may be on the site. It does not transfer to the new site and will have to be reinstalled.
- Meta Tags, Joomla 2.5 has great control over the descriptions and title tags. All meta tags will have to be re-input. Make sure you transfer them from the old site or copy them down. There are components that manage the meta data, but I prefer to use Joomla core.
- Once I have made all the changes to the Joomla 2.5 site and it is ready to launch I back the site up again (see #1).
- The transfer of the files from JUpgrade can be done with an FTP client or through your web hosts File Manager. At first I was using my FTP client and it was taking forever, the server would time out constantly. Now I am going in through CPanel and using File Manager.
- It may be best just to get rid of your Joomla 1.5 website files, but I am not that brave so I go through my 1.5 files and rename some of the main folders such as administrator, components, modules, plugins and templates. I also remove all the files in the default folder and save them on my local drive. That way when you load the Joomla 2.5 files they will be clean files with only 2.5 information. As you can see I am a bit paranoid and don’t like to delete anything until I know it is working. After you have loaded the Joomla 2.5 site and it is working correctly then you can go in and delete the old file folders that you have renamed
- In file manager I create a zip file of the jupgrade folder > and save it on the server. I take the files in the jupgrade folder and “move” them to the default folder. All this is done through the CPanel file manager and it goes quite quickly.
- Then I pray a lot …
- Your site should be working correctly. I have been pleasantly surprised how well it can go. You will have to go into the sites control panel and create the pretty url’s and rename the htaccess file on the server. The htaccess file is also where I put the 301 redirects.
Note about 301 redirects, Joomla 2.5 has a redirect manager but you have to wait for Google to serve up the 404 page. I prefer to redirect the pages before Google gets them.
- I also edit the robot.txt file, for some reason joomla has images as disallow??!! If you want your images to show up in Google images remove that line. I also remove disallow media.
- Don’t forget to reinstall your Google Analytics, meta tags and there is really so much more. But I will leave you with this for now.
Lastly, some of my clients understand that the upgrade is necessary and it is. But there have been a few that were not happy about the additional expense. But I guess that is technology.
Everyone wants to protect what they create or own from copycats. Within the online communities of social media and blogging sharing words and images is both common and popular. Information, be it text or images, placed on the internet can travel swiftly with tools like twitter, fb and reblogging of websites. In this blog post I am specifically focusing on WordPress.com not the self hosted WordPress.org even though many of the points pertain to both. With WordPress.com a web site or blog is hosted by WordPress all one has to do is open up an account. This is also true with tumblr where content is quite viral.
If WordPress hosts a blog or website all the content posted belongs to the site owner and is their property. According to WordPress “Terms of Services” they have permission to publish the information and to post the website content. That is the service they provide along with the tools to do it. If the site owner chooses to use additional tools on WordPress community tags, to be in the search engine and so on they also have that right. These are avenues to get content promoted and published or out in the world.
Protecting Website and Blog Content
The site owner assumes the responsibility for the content on the site. Below are ways to protect on line content.
- Adding a notice of copyright that should be clearly posted and can help prevent theft.
- Obtain a Creative Commons license that has a standardized way to grant copyright permissions to creative work.
- Photos and images should be watermarked to deter theft from the site.
- Comments on posts are the site owners’ responsibility and they own them. It is the site owners due diligence to make sure comments are not harmful to anyone or anything in any way.
At the same time blog/site owners are responsible for protecting the content of others by asking permission to post another’s content. If a website owner quotes or uses an image from another site it is expected to give the creator or the website credit and add a link.
Reblogging is a method and a tool on some websites like WordPress.com and tumblr to promote and publish a websites content. People like to reblog information they find compelling. They do have the right to use text, images or other content from a site hosted on their servers to help promote the site but again they do not own it. This method of republishing content gives credit to the content creator and at the same time additional publicity. You can learn more about reblogging on WordPress.com by clicking the link.
If one is worried about any content being republished or copied the only effective way is not to publish it or use a private blog with password protected posts. Read about page visibility .
I hope this helps ease anxiety when placing content on the internet. I do not claim to be an attorney or expert in this field. If there are more concerns you may want to consult a professional in this area. Additional thoughts or comments on this subject are appreciated.
Joomla! Day West
Joomla Day West was in San Jose on October 2-3, 2010 in the Town Hall building in the eBay Offices. Thank you to eBay, Microsoft and kontent design big sponsors that provided meeting space, great wifi and two meals each day. About 180 people attended both days and also included the joomla! leadership teams. Most of the buzz was focused around the 1.6 upgrade which is due out sometime. 1.6 is a major upgrade from 1.5 and the plan is to support 1.5 for a year after the 1.6 launch. We learned there is no rush to upgrade to 1.6. When you decide to make the leap I would have a back up plan for the upgrade as you migrate the website over. At this time I don’t know of any migration documentation. You can download Joomla 1.6 Beta11 if you would like to try it out.
