As the Joomla! project has already announced the Joomla! 2.5 release branch is becoming end-of-life with the final release of Joomla! 2.5.28 on December 10th, 2014. After that date Joomla! 2.5 will no longer receive any updates. This means that no bugs or security issues will be fixed. Joomla! 2.5 will be unfit for use on live sites.
The executive summary (TL;DR version)
Per our policy regarding End-Of-Life Joomla! release branches, the current version branches of our software (Akeeba Backup 4.1.x, Admin Tools 3.3.x etc) will continue to support Joomla! 2.5. The next version branch of our software (Akeeba Backup 4.2.x, Admin Tools 3.4.x etc) will only support the latest version of Joomla! 3. If we're releasing a new version branch of our software less than a month after the Joomla! 2.5 EOL, i.e. before January 10th, 2015, we will support Joomla! 2.5 in this branch of our software. Finally, we have a support cut-off provision: no support for Joomla! 2.5 after March 1st, 2015.
If you are upgrading from Joomla! 2.5 to Joomla! 3 please check the last section of this announcement for detailed instructions regarding our software.
Slightly longer explanation
Practically this means that our support for Joomla! 2.5 will be gradually phased out between January 10th and March 1st, 2015. After the Joomla! 2.5 support cut-off for each software we will no longer treat Joomla! 2.5-only issues as bugs and we'll be providing very limited support to our Joomla! 2.5 users, just like we were doing with our Joomla! 1.5 users when Joomla! 1.5 went end of life.
New version branches of our software which do not support Joomla! 2.5 will not be designed to run on Joomla! 2.5 and will not install on Joomla! 2.5. While we do take measures to prevent the update stream from showing them to you as available versions, we understand that a misguided and determined user may try to download and install their ZIP file packages. We do try to prevent that use case as well. In the off-chance they do install despite our provisions, please remember that they will NOT be designed to work in Joomla! 2.5 and could lead to the software or even your site being broken. If this happens we will not provide any support. Simply put, you should not try installing a component not explicitly marked as compatible with your Joomla! version, it will break stuff.
According to our experience the gradual phase out of support over 80 days is enough for the bulk of actively maintained sites to be migrated. Considering that –unlike the past– the migration from Joomla! 2.5 to 3 consists of an one click update followed by an update of the installed extensions (including templates) we expect that the majority of Joomla! 2.5 sites will be migrated to Joomla! 3 within this period.
For the sites which cannot be migrated (non-paying customers, old PHP versions outside your control, ...) you will still be able to use old version of our software which are compatible with your Joomla! and PHP versions according to our Compatibility page. Please note that some of these versions might not be actively supported. Please consult the Compatibility page for more information. The versions not actively supported still get a minimal amount of support about how to use them, but do not receive bug fixes. This includes issues occurring due to third party services –such as but not limited to Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc– changing their APIs, rendering the integrations included in our old versions of our software inoperable.
There's a rule of thumb: it's OK if you don't upgrade in the first 3-6 months after a Joomla! version goes end of life. If you delay upgrading beyond that it's very likely that something will break. It's also possible that the more you delay an upgrade of your site the less likely is that you'll be able to perform a smooth, trouble-free upgrade.
How to upgrade to Joomla! 3
We understand that many of our users are afraid to upgrade from Joomla! 2.5 to 3. In the past upgrading from one major Joomla! branch to another was indeed a difficult task, e.g. from Joomla! 1.0 to 1.5 and from 1.5 to 1.6/1.7/2.5/3.x. But this is all in the past. The Joomla! project has made strides as far as updates to major versions are concerned. Upgrading from Joomla! 2.5 to 3 is virtually a single click process.
We strongly advise our clients to watch the Joomla! 2.5 to 3 video tutorial by Brian Teeman (courtesy of SiteGround) for detailed upgrade instructions.
What you need to know for upgrading sites running our software
The versions of our software at the time of this writing (December 2014) are compatible with both Joomla! 2.5 and Joomla! 3.2/3.3/3.4. You do not need to do anything special to migrate a Joomla! 2.5 site to Joomla! 3 as far as our extensions are concerned.
