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Latest revision as of 13:23, 30 October 2014

Contents

What are the major differences between Joomla! 2.5 and 3?

The most noticeable difference is the totally revamped administrator, which is updated to a modern design with many simpler and more friendly user-interfaces. Also, starting with Joomla! 3.0, Joomla! is now device responsive. Simply, Joomla! is mobile friendly and can be used with any modern device.

In addition, there are dozens of improvements to the details of all of the Joomla core. Some highlights are:

Star icon.png A new installer which you will notice when creating a new Joomla 3.x install.
Star icon.png Joomla 3 is packed with goodies for extension developers, such as Bootstrap support and jQuery support.
Star icon.png Joomla 3.1 adds Tagging capability.


How long is each Joomla! version supported?

Stop hand nuvola.svg.png
Information is out of date

This information is out of date and being updated. The new development strategy is announced here, please read the full text of the development strategy for more information. This notice was modified on 30 Apr 2014.


Joomla! is developed using a fixed release cycle. Every six months, the Joomla! Project releases a new minor or major version of Joomla!. Joomla!'s version format is:

[major].[minor].[maintenance]

Each version of Joomla! is supported by the Joomla! Project for a limited amount of time. There are two classifications for support: short term support (STS) and long term support (LTS). Every fourth release will be assigned long term support.

  • STS (short term support) releases are supported for seven months. Their support ends one month after the next release of Joomla is released. They are one click upgrades to the next STS or LTS version.
  • LTS (long term support) releases are supported for twenty-seven months.

Please note that both STS and LTS releases, once they have reached the GA (General Availability) status, are fully functional and ready to be used in production environment. The disadvantage of using STS releases is that you will need to update your installation of Joomla! every six months, while the advantage is that you will have access to new features and extensions earlier.

Generally, the first STS release after an LTS release indicates the beginning of a new major release cycle. This STS release introduces fundamentally new features and changes that break compatibility with the previous LTS. Two more STS releases follow (usually compatible with the first STS release), and the release cycle is finished by the release of an LTS release which finalizes the work of the three STS releases. The four releases in one cycle will usually be numbered [major].0,[major].1 and [major].2 (STS) and [major].5 (LTS). For example, the STS release 3.0 will include breaking changes from 2.5, and 3.5 will include matured versions of the changes in 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2.

Usually, there will be a migration path (an officially supported way of migrating to the next version) between two LTS releases (from [major].5 to [next major].5) and between an LTS release and the STS releases in its major release cycle (from [major].2 to [major].5, for example), but not necessarily to the following STS releases (from [major].5 to [next major].0). In the case of 1.5 to 2.5 (LTS to LTS), for example, there is a migration path. Note that in the case of 2.5 to 3.0 (LTS to STS), there is also built-in migration path, since the changes aren't too incompatible.

For more information, see the official Development Strategy.

The latest STS version documented on this Wiki is 3.3.6 (see Category:Joomla! 3.3). The latest LTS version documented on this Wiki is 2.5.27 (see Category:Joomla! 2.5).


I'm building a brand new site. Should I launch a Joomla! 2.5 site or a 3.x site?

For new sites, the Joomla! 3 series is the preferred series and starting on it avoids an update from Joomla 2.5 later down the road. Starting on the Joomla 3 series for a new site, also provides you with longer backward compatible support (with one-click upgrades) than starting a new site on 2.5. Joomla 2.5 will reach EOL (end of life) 31 Dec 2014.

Sites that are currently on Joomla 2.5 are encouraged to start planning now for an upgrade to 3.3 or greater, unless you want to move over sooner to take advantage of Joomla 3’s new features. We’ve provided a one-click upgrade from Joomla 2.5 to any Joomla 3 version and you just have to make sure that all your extensions and template are compatible before upgrading. (See the “How do I find Joomla 3.x compatible extensions?” FAQ below for more information)


If I launch a Joomla! 3 site, will I be able to install extensions?

Yes, you will be able to install extensions compatible with Joomla 3.x. The Joomla Extension Directory (JED) will have a Joomla 3.x compatible icon to know which extensions are Joomla 3.x compatible; however, the best place to check is the developer’s site.


How do I get a Joomla! 3.x template?

Template companies are offering Joomla 3 templates right now taking advantage of Joomla 3's responsive design. Also, please note that some Joomla 2.5 templates will work in Joomla 3 without any issues or any changes needed. It's best to consult with the developers on this.


How do I find Joomla! 3.x compatible extensions?

