In light of the EllisLab news today, I have a couple clients still using EE1. I haven't done any upgrades to EE2 yet so I'm not sure the best way to go about it.

  1. Do I use the native upgrade wizard?
  2. Do I recreate everything in EE2 and then import the data in?

In your experience, what has been the most practical and efficient? What issues have you come across using any methods above?

Also to keep in mind, this site uses these add-ons:

  • Structure
  • Field Frame
  • Matrix
  • Playa
  • Wygwam
  • File by Mark Hout
  • nGen File Field

2 Answers 2


Luckily the add-ons you are using have some upgrade paths from EE 1 => 2... The only two you need to tweak are the file fields before and after the upgrade:

  1. nGen File Field https://stackoverflow.com/questions/13041491/expressionengine-1-to-expressionengine-2-upgrade-with-ngen-file-field
  2. File by Mark Hout http://ellislab.com/forums/viewthread/218268/

Other notes (that have helped me out):

  • Upgrade to 1.7.3 before upgrading to 2.X
  • Convert all fieldtypes that don't have EE 2 equivalents to plain text fields
  • Under 1.7.3 upgrade all add-ons you plan on keeping to the latest EE 1.X versions you can find
  • Structure has an upgrade script for EE 1 => EE 2. Contact support to grab a copy (or it might be included in the download now)
  • I also backed up files for every major step 1.6.8 => 1.7.3 => Add-on updates => 2.5.X
  • During the upgrade I used "tail" to view the upgrade process because I kept havine issues with various browsers: tail -f config.php
  • I think FF was the only browser that lets me go through the upgrade process without hanging on the ajax calls (OS X Lion here)
  • As soon as EE 2 is upgraded start updating/upgrading your add-ons
  • Wait until the site is upgraded to EE 2 to change/add/remove functionality
  • Field Editor is your friend

On my last upgrade I had some issues with Gypsy not copying over the custom field formatting settings so if you have issues there start looking at that.

I'm sure I will think of more as I look through my notes. I've done quite a few of these and the only issues that really come up are from outdated and unsupported add-ons.

  • 3
    structure upgrade script is included in the download (did an upgrade a couple of weeks ago).
    – CreateSean
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 20:31
  • 3
    This is a good summary. Backup, backup, backup. Also, if your clients database is over 150MB, test, test, test. We switch a client with a large database and it took 2mo of practice to get the timeframe down to a weekend of work (massive site). But everything under 100MBs (total) has been pretty easy, following steps similar to Paulo's. Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 22:12
  • 1
    This is a great answer. Re: Gypsy...in case it helps anyone, I posted some notes on handling Gypsy fields in and EE1 to EE2 upgrade here: twosixcode.com/notes/view/…
    – Alex Kendrick
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 16:12
  • 1
    EE official support told me that updating to 1.7.3 before moving on to v2 is not necessary.
    – kmgdev
    Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 15:35
  • 1
    @Anna_MediaGirl To make sure it is documented here, newer versions of Structure have the upgrade process from EE1 to EE2 built in. There is no extra script required. Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 17:23

I've recently done about 8 EE1 to EE2 upgrades. For the most part everything went really smoothly. The key is to prepare and backup, backup, backup. Did I mention you should backup?

Use the native upgrade wizard and be sure to follow the instructions carefully. The download for structure includes a separate folder for upgrading structure 1 to structure 2. It looks scary on the surface but if you follow the instructions exactly everything will be just fine.

My basic procedure with structure is.

  1. Any field types that do not have EE2 equivalents should be converted to a basic text field before upgrading. (if you miss one and find it post upgrade, convert it in phpmyadmin then change to correct field type in CP)

  2. Upgrade EE1 to EE2

  3. upgrade Structure 1 to structure 2 (don't forget to do the prepping step while still running EE1)
  4. Then for any ngen fields or matrix with ngen follow the instructions in this SE thread (my answer).
  5. Next install any addons you need (remember EE1 addons are not compatible with EE2)
  6. find replacements for addons that do not have an EE2 upgrade option with nearest equivalent and then check your template code.

I see that Paulo was typing at the same time as me. He has some addional steps which I didn't need, but will still be worth checking out.

  • Sean, thanks for commenting. Some great pointers and things to consider
    – Siebird
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 20:42

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