Joomla 4 Upgrade

Joomla 4 Upgrade is Due For Release in August 2021

The next major release of Joomla, version 4.0 is due in August 2021.  Every Joomla website owner knows (or should know) that security releases and bug fix releases come out each month, but Joomla 4 is a major release, so what is a Major release and what does it mean for you?

What Is Joomla 4?

Joomla 4 is referred to as a Major Release.  Major releases are identified by the leading version number (ie. Version 1.xxx, 2.xxx, 3.xxx, 4.xxx) and indicate significant changes to the underlying code.  These releases only happen every 5 years or so and allow the CMS to drop old outdated code and introduce new technologies.

Joomla 4 Upgrades Australia

CMS platform developers follow one of two philosophies in relation to software updates. 

Some, like Wordpress, follow an "always backward compatible" philosophy that has the goal of ensuring all Wordpress websites can update to the latest version no matter how old they are.  It has the advantage that a website built in 2005 using old software like Flash can keep running. The disadvantage is that the CMS has to maintain a lot of old code and is restricted in what new technologies can be introduced.  This has lead to a lot of new technologies being introduced via third party plugins and themes which has become a major security weakness for the platform.  It also means that all that code continues to get loaded on new Wordpress sites meaning greater load on hosting servers and potentially slower loading.  The other major disadvantage of course is that it allows websites built in 2005 to keep running!

Joomla has taken a different approach of "backward compatible within major releases".  It means that a Joomla 3 website will always be compatible with new releases that start with a 3 but major releases can drop outdated code that is no longer being used by modern websites and new technologies can be embraced keeping the platform at the leading edge of website technology.  The previous major release version of Joomla is still supported with bug fixes and security updates for 21 months after a new Major release to minimise disruption so for most businesses the website review and update cycle (2 to 3 years) falls well within the CMS major update cycle.  

While Joomla 3 was one of the fastest loading CMSs, the leaner Joomla 4 code promises even better performance plus a host of new features that make Joomla websites easier to maintain and a better experience for visitors.  Its worth noting that a Joomla 3 website with no external plugins will update cleanly to a Joomla 4 site.  It is the compatibility of third party plugins that needs to be checked before upgrading.  Fortunately the Joomla developers have made that task much easier by creating a report that will highlight any potential compatibility issues for your site.  That will be available in Joomla 3.10 which will be released in parallel with Joomla 4.

What can you expect to see in Joomla 4?

  • Joomla4 Speed - With Joomla 4 you benefit from the increased performance which is a major ranking factor.  Joomla 3 is fast but Joomla 4 will be even faster.
  • Joomla4 Accessibility - Joomla 4 delivers best in class accessibility as the layout, contrast and infrastructure all have accessibility built in with AA compliance to W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
  • Joomla4 Security - with many architecture changes designed to maximize security and keep hackers out, Joomla 4 continues to be one of the most secure website platforms you can choose.
  • Joomla4 Workflows - Workflows help you to plan and schedule the writing and publishing of blog articles and news content and even allocate tasks to other users to run your site more efficiently.
  • Joomla4 Emails - Forget those clunky standard system emails that drag down your professionalism.  Joomla 4 system emails can all be customised without third party plugins.
  • Joomla4 Search - Joomla 4 smart search has many improvements over previous Joomla search and is the best to date making it easiwer for your site visitors to find the content they need.

Over the coming weeks we will be publishing more information on Joomla 4 features, changes, Joomla 4 Upgrade guides and more.

Joomla 4 Upgrade

Do I Have To Upgrade To Joomla 4

Unlike the monthly security and bug fix upgrades for Joomla, the Joomla 4 upgrade is a major upgrade.  This means that you may find some of your site plugins and even your site template may not be compatible. So do you really need to upgrade?

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