Visit Joomla Extension Directory (JED), which will have Joomla 3.0 compatible icons to let you know which extensions are Joomla 3.x compatible; however, the best place to check is your extension developer’s site.


Will my Joomla! 2.5 extensions work with Joomla! 3.x?

Extensions that are native to Joomla 2.5 should work on Joomla 3.0 with very little change, if any. Components and templates will need the most work, while modules and plugins should work without issue (assuming they do not use deprecated methods). Extensions that support Joomla 2.5 and 1.5 in the same package will likely not work right away, until the developers update them for Joomla 3 compatibility.

In short, it depends on the extension. The Joomla Project has made the process relatively easy for most extensions, however for some extensions it’s going to take some work. To be certain, let the developers of the extensions know that you want to use their extension on Joomla 3 and consult with their documentation.


What happens if I launch a Joomla! 3.x site, but the extension I want is for a 2.5 site?

You need to speak with the extension developer to see if they have plans to release that extension for Joomla 3 in the immediate future. Developers do have to make some changes but how extensive they are depends on the extension.


Should I update from Joomla! 2.5 to 3.x?

In most cases, you will need to start planning on an upgrade to Joomla! 3.x. Joomla 2.5 will continue be supported until December 31st of 2014 and you can update directly to Joomla 3. Joomla is tried-and-tested thoroughly by other users already and stable for production sites now.

You will need to verify your template and components will work with Joomla 3.x before upgrading. All core components are upgrade ready right now.

Please see Why Migrate for more details on migration from 2.5 to 3.x.


I have a 2.5 site and I see a that the Joomla! update manager lets me upgrade to 3.x; should I do it since it’s letting me?

Not unless you’re 1000% sure. By default, Joomla will not let you update to 3.x unless you activate the option within the Joomla! Update component (administrator >> Component >> Joomla! Update >> Options >> Update server >> Short Term Support). If for some reason you’ve changed this, and you’d like the updater to stop letting you upgrade, change the setting to Long Term Support. After making this change, you’ll only receive updates for Joomla 2.5.

Notice: You should not upgrade from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x unless you are certain that all of your additionally installed extensions (from third party developers), especially templates, are Joomla 3.x ready or have a Joomla 3.x version that you can upgrade to. You should only upgrade from 2.5 to 3.x on a development site not on your live site. See Why Migrate and follow the pages for more information on upgrading from 2.5 to 3.x.


What’s next after Joomla 3.0?

Joomla 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and more. Joomla's new development strategy is announced here, please read the full text of the development strategy for more information.

A quick summary, if you are using any version of Joomla except Joomla 3.3.6, you should consider updating or migrating ASAP! There will no longer be a Long Term Support Version with a .5 designation. The latest version of Joomla is the Long Term Support Version. See Joomla! CMS versions for a listing of current and future releases.

Joomla 1.5 has not been supported for since the end of 2012 and Joomla 2.5 will reach EOL (end of life) 31 Dec 2014. Simply, you should be using Joomla 3.3.6.


Okay, I’m ready and want to upgrade. How do I do the upgrade?

  • First, review the system requirements for Joomla 3.x and make sure that your server environment meets those requirements.
  • Second, make sure that all your extensions (especially, your templates) are Joomla 3.x compatible.
  • Third, create a test site and test the upgrade on the test site first.
  • Fourth, consult a trusted developer if you’re not 100% certain about anything.
  • Fifth, make a full backup of your site (files and database).

Once ready, go to the Joomla! Update component. Click on options and change the setting to Short Term Support. Save. You should be notified of the availability of Joomla 3.x. Click the button to install. Clear your browser’s cache to make sure you see the latest changes. That’s it!

Finally, double check and make sure that everything is working properly.

See Planning for Mini-Migration - Joomla 2.5 to 3.x and Joomla 2.5 to 3.x Step by Step Migration for detailed instructions.

Note: On some hosts you may need to use alternative update methods such as using the extensions installer.


But what if I’m on Joomla 1.5. Will my site break? Do I migrate to 2.5 or the current version of 3?

OK, final question. Where can I get more information about Joomla 3?

You can get more information at http://www.joomla.org/3.


We hope you enjoy Joomla 3 as much as we do! Thanks for reading this FAQ.

FAQ Contributors:

Gary Jay Brooks, Nick Savov, Elin Waring, Jon Neubauer, Guillermo Bravo

FAQ Reviewers:

Sully Sullivan, Michael Babker, Andrea Tarr, Mark Dexter, Brian Teeman