How do the version numbers work with Joomla?
Take for example the following version: Joomla 3.9.24.
- Here 3 stands for a MAJOR update
- The 9 for a MINOR update
- And 24 for a PATCH
The transition to Joomla version 4 is therefore a “ major update ” and is not very common. The transition to version 3 has already been eight years ago. A major update, you can actually speak of a mini-migration, is a bit more cumbersome than the "one-click updates" that you have with minor and patch updates. But don't worry, at Joomla they take maximum account of “ Backward compatibility ” (support for an older version) and they have made the update process easy to use .
What is so special about Joomla 3.10?
Before you can update to Joomla 4 you must first update to Joomla 3.10. This minor update is released at the same time as the stable version of Joomla 4.
Joomla 3.10 is the bridge between Joomla 3 and 4 and includes some special features to make your update smooth. Joomla 3.10 will be the last version of the 3.x series.
Joomla 3.10 includes a “ Pre-Update checker ” and is integrated into your Joomla Update component . This “Pre-Update checker” will do two things for you:
- Check the compatibility of your hosting environment
- Check if your "third-party" extensions (which you have additionally installed) are compatible with Joomla 4
1. Check the compatibility of your hosting environment
Your joomla CMS is installed on a server and uses different technologies. This server software is also regularly updated to, for example, increase speed or continue to guarantee security. You may have heard of abbreviations such as PHP and SQL.
2. Compatible extensions for Joomla 4
In your Joomla CMS you can install extensions on top of the standard installation. These extensions then offer additional options. An overview of these extensions can be found in the Joomla! Extensions Directory™ . Each extension in the directory has a Joomla 4 compatibility badge.
More information about the Pre-Update Check can be found in the Joomla Documentation.
Be sure to check out the article “ Potential backward compatibility issues in Joomla 4 ”.
If you want to try the update check, be sure to read Joomlashack's blog post: Joomla 3.10 is the bridge to Joomla 4 .
Do I also need to update my template?
The update to Joomla 4 is a MAJOR update and thus is a major change of the Joomla system. As a result, your template may no longer be usable for Joomla 4.
The compatibility check of your template will not be included in the Pre-Update checker of Joomla 3.10 . That is why it is very important that you have a working backup.
The templates installed together with your Joomla CMS such as Protostar, Beez3 or Beez5 will be automatically converted to the new default template of Joomla 4: Cassiopeia.
However, if you use a different template, there is a chance that it is not compatible with Joomla 4. If you want to use the same template, first check with the developer of the template if a new version is available. Many template makers regularly release new versions. If there is no version available for Joomla 4, you can also upgrade the old version yourself, but this requires a lot of technical knowledge. You can find a guide for this in the article " How to J4-ify your old Joomla 3 template ".
After the update to Joomla 4, it is best to delete the old templates (that you no longer use), including the admin templates such as Bluestork or Hathor.
If your template is based on a template framework , you should check the compatibility of two or three parts:
- the template
- the template framework
- and possibly also the page builder
You can only update it when an update is available for the three parts.
State of play of some template frameworks for Joomla 4:
Update Gantry 5
At Gantry, many templates have already been optimized for Joomla 4. The Gantry 5 framework has been specially developed for Joomla 4. An up-to-date overview of the compatibility of the Gantry templates can be found on the Joomla Templates Compatibility Matrix of RocketTheme . Recommendation : If your template is suitable for Joomla 4 you can update the template and framework.
Update Helix Ultimate (Joomshaper)
At Joomshaper they work with the Helix framework, the latest version of which is Helix Ultimate 2 . This version of Helix Ultimate is made especially for Joomla 4 and uses Bootstrap 5, the same version as Joomla 4. So that's all right.
After an update of the framework, all templates of Joomshaper will be made compatible with Joomla 4. This will happen in the course of September-October 2021. Templates that still use Helix 3 will also be made compatible in 2021. Joomshaper's SP Page Builder is currently already compatible with Joomla 4, as are most of Joomshaper's extensions. You can read the full plans of Joomshaper on their blog. Most templates are now available for Joomla 4, also the free template, Helix Ultimate, has been updated. In the overview of the templates you can clearly see which template has already been updated. Recommendation : If your template is suitable for Joomla 4 you can update the template and framework.
Update T4 framework (Joomlart)
T4 is the successor of T3 and is published by Joomlart. The framework was specially developed for Joomla 4 but uses Bootstrap 4. Joomla 4 uses Bootstrap 5. More information about the T4 framework can be read here . In the meantime, many templates and extensions have already been made compatible. Both frameworks (T3 and T4) are available for Joomla 4.
Other Joomlart "brands" such as Gavick and Shape 5 also have plans to update. There is no update for Joomlabamboo templates.
The most recent templates are available for Joomla 4, also the free templates have been updated. You can view the current state of affairs in this handy overview . Recommendation : If your template is suitable for Joomla 4 you can update the template and framework.
