Webilicious Web Design and Development

Time to Upgrade to a Responsive Template in preparation for "Mobilegeddon" on 21st April

MobilegeddonApparently more than 50% of web searches now originate on mobile devices and Google recently announced that mobile-friendliness will be a ranking signal from April 21st 2015.

A Google Engineer suggests this change will affect as many websites as the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates and industry experts have christened this latest algorithm update, "mobilegeddon".

Responsive Templates

The best way to ensure your Joomla website search ranking is preserved is to implement a responsive template if you don't already have one.

Responsive templates are available for Joomla 2.5 and there were even a few for Joomla 1.5 but Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 2.5 are already "end-of-life" and you should ideally migrate to Joomla 3.x which ships with Bootstrap and already includes some responsive templates.

robots.txt Changes

If you installed Joomla prior to version 3.3, you will likely need to amend your robots.txt file to ensure that Google can access CSS, JavaScript and other files in your template folder to confirm your website is mobile friendly.

Mobile Friendly Testing and Official Instructions from Google

Google has provided a test tool at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ so you can check that your website is ticking all the relevant check boxes.

Google has also provided instructions on how best to make your website mobile friendly including specific instructions for Joomla, WordPress and other popular platforms.

More Information

For more information see:

http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2398591/-mobilegeddon-is-coming-on-april-21-are-you-ready
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244175
http://www.didit.com/mobilegeddon-tip-of-the-week-examine-your-robots-txt-file/
http://www.stemlegal.com/strategyblog/2015/mobilegeddon-the-countdown-is-on/

Joomla 2.5 "End of Life" Implications

Official support for Joomla 2.5 ended on December 31st, 2014.

joomla 2.5 end of life

Joomla 2.5 websites will, of course, still operate after this date but security vulnerability fixes may no longer be available and this could place your Joomla 2.5 website at risk.

Joomla 2.5 will also become increasingly more difficult to support as extension developers concentrate on newer versions of Joomla and stop releasing updates for older versions.

Advice for Existing Joomla 2.5 Users

To keep your website secure, existing Joomla 2.5 website owners should update to the final release, Joomla 2.5.28 if they haven't already and plan to migrate to Joomla 3.x as soon as possible.

Apart from official support, other advantages in moving to Joomla 3.x include new features such as tags, version control and improved security with more on the way.

Migrating from Joomla 2.5 to 3.x

Moving from Joomla 2.5 to 3.x is regarded as a "mini-migration" which involves the following:

  • check the hosting environment is suitable for Joomla 3.x (e.g. PHP 5.3 or later)
  • run backup
  • make a list of third party extensions and check that equivalents are available in Joomla 3.x
  • remove any extensions that are not Joomla 3.x compatible (including templates)
  • update from 2.5.x to 3.x
  • install Joomla 3.x versions of third party extensions (including templates)
  • test and verify that everything has migrated successfully

This process can take anything from an hour or two to a whole day or even longer depending on the complexity of the website and the availability of equivalent Joomla 3.x versions of extensions.

Migrating from Joomla 1.5 to 3.x

Joomla 1.5 website owners are in a similar position to Joomla 2.5 website owners in that Joomla 1.5 is also officially unsupported and potentially vulnerable if new security flaws are found and exploited by hackers.

Joomla 1.5 website owners can migrate directly from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 3.x using a migration tool such as "SP Upgrade" or similar which is a litle more complicated than the Joomla 2.5 to 3.x "mini-migration". One of the main benefits for Joomla 1.5 website owners moving to the latest version of Joomla is the availability of responsive (mobile friendly) templates that weren't widely available in Joomla 1.5.

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