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Migrating to joomla! and keeping the old pages

how to keep old pages in directory



2:39 pm on Jun 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello -

I have a client that wants to keep both the old pages of their old, simple html site as they slowly migrate and update sections into joomla. The html site is rather large - maybe a hundred pages - what's the best way to co-exist without messing with joomla's files and folders?

I would just put all the joomla files and folders into the main directory of the current site and weed-out the old pages as we move along, but the old site has folders named "images" and "includes" in the main directory, and I don't want to put foreign (non-joomla) files into my joomla includes folder - I am afraid it's going to be a huge mess.

Is there a way to keep the two sites separate without
1) changing the URLs of the old site (ie putting the whole old site into a sub-folder) and
2) ending up with sub-directory URLs for the joomla site?
Is there a 301 redirect solution to this?

thanks for any help!
-- Don


7:03 pm on Jun 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm not a Joomla person. Hopefully someone with real Joomla experience will jump in.

I've dealt (I didn't say dealt *well*) with similar issues a couple of times though so I feel your pain. I tried this for a site that was a total jumble and the main issue I had was even mapping the site, as pages and images were dispersed about willy-nilly. The honest truth is, I never did fully complete the migration (and it was complicate by the fact that the site owner wanted to add/change/update things in the meantime). If the site has some logic applied to it in the present form, that will be a HUGE help.

Anyway, are you
1. handy with grep or sed or awk
2. brave

I ask because I think you're right to be worried about sharing namespaces and that's the first thing to plan for. Thinking off the top of my head, it doesn't seem like an SEO issue - the SEs don't know there are includes in the first place. I guess the question is whether or not you depend much on Image Search for traffic. If so that might complicate things.

If not, you could handle the /images/ and /includes/ problem by grepping for those in all files and replacing them with /image-old/ and /includes-old/ and at that point you've effectively avoided sharing namespaces for any real files.

Then you'll need to basically build out all the pages for a given subdir in Joomla, and then make them live.

If you're testing in your htaccess and only rewriting to Joomla if the file is not found, it means that when you make the Joomla pages live, they won't get served up until you delete the file that's in the same namespace.

You shouldn't need to 301 anything, because you'll be moving the same content to the same addresses won't you?

It's likely to be sort of a pain in the butt, not to mention a bit messy.

Any Joomla people with experience?


10:54 pm on Jun 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is fantastic - got me thinking - he built the old site in Dreamweaver. All I have to have him do is change the folder's name from image to image-old in Dreamweaver and it will update the files that link through there. No grepping needed (never have used grep before, anyway).


Thanks for the thoughts and help.



1:07 am on Jun 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Aw... thanks! Glad it helped.

Well, clearly, if you can get him to do the work, that's even better! That solution occurred to me, but I was afraid to suggest it.

I found two issues wth this type of thing - the namespace problem and then the site organization problem. If the site is reasonably organized and your can get him to rename the key folders, I think you'll have the two thorniest problems licked.

Just one last thing - you must start by converting the home page to Joomla. It's going to be a rela PITA otherwise.


2:10 pm on Jun 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Luckily the homepage is all ready - but, of course when visitors move to old pages, they will quickly lose the new site (unless they use the browser's back button).

The client's got it in their head that they want to do A/B testing on the old home page and the new home page. Why? Because I think they think it will give them cool and useful information about how fantastic their new layout is... hmmmm... we'll see about that one.

:-) Thanks for all the help,


5:03 pm on Jun 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Hmmm.... that sounds like a sort of strange way to do A/B testing (the same visitor might see both pages in the same session, if I understand you), but based on your comments, I gather this is more or less out of your control.... as long as it's out of your "sphere of blame" too, I guess that's okay!


12:32 am on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm trying a slightly different approach. There might be a post here about it. Anyway, what I am doing is going to the top level of the new joomla site and making it "Registered users" instead of public. YOu have to be careful with that, but it does allow you to keep the joomla site offline until you are ready for the migration.

That might not help if you are looking to move things a bit a a time.

Also, with folders like media and images, take a good look at the robots.txt to make sure nothing weird is going on with the joomla robots file. I found some issues when I checked things out on google webmaster tools.

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