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Why move to Joomla 5 now...

2024---JCM-Template-move-to-joomla-5

Joomla 5 was released back in October 2023 and after some 8 months of being out in the world, it is definitely the best version of Joomla and probably any CMS that is out there… (I can hear the pros/cons arguments already) 

The reality is that while some agencies, companies and the like supporting customers have moved all of their client websites to Joomla 5, that is currently a pretty small portion of all of the websites running Joomla.

CMS fragmentation is a real thing as much so as mobile operating system fragmentation (how many versions of Android are there in the wild: > than 50 😱) and it is neither a good thing for the project or the users… more versions to support means the inability with finite resources to maintain and work on a new better, faster, more secure and improved CMS.

Updating on paper is easy but there are of course some barriers… some barriers are easy to get past, some are more complicated…

Often mentioned barriers when it comes to Joomla 5 are:

1. My hosting does not support MySQL 8 

To be honest that is the least good reason not to upgrade - there are several hundred hosting companies out there - many of which are even eco-responsible who either have direct support for MySQL 8 or offer a cloud alternative to get a MySQL 8 database until their shared hosting supports it. 

2. My template has not been updated to Joomla 5

Also, today, with some 1402 Joomla 5 compatible templates (thank you templatejoomla.com) that barrier falls quickly ESPECIALLY knowing that you can use Joomla 5’s built-in template Cassiopeia or a framework and/or Page Builder mentioned here.

Where things get a bit more complicated but not insurmountable …

3. My components/module/plugins has not been updated to Joomla 5

While of course not every component, module, plugin has yet to be updated to Joomla 5, there are hundreds even thousands of them that have or that were compatible with Joomla 4 and already work in Joomla 5 (thanks in part to Joomla 5's B/C (Backward Compatibility) plugin) but there are also quality alternative options like Component Creators that allow you to pretty easily - almost no-code style - let you build your own. 

An upgrade or update to Joomla 5 might also be a great opportunity as well to re-think things a bit and either use some of the new features of Joomla 4 or 5, which would allow you to not be as dependent on an external resource or reduce or replace the number of components/modules/plugins. Something that may not be obvious but that is very true, especially compared to Joomla 2.5 or 3, the current Joomla 5.1.x core can do so many more things with its custom fields, workflows, tags etc that were just not possible before…

Now that we have set the decor a bit… let’s talk about WHY you would want to upgrade because after all there has to be some good reasons to take the time and effort to do so and there are a bunch of them…

With Joomla 5.1.x, you will have:

1. improved performance and speed due to modern coding practices and optimization of the latest PHP 8.2+ versions.

1b. this is especially true if you can have your website run Joomla 5 in what I call pure mode - meaning without the need for the B/C (Backward Compatibility) plugin.

2. better accessibility and compliance with web standards like WCAG, making Joomla 5 more inclusive for users with disabilities.

3. access to a streamlined user experience with a cleaner, more intuitive admin interface and better content editing experience. It might take you a couple of days or weeks to get used to especially if you come from Joomla 2.5 or 3 but after that adjustment period you will truly appreciate it !

Bonus: if you enjoy Dark Mode, the seriously updated Dark Mode under Joomla 5.1 is stellar and beautiful. (And for the interim period, you can adjust a setting in the Administrator Menu module or add a plugin that temporarily brings back an admin menu that you might be more familiar with).

4. better and easier SEO capabilities and results which also means better visibility for your service, product(s) or website.

5. enhanced security with up-to-date libraries, frameworks, features and coding best practices to protect against vulnerabilities.

6. an improved multilingual support and better handling of translations across the platform. Very appreciated if you have larger multi-lingual sites and if you want to go beyond the built-in feature, quality solutions are already updated to Joomla 5 to enhance that experience.

7. a modernized codebase adhering to current PHP standards, making it easier for new developers to contribute and maintain.

8. a built-in and ever growing Guided Tours system to help you and your users be more familiar with and use Joomla 5.x better.

