Joomla 3 FAQ

From Joomla! Documentation

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What is different 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:

  • A new installer which you will notice when creating a new Joomla! 3.x install.
  • Joomla! 3 is packed with goodies for extension developers, such as Bootstrap support and jQuery support.

Joomla! 3.9

  • Privacy System
  • Action Logging System
  • API Features
  • Log Rotation Plugin
  • Argon2id Password
  • Google Invisible reCAPTCHA
  • List of all new improvements

Joomla! 3.8

  • New Routing System
  • Joomla! 4 Compatibility Layer
  • Improved Sample Data Installation
  • Codebase review
  • Sodium Encryption Support
  • List of all new features

Joomla! 3.7

  • Custom Fields
  • Multilingual Associations Component
  • Article creation within the menu item
  • Backend Menu Manager
  • TinyMCE Improvements
  • Share sessions between backend and frontend
  • Allow packages to declare that their child extensions cannot be uninstalled
  • List of all new features

Joomla! 3.6

  • Show all menu items
  • Menu type ACL
  • Improved UX
  • Categories on the fly
  • Subform field
  • Improved Joomla! Updates
  • Allow stream connections to support proxies
  • Build more complex database queries with new database query classes
  • Delete all cache
  • Delete and rebuild Extension Update Sites
  • Easier template development with deeper JLayout integrations
  • htaccess authentication for calls
  • Improved Storage of dynamic JavaScript variables
  • Improved Validation performance
  • jQuery Update
  • More Extension Details in System info
  • Multilanguage ToS
  • New “Showon” Option for fieldsets in component config
  • New Log folder (for new installs only)
  • New positioning settings for Bootstrap tooltips extended
  • Protostar adds a new override for the Site Offline Page
  • Reverse Caching Support
  • SASS & SCSS File Support in Joomla! Template Manager
  • Updated version of the CodeMirror editor.

Joomla! 3.5

  • PHP 7 Support
  • Update Notifications via Email
  • System Information Export
  • Drag & Drop Images
  • Anonymised System Data
  • Easily Insert Modules in Articles
  • Item counter (+ click through filter) in Category Manager
  • Random category blog and list order view.

Joomla! 3.4

  • Front-end Module Editing,
  • Decoupling com_weblinks,
  • Composer Integration,
  • Core en-GB standardisation...

Joomla! 3.3

  • Microdata

Joomla! 3.2

  • Content version control
  • Many user interface improvements
  • Easy multi-lingual setup for 64 officially supported languages
  • Built-in Joomla! Extensions Finder as an onsite interface to the Joomla! Extensions Directory (that currently lists over 6,000 extensions) providing one-click extensions installation
  • Increased security with strong passwords and two step authentication
  • New rapid development framework for new extension coding

Joomla! 3.1

  • Tags

How long is each Joomla! version supported?

Stable Version

This page provides a summary of the current development strategy published on 25 April 2014. All Joomla versions released before 25 April 2014 have been developed according to previous release and support cycle. You should read the full text of the Joomla Development Strategy for a more detailed explanation.

Joomla! is developed following Semantic Versioning (2.0.0). The use of LTS (Long Term Support) and STS (Short Term Support) is no longer relevant or observed. The terms found directly below will be used for clarity. You should understand these terms and their meanings.

  • supported - latest minor version(s) of a major version will receive patches which will include bug and security fixes
  • current - the youngest or 'latest' major.x.x officially released version
  • legacy - any major.minor.patch version(s) which are not the current version[1]
  • stable - major version ready for use in a production environment implied with current and legacy[2]
  • EOS - an acronym for end of support which indicates no further patches will be released for bugs or security fixes
  • EOL - an acronym for end of life which indicates the same meaning as EOS[3]

Each major version of Joomla! is supported by The Joomla! ProjectTM for a limited amount of time, beginning from the initial date of its official release. Joomla will actively develop each major version for a minimum of 2 years. This may be followed by continued development of a major version as per scheduled on a major version's roadmap.[4] A short summary would be:

  • each major version will have a minimum of 4 years of support
  • you should always use or update to the latest major version's minor.patch
  • each minor version update released is backwards compatible with the previous minor version of the same major version[5]

Please use the Joomla! CMS Development Roadmap or the Joomla! CMS versions chart to determine the estimated EOS (end of support) for each major.minor version(s) or the entire major version.

Version Numbering Explained

The version identifiers for Joomla follow a three level numerical convention where the levels are defined by the software change significance.


These 3 levels are defined as:

  1. An increment in the major version identifier indicates a break in backward compatibility.
  2. An increment in the minor version identifier indicates the addition of new features or a significant change to existing features.
  3. An increment in the patch version identifier indicates that bugs have been fixed.


You are using Joomla version 3.3.6. This means your version is major version 3, minor version 3, patch version 6. If a patch is released for 3.3.6, it would increase your Joomla version to 3.3.7. If a new minor version for major version 3 is released, your new Joomla version would become 3.4.0. This page will always show the current stable supported version of Joomla, including the minor and patch, in the top right corner.

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

Joomla! 2.5 reached EOS (end of support) the 31 Dec 2014. That means that since that day it will recieve no further attention or support from the Joomla! Project. No more maintenance or security releases. So you should not start a new site with Joomla! 2.5, but always Joomla! 3.3 or greater.

Sites that are currently on Joomla! 2.5 are encouraged to start planning now for a migration to 3.3 or greater now. 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 with Joomla! 3.x before upgrading. See Planning for Mini-Migration - Joomla 2.5 to 3.x (See the “How do I find Joomla 3.x compatible extensions?” FAQ below for more information)

See also: Why Migrate and all the related pages.

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! Extensions 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 at present, 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, but some will not. It's best to consult with the template's developer on this.

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

Visit Joomla! Extensions 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 ASAP. Joomla! 2.5 has reached EOS (end of support) as of December 31st of 2014. Joomla 3 is stable and should be the choice for production sites.

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 3.10.12, 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 is EOS (end of support) since 31 Dec 2014. Simply, you should be using Joomla! 3.10.12.

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

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


  1. Note, legacy is a term used to only designate the status of a version in relation to the current version. Users and developers should pay close attention to the EOS date(s) to determine the viability of legacy version use or continued use.
  2. Version(s) marked with alpha, beta or rc (release candidate) should be used for testing only.
  3. EOS may be used interchangeably with EOL. Either term indicates the end of support and nothing more. Do not confuse EOL to mean the software will cease to work.
  4. The full explanation of supported releases can be found under the heading 4.3 Supported Releases on the Joomla Development Strategy document.
  5. An extension or template installed on major.0.x version will work on major.7.x version. Extension or template are created by a 3rd party developer and their updates are the responsibility of each developer to publish. The installation of extension or template updates are the responsibility of the user.