Difference between revisions of "Joomla 3 FAQ"

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==[[What are the major differences between Joomla! 2.5 and 3.x?|What are the major differences between Joomla! 2.5 and 3?]]==
==[[What are the major differences between Joomla! 2.5 and 3.x?|What are the major differences between Joomla! 2.5 and 3?]]==
{{:What are the major differences between Joomla! 2.5 and 3.x?}}
{{:What are the major differences between Joomla! 2.5 and 3.x?}}
==[[How long is each Joomla! version supported?]]==
==[[Release_and_support_cycle|How long is each Joomla! version supported?]]==
{{:How long is each Joomla! version supported?}}
==[[Should I launch a Joomla! 2.5 site or a 3.x site?|I'm building a brand new site. Should I launch a Joomla! 2.5 site or a 3.x site?]]==
==[[Should I launch a Joomla! 2.5 site or a 3.x site?|I'm building a brand new site. Should I launch a Joomla! 2.5 site or a 3.x site?]]==

Revision as of 14:15, 10 November 2013

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

<translate> 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. </translate>

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

  • <translate>

A new installer which you will notice when creating a new Joomla! 3.x install.</translate>

  • <translate>

Joomla! 3 is packed with goodies for extension developers, such as Bootstrap support and jQuery support.</translate>

Joomla! 3.1

  • <translate>


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! 3.3

  • <translate>


Joomla! 3.4


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



Joomla! 3.5

</translate> <translate>

  • 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.</translate>

How long is each Joomla! version supported?

<translate> Stable Version</translate>

<translate> 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. </translate>

<translate> 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. </translate>


  • 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]


<translate> Each major version of Joomla! is supported by The Joomla! ProjectTM for a limited amount of time, begenning 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: </translate>


  • 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]


<translate> 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. </translate>


Version Numbering Explained

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


<translate> 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. </translate>

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

<translate> 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. </translate>

<translate> 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) </translate>

<translate> See also: Why Migrate and all the related pages.</translate>

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

<translate> 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. </translate>

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

<translate> 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. </translate>

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

<translate> 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. </translate>

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

<translate> series</translate>

<translate> 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. </translate>

<translate> 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. </translate>

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

<translate> 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?

<translate> 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. </translate>

<translate> 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. </translate>

<translate> Please see Why Migrate for more details on migration from 2.5 to 3.x. </translate>

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?

<translate> 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. </translate>

<translate> 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. </translate>

What’s next after Joomla 3.0?

<translate> 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. </translate>

<translate> A quick summary, if you are using any version of Joomla! except Joomla 3.5.1, 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. </translate>

<translate> 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! 3.5.1. </translate>

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).


<translate> 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. </translate>

<translate> 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. </translate>

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?

<translate> The following are step by step instructions to migrate your 1.5 site to Joomla 3.x. While there are many ways to migrate your site, this will give you the basic procedure to follow.</translate>

<translate>== Intro == </translate>

<translate> The migration from Joomla! 1.5 to 3.x is a major migration. There are many changes in features and database tables between these two version. It is NOT a one-click update. You will be building/installing a fresh Joomla! 3 installation and then migrating (moving) your data into it. If you haven't already, you may want to start with the Self Assessment and Planning documents.</translate>

<translate> Let’s first distinguish between Joomla Core data and third-party extension data. Joomla Core data (components) are:</translate>


  • Categories
  • Articles
  • Menus
  • Modules (core modules - not third-party)
  • Banners
  • Contacts
  • Messaging
  • Newsfeeds
  • Redirect
  • Search
  • Smart Search
  • Weblinks


<translate>== Step by Step == </translate> <translate> Moving Joomla core data is fairly straight-forward with the use of a migration tool. Everything else is a third-party extension or a custom built extension. This includes the template. Each third-party extension needs to be researched to determine if it’s ready for Joomla 3.x and has a migration path or not. You may have done this in the planning process. If not, you will need to do it now. Some third-party extensions can be migrated with a third-party tool. Some cannot. Read. Research. Plan.</translate>

<translate> Since there are many ways to migrate data and each site is different, the exact steps are going to be slightly different for every site.</translate>

<translate>=== Prepare a Location for Joomla 3 === </translate>


  1. Make sure your server environment meets the technical specifications for Joomla! 3 before proceeding.</translate>

Note: If your host does not meet the technical requirements, you will need to change hosts. If you need to change hosts, then set up a new hosting account on a host that meets the technical specs and install your fresh Joomla 3.x site in the root of the server on a temporary domain. This will make it easier when it’s time to go live. Alternatively, you can set up a development location on a local device (see below).</translate>

  1. <translate>

Create a new database and new user for your Joomla! 3.x site. Document the database name, database username and database password as you’ll need it when you install Joomla 3</translate>.