If you have a version of our software released before June 2014 or if you're reading this article after January 10th, 2015 you will need to take some steps to disable our software before upgrading your site.
IMPORTANT! You must NOT uninstall our software. Doing so will cause your settings and all your data, including site backups in the case of Akeeba Backup, to be permanently lost and without any confirmation. Do NOT uninstall our software.
In order to disable our software before upgrading your site, please go to Extensions, Extension Manager and click on Manage. You need to find each one of the following items, select it by clicking the checkbox on its left hand side and then click on Disable:
- System - Admin Tools
- System - Admin Tools Update Email
- System - Akeeba Backup Update Check
- System - Joomla! Update Email
- System - CMS Update Email
- System - Akeeba Subscriptions Expiration Notification
- System - Akeeba Subscriptions Expiration Control
- System - Backup on update
- System - System Restore Points
- System - One Click Action
- Akeeba Ticket System
- Akeeba Release System
- Akeeba Subscriptions
- Akeeba DocImport3
- FOF (this item reads F-Oh-F, NOT F-Zero-F, that's a different thing altogether)
Not all of the listed extensions may be installed on your site; it depends which software of us you've installed. Please disable the extensions in the order provided above. If you mix it up you'll probably break your site. Doing it in the right order will disable our extensions.
Now connect to your site by FTP and remove the libraries/fof (f-oh-f) directory. Please note that there might also be a directory called f0f (f-zero-f). Do not delete the f0f (f-zero-f) directory!
Now upgrade your site to Joomla! 3. Finally, reinstall the latest version of our extensions, without uninstalling them.
Akeeba Backup and migrating to Joomla! 3
Akeeba Backup is designed to make exact clones of your sites, including all files and folders. It cannot be used to upgrade your site from one Joomla! version to another. It cannot be used to transfer your "data and files" from one version of Joomla! to another. What you are looking for is a Joomla! migration component and you can find all of them in the Joomla! Migration section of the Joomla! Extensions Directory.
You MAY want to use Akeeba Backup to keep a backup copy of your site before and after migration, or for making the migration off-line, on a locally installed server such as XAMPP, and deploying the migrated site to your live server. In the latter case please remember that due to the way Joomla! itself works you MUST remove all files and folders from your site BEFORE restoring the migrated site's backup archive. The recommended process is:
- Take a backup of your old site (e.g. Joomla! 1.x, 2.5, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2) using Akeeba Backup.
- Download the backup archive to your computer using FTP in binary transfer mode. Keep additional copies of the backup archive in separate locations such as USB flash drive, network attached storage (NAS), an on-line storage service (e.g. Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, ...), optical media (CD/DVD) etc. Keep multiple copies. It's best to be safe than sorry.
- Restore your backup archive on your local server, using Kickstart to extract it.
- Perform the migration to Joomla! 3 per the documentation of the third party Joomla! migration component you chose to use.
- Make sure your migrated site performs correctly.
- Take a backup of the migrated Joomla! 3 site using Akeeba Backup. Keep additional copies of the backup archive in separate locations such as USB flash drive, network attached storage (NAS), an on-line storage service (e.g. Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, ...), optical media (CD/DVD) etc. Keep multiple copies. It's best to be safe than sorry.
- Triple check that you DO have copies of the backups of your site, before and after the migration. Then check again. If things go awry you'll definitely need those backups!
- Remove all files and folders and database tables from your live server.
- Restore the backup of the migrated Joomla! 3 site to your live server.
- Make sure your site works properly.
- If the site doesn't work properly, repeat steps 8 through 10 using the backup of your original site (before the migration). Now you see why we're so paranoid on having multiple copies of your backups.
We have used this process multiple times in the past when migrating our own site from Joomla! 1.5 to 2.5, from 2.5 to 3.2 (upgrading it to 3.3 was a mere one-click update!) and when transferring our site between hosts. Please remember that the more time you spend planning your steps the less time your site will be off-line.