3 minutes reading time (571 words)

My first upgrade to Joomla 5


My name is Michael Michael (yes really) and I suspect I may be a very typical Joomla user. I have a full-time job completely unrelated to web design. Almost twenty years ago I wanted to build a website for a personal project and found Mambo. I loved it and what it became in Joomla.



As various friends and colleagues asked if I’d build sites for them too, I decided to invest a little time and money into putting what was a hobby onto a more formal footing and I’m very grateful to Joomla for helping me build an enjoyable and profitable little side business.

The move to Joomla 5

Over the years I didn’t have too much trouble upgrading my handful of sites from one major version to the next - until the time came to move from Joomla 3 to 4. By now I had a couple of dozen Joomla 3 sites on the go - small fry compared to some I’m sure but enough for me. Now I have to come clean. Although I’ve got a fair grasp of PHP, CSS and HTML I’m completely self-taught. I rely a good deal on the experts in the Joomla community for the few good quality extensions I regularly use and for advice when I run into problems. These folks know who they are and they are the reason why I recommend Joomla every single time.

So my views have to be taken for what they honestly are, the opinion of an experienced hobbyist not a professional designer or extension developer.

For me, Joomla 3 had become stable, mature and familiar. I’d found myself using the same trusted extensions on almost all my sites as well as a few niche ones where the use case warranted it. There was an abundance of choice from a wide variety of developers. Then Joomla 4 came along bringing many improvements (especially in accessibility) but also new challenges. I don’t need to recount how we had to wait patiently as developers began upgrading their extensions. Some gave up and even a few large Joomla template and extension sites went out of business so I approached Joomla 5 with some trepidation as even now I have two sites still on Joomla 3.

I needn’t have worried. I took my laptop and a pot of coffee into my summerhouse and settled down to upgrade a Joomla 4.3.2 test site to 5.0.0 Alpha 1. My assistant Ziggy joined me but she was useless, choosing a good scratch over giving me any useful input. After backing up and switching the update channel to ‘Testing’ I took the plunge and hit the update button. Minutes later I had my shiny new Joomla 5.0.0 Alpha 1 test site. My first reaction was to double check the update was successful as the admin interface hadn’t appeared to change but sure enough, there was the 5.0.0 Alpha 1 tag at the top of the page. I’ve since installed a few key Joomla 4 extensions with no issues.

To summarize.

This is only my experience but updating Joomla from 4 to 5 was a snap. I think the Joomla team have listened to the community and sensibly kept this major version upgrade as comfortable as possible. It’s early days of course but hopefully the developers who’ve stayed the course from 3 to 4 will be encouraged to continue on with the project.

Looking good Joomla!

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