Key Differences

Before migrating your PhoneGap projects into Monaca, you should read through some key differences between PhoneGap and Monaca projects in order to have a seamless migration.

File and folder structures

File and folder structures of Monaca and PhoneGap projects are quite different:

PhoneGap project structure

├── config.xml
├── hooks
├── platforms
├── plugins
└── www
    ├── css
    ├── img
    ├── index.html
    ├── js
    ├── res
    │   ├── icon
    │   └── screen
    ├── spec
    └── spec.html

Monaca project structure

├── config.xml
├── package.json
├── plugins
├── res
│   ├── android
│   ├── ios
│   └── winrt
└── www
    ├── components
    ├── css
    └── index.html

The main differences are res folder location and package.json file. In Monaca project, the default res folder is stored in the root folder. But if the src attribute of the project's config.xml file is set correctly, the default res folder is not used. Moreover, package.json file is required and used for managing the Cordova plugins.

Because of these differences, when importing a PhoneGap project into Monaca, some files and folders will be changed.

Build environment

Before getting started with the migration, you may want to know about the supported Cordova versions and build environments in Monaca.

All newly created projects in Monaca will be using the latest supported Cordova version by default. If you want to use a lower version, please contact us.


Android platform

iOS platform

Windows platform (electron)





For more information about build environments for lower Cordova versions, pleaser refer to Supported environments.


When migrating a project into Monaca, there are a few things you should be aware of:

Some installed plugins may disappear

In Monaca, Cordova plugins are managed by the package.json file. If your plugin information is defined in the config.xml file, you will need to import them again into Monaca. Please refer to Importing Cordova plugins.

Using third party Cordova plugins requires a custom debugger

The store version Monaca Debugger (found in Google play or AppStore) includes only the core Cordova plugins. If your project contains any third party Cordova plugins besides the core Cordova plugins, you will need to build a custom debugger to test it. Custom debugger will only include the plugins used in the project. Please refer to:

Managing the CSS/JavaScript libraries

In the Monaca Cloud IDE, there is a GUI page for managing the CSS/JavaScript libraries. You can see it by going to Configure → JS/CSS Component Settings.

You can then add the CSS/JavaScript libraries you need. However, this works only if you include the following lines in the index.html file:

<!--Load selected JavaScript libraries-->
<script src="components/loader.js"></script>
<!--Load selected CSS libraries-->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="components/loader.css”>

Please note that the loader.js file loads also the cordova.js file. Therefore, if you are going to include the above lines, you can remove this line:

<script src="cordova.js"></script>

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