Here are some of the major take away points from the conference:
- The production leadership team is separating out the framework development from the CMS.
- Leadership Team Summit were all in attendance and able to have meetings in person.
- eBay will now be contributing to joomla!
- iJoomla Components are now “GPL”
- moo tools 1.3 will include art functionality along with exciting new Java Script behaviors
- Kunena 1.6 is a stable release, it supports Joomla! 1.6 style languages and is backward compatible with Joomla 1.5
- JomSocial demo’ed the new release 2.0 and will be out soon. JomSocial adds a social networking community to your website. http://www.jomsocial.com/
- BluePrint - is a CSS framework for joomla! and the “Atomic” template will be included in Joomla 1.6 .
- Open Source Matters is now in the black meaning – they don’t owe money.
- 1.6 has formatting changes that will effect templates.
The Joomla Community has updated the website and added additional support:
- Joomla! Community Magazine
- Joomla! Showcase
- Joomla! People Portal – discussion groups and social networking. This is a JomSocial site.
Leave a comment with information I may have left out or that you would like to add.
Uploading Product images to VirtueMart can be done either by going through the back end administrator control panel in Joomla or through the front end. When I am making a quick change sometimes I will go through the front end rather than the back end of the site, depending on what I am doing it can be much faster.
Below is a bulleted list that I put together for a client.
- VirtueMart BACK END Updates – Login as you normally would at this page http://www.yoursitename.com/administrator/
- Click on the Components Tab across the top in the main control panel
scroll down to VirtueMart (they are alphabetical) and click
- Now you are in the store control panel. On the left is the Administration Panel go to Products >> List Products
- From the list of products find the item you want to change or add an image. Click the media icon in the specific product row you have selected
- A Pop Up window will appear for this specific product “FileManager :: Image/File List for (product name)”. Click on the image file name, then a new screen will appear
- Upload a File for: (product name)
click the “Choose File” button and find the image on your local computer
Pick the File Type
Check the image sizes, if you want both the full and thumbnail images
File is published? Check this box if you want to publish the image(s)
- Next to complete the job-
Top Right options to save your work
Save – to save what you have done
Back – to go back to the other window
Cancel – go back to FileManager
- Return to FileManager::Image/File List for (product name) in the pop up window
Choose what you want to do with the images – publish or remove
Also you can view the images you have uploaded
- VirtueMart FRONT END Updates – Login at the customer login box on the front end of the website http://www.yoursitename.com/
I hope you find this helpful when updating your e-commerce, shopping cart.
Next week I will attend the CMS Expo Learning & Business Conference. I am a believer in continued education and try to attend a few conferences a year. I have not been this excited about being a part of a development community since I started developing sites in (dare I say) 1997. Developing sites with Joomla and WordPress have changed the capabilities of what a business can do on the internet today. With all the wonderful CMS solutions offered it will be exciting to hear from some of the movers and shakers in this field and learn new tricks to share with you.
CMS Expo is designed for all members of a content management team, from the creators to the developers. There will be learning sessions that include integration of Social Media, CSS and techniques for many of the different CMS solutions that are available. Not only will I become better acquainted with the applications that I am already familiar like Joomla and WordPress, but I will have the opportunity to be exposed to others that I would like to know more about, Drupal and Alfresco to name a few.
Technology is always changing and the website of yesterday or one that was developed a few years ago is being replace with these powerful open source dynamic CMS alternatives. The first steps to developing a website are only the beginning of an ongoing process. The truly powerful and successful websites are nurtured and upgraded constantly. Don’t put your website in a drawer, open it up, dust it off and let’s bring new life to your on- line presence. The beauty of CMS for a website owner, is the ability to update the content without a lot of technical background.
- CMS – Content Management System
- CSS – Cascading Style Sheet, control over how a web page looks to the user.
- Joomla – Framework, built by a development community or collaborative effort through open source to build dynamic websites.
- WordPress – Framework built by a development community or collaborative effort through open source to build the best blogs and now also has features that can be used to build a website.
- Open Source – Source code that is available to the general public for use for free.
- Blog – short for web log, an online journal that allows for comments and open conversation
Hi! I just updated to wordpress 2.5. If you have a blog and have not done upgraded it is well worth it. The Dashboard has been updated and the control panel appears to be more user friendly. I am hoping that it has better capabilities for adding your own HTML that has always had some bugs.
On the write a post page they have added media buttons for image / video /audio / media. Under the title it shows the permalink that it will be posted as. I have not really traveled through the dashboard but on the write a post page it appears cleaner and more user friendly.
From what I can tell this is an upgrade you don’t want to miss. I may have missed a few upgrades from I was using 2.3.3.
Have a great week.