At Joomdev they have stopped all their Joomla products from October 25, 2021. Recommendation : It is best to find another framework and a new template.
On the website of Themexpert they give no information at all about their intentions for Joomla 4. Quix 4 has recently been released , version 4.1.0 is compatible with Joomla 4. All Quix templates should be compatible with that. Recommendation : Update to Quix 4.1 first, then you can update to Joomla 4.
YOOtheme Pro 2.6 was released in September 2021 and this page builder works perfectly under Joomla 4. Even the new custom field type "Subform" is supported by YOOtheme. The ZOO and Widgetkit extensions are also compatible. Recommendation : Update to Yootheme Pro 2.6 first, then you can update to Joomla 4.
How can you prepare an update to Joomla 4?
- Updating your server software . The minimum requirements for Joomla 4 are: PHP 7.2.5, MySQL 5.6, PostgreSQL 11.0 and there is no longer support for SQL Server. To check which server software your website is currently using, you can follow these steps: In your Joomla Administration > System > System Information. If your server software does not meet the minimum requirements, adjust it or ask your host. The update to Joomla 4 is of course the ideal time to switch hosts. Stekkedoos hosting always uses the latest server software.
- Check if your extensions are compatible. Check the Joomla Extensions Directory and see if your extension is compatible with Joomla 4. If this is not the case, you can look for a similar extension that is compatible. On this page you can find a current list of compatible extensions . Even if your extension does not follow Joomla's update policy, you should replace it with an alternative. You can recognize these extensions if it says in the directory: “This extension does NOT implement the Joomla! Update System”. Are you unsure about choosing an alternative extension? Please contact Stekkedoos .
- Keep your extensions up to date. You should always do this, but especially with a view to the update to Joomla 4, this is highly recommended. In the Pre-Update checker of Joomla 3.10, available extension updates will be shown (in orange).
- Checking your backups . During the update process from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4, make several backups in case something goes wrong. With Akeeba Backup you can easily take backups yourself. The question remains, of course, whether your backup works, because a backup that you do not check is not actually a backup. You can read how to do this in this quick start guide from Akeeba .
- If you think that your old template will no longer work in Joomla 4, it might be a good idea to try a different look. You do not have to create a new website for this, a different template is sufficient. Look for a compatible template or have your template changed by Webdesign Stekkedoos . You will notice that your old site immediately looks completely different.
- For customers of Stekkedoos with Premium Support , server software and extensions are automatically updated.
- An extensive step-by-step migration can be found in the Joomla Documentation. Do this only when the stable Joomla 4 version is released.
- At Joomshaper they have a detailed guide for the update to version 4.
Am I required to update to Joomla 4?
Oh, no. Not directly anyway.
The latest version of the 3 series (Joomla 3.10) will be supported for another two years so that your security patches will continue to arrive. But after that it's done.
End-Of-Support: What does this mean? For Joomla CMS, security updates are regularly released. You can best compare this with an antivirus program, here you also have to update the virus definitions regularly, otherwise your virus program is worthless against the latest viruses. Without these updates, your website will become vulnerable to hackers. A patch update within the same Joomla version is done with a simple click.
What's new in the Joomla 4 update?
- Joomla 4 is faster due to better scripting
- Improved SEO performance
- Increased security
- More use of Joomla framework packages
- New Media Manager with image editing capabilities
- Workflow with scenarios for publishing articles
- More user-friendly management interface, based on Bootstrap 5 (update: Joomla 4 will ship with Bootstrap 5 )
- An even easier installation
- Unparalleled accessibility for the blind and visually impaired
- And much more …
Can you still update from Joomla 2.5?
Yes, you can, but you have to do multiple migrations. Hopefully this won't be a migration agony.
Joomla! 2.5.28 can currently only be migrated in 2 steps. Migrate to version 3.5.1 first . You then need to upgrade from 3.5.1 to the latest 3.x with the one-click update of Joomla 3. Then you can only update to Joomla 4.
Update Support: We can help!
An update to a new Joomla version does require some checking. The Joomla core can be easily updated, but extensions added afterwards should also be available for the new Joomla version. The same goes for the template.
Webdesign Stekkedoos can help you with an update without having to spend large costs on creating a new website.
- We draw up an update plan,
- We guide you step by step through the update OR
- Stekkedoos performs the update for you
A Joomla update is like moving to a new home. You go through your household effects, you choose the things you are going to take with you, and dispose worn and unnecessary things. Once in your new home, you might buy a new piece of furniture and try to make everything as comfortable as possible. The same goes for a Joomla update. It's the ideal time to decide what works and what doesn't. What can stay? What must go?
Webdesign Stekkedoos helps you decide what can go and suggests alternatives to make the most of your new Joomla site.
Stekkedoos Update Service
Contact us now Don't wait too long and keep your site safe!