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Joomla 3 – An Introduction

The Framework that Joomla 3 requires.

Recommended PHP version 5.3 Minimum PHP version PHP 5.2.4

Recommended MySQL version 5.0.4 Minimum MySQL version 5.0.4

Recommended Apache (with mod_mysql, mod_xml,and mod_zlib) 2.X Minimum Apache (with mod_mysql, mod_xml,and mod_zlib) 2.X.

Do check the versions of PHP, MySQL and Apache currently in use by your hosting company. This can usually be checked via:

  • The cPanel ( or Plesk panel ) of your website
  • By sending an Email querying the version numbers of PHP, MySQL and Apache currently in use
  • Speaking to the hosting company on phone and querying the version numbers of PHP, MySQL and Apache currently in use

Of the three techniques mentioned here I prefer to use cPanel or Plesk panel.

NOTE: Only when you’ve verified that the delivery framework of your current hosting company is a good fit with Joomla 3 should you consider upgrading to Joomla 3.

Prior Actually Upgrading Here Is Some Food For Thought

Prior taking the decision to upgrade a production website based on Joomla 2.5 its best to understand the differences between:

  • Joomla 2.5.X – At the time of content creation Joomla 2.5.7

And

  • Joomla 3 – At the time of content creation Joomla 3

This is especially necessary if the Joomla 2.5.X website uses a multiple extensions taken from the Joomla extensions directory and/or has had extensions specifically created to deliver specific functionality required by the Joomla 2.5.X website.

The Good News

Joomla extensions that are native to Joomla 2.5.X should work on Joomla 3 with very little change, if any.

Modules and Plugins native to Joomla 2.5.X should work without issues on Joomla 3.
NOTE: This is assuming these modules or plugins do not make calls to methods that have been deprecated in Joomla 3 libraries.

The Not So Good News

Components and templates will definitely need to have some degree of re-coding.

While Joomla 3 has made the process of creating extension relatively easier when compared to Joomla 2.5.X, some extensions currently available for Joomla 2.5.X are going to require some recoding to work perfectly.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to query the extension developers via their Contact Us / Tech Forums. Do let the extension developers know that you want to use their extension on Joomla 3.

How Are Joomla Versions Going To Be Supported?

Just so that you know Joomla 2.5.X ( which included 1.6 and 1.7 due to naming conflicts ) will be supported for about 3 years, i.e. January 2011 when Joomla 2.X.X was released until spring 2014.

Joomla 3 will also have about 3 years of support. Migrating Joomla 3.0 to 3 to 3.5 will be one click upgrades. The transitions overall should be smooth for users and extension developers.

Should I Migrate A Joomla 2.5.X Website Right Away?

Launch a Joomla 3 driven website only if all the extensions required by that website are Joomla 3 compatible.

NOTE: Only some template providers and/or the extension vendors were ready for Joomla 3.0 when it was launched, most will not be ready until days, weeks or months after launch.

Just to be completely sure, create a list of plugins, extensions, components currently in use on a Joomla 2.5.X website and check with the Joomla Extensions directory for Joomla 3 compatibility or better yet contact and query the creators via their websites.

Once you are completely sure that all templates, plugins, extensions, components are Joomla 3 compatible then go right ahead and migrate the Joomla 2.5.X production site, otherwise wait for a while until all you need is Joomla 3 compatible and then upgrade to Joomla 3.

NOTE: While the Joomla Extension Directory (JED) will have Joomla 3.0 compatible icons to indicate which extensions are Joomla 3.0 compatible, the best place to check is on the developer’s website.

Joomla Template Compatibility

Multiple template companies are offering Joomla 3 templates.

Since these are early days do consider contacting each template creator and ask them about 100% compatibility with Joomla 3.

It’s also worth noting that some Joomla 2.5.X templates will work in Joomla 3 without any issues or any coding changes being required.

Okay So What Are The Differences Between J2.5.X and J3?

The Joomla 3 installer is new. This difference will be noticed during the installation process of Joomla 3.

There is a totally re-crafted Joomla Administrator User interface. Its design is modern with many simple and user friendly user interfaces for the Joomla administrator to use.

Joomla 3 is mobile friendly and can be accessed by any modern device, iPad, iPhone, Android tablets, Android smart phones and so on.

Joomla 3 has jQuery support at last.

Joomla 3 is packed with goodies for extension developers that should encourage extension developers to support Joomla 3 quickly.

May 5, 2016
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