<translate>=== Set up a Development Location === </translate> <translate>

  1. Create a testing site or build area to work in with one of the following:
    • A subdomain
    • A subdirectory
    • A local device via WAMP, MAMP, LAMP, XAMPP.
    • A new hosting account on a temporary domain in the root (if you would like to change hosts in the process of migration)


  1. Install a fresh installation of the latest version of Joomla 3.x into your testing site location using your new database name and database username. (Get the latest version of Joomla! 3)</translate>


<translate> NOTE: If you will be migrating any of the core extensions that will be decoupled from Joomla! 3.4+, then you will need to install Joomla 3.x AND the core supported extension. Core supported extensions will be accessible via the JED ( and via the Install from web tab of the Extension Manager. Make sure you install any core supported extensions before migrating data. See the Roadmap for more details on what will be decoupled/removed.</translate>


  1. Run a backup of your Joomla 3 site. (Backup Basics for a Joomla! Web Site or see Suggested Tools)</translate>

<translate>=== Prepare Your Current 1.5 Site === </translate> <translate>

  1. On your 1.5 site, update it to the latest version 1.5.26 after backing it up.
  2. Empty the trash in the content manager (sections, categories, articles), menu manager, module manager.
  3. Clean up your sections, categories, articles, modules, menu items. Make sure they all have unique aliases. Empty the trash again if necessary.</translate>

NOTE: Sections no longer exist in Joomla 3. Sections become a parent Category. Categories become nested categories of the parent category.</translate>


  1. Notify users that any changes on the current site from this point forward will have to be reentered on the new site. For very complex migrations with changing data constantly, see this magazine article and this video.</translate>

<translate>=== Choose a migration tool === </translate> <translate>

  1. There are many migration tools. Some are free, some cost a bit of money. Some only migrate certain data. Some migrate more types of data than others.
  2. Each migration tool will have their own step by step documentation on how to move data (if they don’t then don’t use it). Some migration tools will require the 1.5 site and 3 site on the same server. If you’re switching hosts, you will want to restore a *subdomain* of your 1.5 site on your new hosting account to pull the data from. Then kill it when you’re done.
  3. Migration tools can be found at the Extension Directory.</translate>


  1. When you choose a tool, choose one that allows you to keep the ItemIDs the same in the migration process. This is necessary to keep your search engine ranking intact or you may have more redirects to do. More information on redirects follow.
  2. If you have a small site, you may want to do the migration manually. Create categories and articles and copy the html over into your new site. Then copy the image directory over. Keep the /stories directory or your image links will be broken until you fix each one.
  3. One of the migration tools (a free one) allows you to bring articles and only images associated with those articles over. This is helpful if your Media Manager is out of control.</translate>

<translate>=== Migration === </translate> <translate>

  1. Migrate all core data you want to move to Joomla 3.x. If your migration tool asks to move Sections and Categories, definitely do both. The conversion will happen to categories and nested categories automatically.
  2. Run the Database Fix by going to Extension Manager  Database and click the Fix button in the top toolbar.
  3. Install your new template or converted template so that you can see your content. See more about Template Considerations.</translate>


  1. Add new menus if the tool you chose to use didn’t bring over menus. If you want to use split menus, set that up now.
  2. Add modules if the tool you chose to use didn’t bring over modules. If the tool you chose to use did bring over modules, change the module positions to the positions in your new template if required so that your modules show up and you can see what you’re working with.</translate>


  1. Check for duplicate alias issues and fix them.
  2. Check your internal links. If any are broken, fix them.
  3. Take a backup.
  4. Install other third-party extensions and configure them (like editors, Akeeba backup, slideshows, or plugins).
  5. Take a backup.</translate>


  1. If you have large extensions with data to migrate, do each one according to the developer documentation and then take a backup after each one.
  2. If your migration tool didn’t move the images, you will want to move your images from the 1.5 site to the 3.x site. Note: keep the /stories directory unless you want to relink all your images. You can start a new organisational structure in the /images directory from here forward if stories is a mess.</translate>


  1. Recommended but not required unless you have issues: Fix asset issues. See below for a helpful tool.
  2. If you are going to add anything to your site or use new core features like Tags, get them set up and configured at this time.</translate>


  1. Check your URLs on the Joomla 3 site and compare to the Joomla 1.5 site. If they are different, document each (an excel spreadsheet is helpful) 1.5 URL and what Joomla 3.x URL they will be going to so that you can do redirects and keep your ranking. See:</translate>



  1. Take a backup.
  2. Check everything.
  3. Clean up more.
  4. Test everything.
  5. Take a backup.
  6. Move or change or add updated data from the 1.5 site to the Joomla 3 site.
  7. Add google analytics to the template or use a third-party plugin.
  8. Check Global Configuration and make sure all is as it should be.</translate>


  1. Take a final backup of the Joomla 3.x site.
  2. Take a final backup of the 1.5 site.
  3. Move your 1.5 site from the root to another subdomain or subdirectory or simply delete it (this is so that you have it again for a brief time if you need to refer to it).</translate>


  1. Backup and restore using a suggested tool (below) or simply move files to restore your 3.x site to the root of your hosting.</translate>

NOTE: If you are changing hosts, then you can leave your Joomla 3.x site where it is and simply change nameservers on the domain to make it live. Make sure you’ve addressed any email issues first.</translate>


  1. Enable .htaccess if necessary for SEF URLs.
  2. Create a sitemap and submit to Google Webmaster Tools or any other search engine you would like.
  3. Do all your redirects from the spreadsheet you created earlier for URLs that changed in the migration process.</translate>


  1. Make any other changes that needed to wait until the 3.x site was live.
  2. Test again.
  3. Take another backup.
  4. Kill any instance(s) of the 1.5 site as soon as possible.</translate>


  1. Remove all other dev sites you may have been working with or keep them up-to-date if they are running a current version in order to ward off hack attempts on your server.
  2. Welcome to Joomla! 3.x!</translate>

<translate>== Suggested Tools == </translate>


<translate> </translate>

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

<translate> You can get more information at</translate>

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
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