Update PHP and Joomla!
It is important to keep software up-to-date because you cannot work optimally with software that contains errors. Errors in software that can be abused by third parties are a security problem.
A Content Management System such as Joomla is software. Such a CMS runs on a web server that uses the PHP programming language and MySQL database. Because a web server is accessible to the outside world, it is even more important to keep the software up-to-date.
PHP 7.4 stops
Many web servers still use PHP 7.4 or older. As of 28 November 2021, development of PHP 7.4 has stopped and no more improvements for minor bugs will be released. After 28 November 2022 also stops the support of PHP 7.4 with security patches (improvements for security problems). It is therefore recommended to switch to PHP 8.0 before the end of November.
The current PHP version is PHP 8.0. Old PHP code may contain instructions that are no longer supported by PHP 8.0. The most recent versions of Joomla 3.10.x and 4.x both work fine on PHP 8.0. Make sure Joomla is updated to the latest Joomla version before porting PHP 7.4 to PHP 8.0.
Extensions (3rd party extensions) such as components, modules, plugins and templates are a different story. Depending on its age, an extension will be compatible or not. Make sure the most recent version of the extension is installed before the transition from PHP 7.4 to PHP 8.0. Empty white pages or PHP error messages may indicate incompatible code. Sometimes such errors are fairly easy to fix.
Joomla 3 support ends
Joomla 3.0.0 was released on 27 September 2012. After 10 years and 10 series, the last version with improvements was released on 17 August 2022: Joomla 3.10.11. Further Joomla 3 development has stopped because Joomla 4 is now the version being developed. At least until 17 August 2023, Joomla 3.10 will be supported with security patches, should any security problems be discovered in the Joomla 3 core.
Joomla 4.0.0 was released on 16 August 2021. It contains the functionality of Joomla 3 with many improvements:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Improved search functionality and search interface via Smart Search
- Email templates for customising default email notifications
- New back-end
- New standard responsive front-end template
- Shortcut keys
- Task Scheduler
- Webservices API
- Secure login with Multifactor login
It is recommended to upgrade to Joomla 4. Joomla 3 has a compatibility test that allows you to test the installed extensions for Joomla 4. Do not do a migration on the live site. Use a copy of the website to perform a test migration.
We haven't experiences issues with the migration of the most recent versions of:
- Akeeba Backup
- JCE editor
- RSForms Pro
Most common problems:
- Old templates containing template overrides
- Old extensions using outdated PHP/Joomla 3 code
Since Joomla 3.7 there is a new functionality in the Joomla core: "Custom Fields". Many 3rd party extensions are actually not needed anymore if you use Custom Fields smartly.
We will contact our customers soon to discuss the possibilities of PHP and Joomla upgrades.