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Joomla 4 and 3.10 released!

 Important: You can upgrade your CB 2.6.2 site to Joomla 3.10 as usual (backup first as usual).
But do not upgrade to Joomla 4.0 before reading this until the end.

Joomla 4 stable and Joomla 3.10 have been released!

August 17th was a major milestone for the Joomla community - much more than just a 16th birthday!

A full nine years in the making, Joomla 4 looks like it's got what it takes to take the Joomla CMS and its community to new levels of greatness.

First off - let's just state for the record: Community Builder 2.6.2 and all our Joomlapolis add-ons are Joomla 4 ready - our demo site has already been upgraded to CB 2.6.2 and Joomla 3.10.

You can also learn more about these new releases by reading the Joomla announcement.

The main benefits / new features

From an end user perspective the Joomla 4 tagline benefits / new features are:

  • Joomla4SEO - Search Engine Optimization built into the page and included in the core code - no need for extra extensions
  • Joomla4Design - slick new administrator user interface gives clean and slick access to content editing and website page layouts
  • Joomla4Speed - increased performance
  • Joomla4Search - built-in search engine for locating content
  • Joomla4Workflows - content creation and publishing workflows
  • Joomla4Accessibility - best in class accessibility - layout, contrast, and infrastructure all have built-in accessibility (WCAG 2.1)
  • Joomla4Security - well written, state-of-the-art code helps keep maximize security and keep hackers out
  • Joomla4Emails - customizable email templates for notification events generated by the CMS
  • Joomla4Multilingual - built-in support for multi-language content and websites and a huge list of already supported language translations

There are many more benefits included (mobile ready, content editor with local menus and drag-and-drop images, tags, etc.).

What's in for the Future

We are excited to see that new Joomla 4.x features-releases are now planned every 6 months, with exciting new features and improvements in their final stages, most will be ready for inclusion in future Joomla 4.1 and 4.2 releases. We are seeing Joomla getting into a new innovation cycle.

What's in it for Extension Developers

If you are reading this article you are most likely using Community Builder and possibly some related add-ons (thank you!).

The power of Joomla has traditionally been its third-party developers. These skilled individuals or companies have been bridging the gap in terms of features needed for specific use cases versus what the CMS itself can provide out of the box. Let's face it - no CMS can (nor should it really) provide every imaginable feature website designers need. That is why the CMS itself provides a rich API environment - to enable these talented third-party teams to quickly provide extra functionality - quickly and securely.

The Joomla project has provided a pseudo marketplace where third-party teams can list their code offerings in an organized and community driven feedback environment - the Joomla! Extensions Directory. Joomla, of course is free, but extension take time and effort to build and maintain (trust us on this - we have been doing this for almost 20 years - since the pre-Joomla Mambo CMS days). These third-party developers make their living / recoup their expenses by either charging a fee for people to get their extension or when people ask for support. As the demand for extensions and support increases, the number of third-party developers and new extensions increases also.

Joomla 4 is expected to increase the number of Joomla websites designed and this should have a very positive impact on the third-party developer community. According to Google, Joomla searches were up over 20% last week alone!

Yes, the hype regarding the new slick Joomla 4 environment will give third-party developers a marketing boost, but that's not all.

The modern Joomla codeset and development environment will attract more third-party developers. Joomla has provided some really great tools to help developers. The Joomla 4.0 now has the framework that will take it forward. It's generalized use of clean software patterns, such as dependency injection, webservices, workflows, object-oriented design with fully namespaced classes sets Joomla 4 clearly years ahead of most other popular CMS platforms. The minimum PHP version jumps from PHP 5.3 to 7.2, with support for PHP 8.x+ series, using modern programing language structures. Additionally, Joomla 4 uses selected parts of many trending libraries, such as Composer, Symfony, Doctrine, Bootstrap 5, modern native Javascript and deprecates older libraries like JQuery. This sounds like great music and will be appealing and fun to use for many web developers.

Let's recap

Joomla 4 is for many reasons a major milestone in the still very young Joomla roadmap. The number of new built-in features and functionality on one hand and the new code set on the other should propel the Joomla community (users and developers) forward. Time will tell of course, but the roadmap for Joomla 4.1 and 4.2 looks very promising.

Planing the Joomla 4 upgrade

The release of Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 ends the maintenance cycle of Joomla 3.9, released almost 3 years ago. Joomla 3.9.x to 3.10.x is a minor upgrade and 3.10 will be maintained for 24 months, so there no rush to upgrade from 3.10 to 4.0. We recommend upgrading Joomla to latest 3.10 and CB to latest 2.6.2 compatibility release (backup first as usual).

The upgrade from Joomla 3.10 to 4.0 is an in-place mini-migration that requires at least CB 2.6.2, but also planing, testing on a clone, and a tested backup before upgrading. This upgrade to 4.0 should start by reading the Joomla 3.10 to 4.x upgrade guide and reviewing the compatibility of your extensions. Incompatible extensionstemplates and custom template overrides may well break your site.

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