9. an organized release schedule following Semantic Version 2.0.0 - a fancy way of saying that each major version of Joomla is supported for a minimum of 4 years giving you ample time to plan your upgrade. 

and perhaps, most importantly a strong, capable and friendly community of Joomla contributors, enthusiasts, developers, integrators etc able to assist you.

Like I wrote in a previous article, the future is bright for Joomla 5+ and will be even better with you in it.

So, why not join the Official Joomla Mattermost community (for some help with that, read up on this article or this one) (or if you prefer the forums that works too or if you are into more mainstream social media like Discord (unofficial))... whatever works to help you make your way to the best Joomla version yet!

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Comments 2

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Pierre Burri-Wittke on Monday, 01 July 2024 11:12
about "1. My hosting does not support MySQL 8"

to be honest as well, yes, changing the provider is easy, but... with a website there is also one or many domains and also eventually many e-mail accounts. At the end one has to thinks twice before moving to another provider, and in addition someone has to pay for it ;-)
On MacOS and Mamp Pro, the is still no official version which support MySQL 8.0+ or MariaDB 10.4.0+
To me, it is the first time that I couldn't test easily Joomla! 5, like every other Joomla! before. I wished that MySQL 8 would have been only a strong advice, but not mandatory.
I'm using Joomla! since the absolute first version, writing my own templates and even sometime witting some extensions, just to say that I am still a Joomla! fan. But these decisions like to make MySQL 8.0+ mandatory for Joomla! 5 are not easy to follow, also when I think about my clients.

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to be honest as well, yes, changing the provider is easy, but... with a website there is also one or many domains and also eventually many e-mail accounts. At the end one has to thinks twice before moving to another provider, and in addition someone has to pay for it ;-) On MacOS and Mamp Pro, the is still no official version which support MySQL 8.0+ or MariaDB 10.4.0+ To me, it is the first time that I couldn't test easily Joomla! 5, like every other Joomla! before. I wished that MySQL 8 would have been only a strong advice, but not mandatory. I'm using Joomla! since the absolute first version, writing my own templates and even sometime witting some extensions, just to say that I am still a Joomla! fan. But these decisions like to make MySQL 8.0+ mandatory for Joomla! 5 are not easy to follow, also when I think about my clients.
Emmanuel Lemor on Tuesday, 09 July 2024 22:16
You can do it :) with the right tools/solutions/companies.

Hello Pierre, I understand what you mean by 'moving providers' but to be honest, quality providers either have automatic methods for moving entire domains over or they will do it for you.

On the topics of MySQL 8.x, I do feel it was a good idea to really show that Joomla 5 is making a major step forward...

And it's unfortunate that products like MAMP (Pro) has not been keeping up (it's own latest version is almost 6 month old), after all MySQL 5.7 End of Premier Support was 31 Oct. 2020 and End of Extended Support was 31 Oct. 2023...

It is because of this and other reasons including pricing that I moved a while ago to https://ampps.com which DOES support PHP 8.3 already and MySQL 8.x etc.... so this is even easier of a solution than moving hosting platforms.

Great to hear that you make templates and even extensions, not sure if those templates are for public or possible purchase but if they are make sure to put them up on templatejoomla.com so that they can be found by people like me that enjoy discovering new templates

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Hello Pierre, I understand what you mean by 'moving providers' but to be honest, quality providers either have automatic methods for moving entire domains over or they will do it for you. On the topics of MySQL 8.x, I do feel it was a good idea to really show that Joomla 5 is making a major step forward... And it's unfortunate that products like MAMP (Pro) has not been keeping up (it's own latest version is almost 6 month old), after all MySQL 5.7 End of Premier Support was 31 Oct. 2020 and End of Extended Support was 31 Oct. 2023... It is because of this and other reasons including pricing that I moved a while ago to https://ampps.com which DOES support PHP 8.3 already and MySQL 8.x etc.... so this is even easier of a solution than moving hosting platforms. Great to hear that you make templates and even extensions, not sure if those templates are for public or possible purchase but if they are make sure to put them up on templatejoomla.com so that they can be found by people like me that enjoy discovering new templates ;)

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