The new and improved Joomla 3 is now up and running. Our favourite open source CMS is set to impress and website administrators and developers alike will benefit from myriad new features on both the front and back-end.
Joomla release cycle
In the past, Joomla has followed a pattern of short term support (STS) releases followed by a long term release version that is supported for two years (LTS). Joomla users of days gone by may remember having a 1.5 or 2.5 website version both of which were Long term releases.
In Joomla 3 this approach has been ditched for a new process of smaller incremental version updates. This is great news for those who have either upgraded to Joomla 3 or are currently having a new website built in this version, - as future version upgrades will be a lot easier and take a lot less time thanks to the implementation of framework on framework (FoF).
Key new features
New look administrator area
The administrator area has had a UX makeover, making it easier to use than ever, with a modern look and feel.
Highlights of the new features include:
- A complete back-end redesign with a UX focus
- Drag and drop menu rearranging
- A simplified (much faster) module assignment process for creating menu items
- A polished article management interface with advanced search and filtering options
- Quick links on the dashboard to commonly used features
- A responsive administration area
In version 3, the backend also comes responsive as standard. This means that the interface will respond automatically to whichever device you are using when you access it. This feature increases flexibility for website administrators - if you’re out and about and need to quickly alter content on your site, you’ll be able to make real-time updates via your tablet or phone.
Image only articles
In Joomla 2.5, articles needed to have body text included to allow an administrator to save it. In Joomla 3, this is no longer necessary. This is useful for two reasons: the first is that you can plan out the content and structure of a website before populating the article with copy, the second is that you can create image board articles that don’t require any text at all. This is particularly useful for those in the creative industry, namely photographers and designers.
Think security - it's supported
The most important reason to build your new site or upgrade your old site to 3 is that it is the most secure version, and the Joomla community will be supporting it until December 2016. As of December 2014, Joomla 2.5 will no longer be supported. This means that any vulnerability found in the Content Management System (CMS) or subsequent 2.5 components will not receive a security update. As such, sites that have not been upgraded to 3 will be at a higher risk of being compromised.
Top tip: If your website is in Joomla version 2.5, it is highly recommended that you include an upgrade to 3 in your budget for the next financial year.
We're pretty excited!
Joomla 3 is shaping up nicely with many outstanding features. If you’re as excited as we are and want to learn more, you can find a complete list of the top 20 new features here