Looking to get some opinions form people who have "been there done that" on getting from EE1 to EE2.

I'm working on a site that's currently running EE 1.6.9. As a first step towards the redesign I'd like to get them on to the latest version of EE, and it seems I have a couple options:

  1. Update to EE 1.7.2, then use the standard EE2 upgrade wizard, and do some cleanup on the EE2 end (if I get there).

  2. Setup a new EE2 install with similar data structure, and pull over the data with something like Data Grab.

I seem to be finding horror stories from folks on both sides. There are a lot of (old) plugins in play … most have EE2 versions, but some very key ones don't:

  • Gypsy
  • Matrix
  • Playa (which is holding a ton of relationships we'd hate to have to recreate)
  • Wygwam
  • Better Meta
  • LG Image Manager (which I guess will have to switch to Assets)
  • LG TinyMCE (which I guess we'll ultimately switch to Wygwam)
  • nGen File Field

Initially, I started down the first path. But maybe the second option is cleaner (though I worry about if/how the playa relationships will be migrated, etc.)?

Honestly, it all feels like a mess, so before I venture any further figured I'd ping the community for advice. Thanks!


This will be a time-sink no matter how you approach it. Gypsy is the big red flag in the EE1 install as it fundamentally changed how EE works at a low-level. There is an "undo-Gypsy" add-on (https://devot-ee.com/add-ons/undo-gypsy) but as you can see it's unsupported. The nGen file field will also need some db-level SQL to change to a native file field.

It's tough to say based on the data you've provided (not sure what a "ton" of relationships means etc) but overall unless you are talking about thousands of entries I'd probably lean towards a fresh build in EE2, importing what you can, and then manual editing from there.

But you might try an upgrade approach on a copy of everything just to see what happens as well.

  • Following up: I ended up using undo-gypsy per Michael's advice. From there I used the Weblog Entries Exporter plugin to get entries out of EE1 and into .csv's, which I was then able to manipulate in Google Docs (which didn't muck up the encoding and has a regex find and replace feature). Once I touched up the data, I imported the .csv's into a fresh EE2 install using the Datagrab plugin. It took some trial and error, but once this process was down it did the job.
    – philzelnar
    May 25 '15 at 22:41

I never did a big upgrade, just small updates.

I guess it depends on the size of the database of the site (entries, relationships, members etc). If it's a small database, perhaps would be better to migrate (no headache with compatibility problems), but if it's a huge one, would be better to upgrade.

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