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Joomla! Updates

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 - General

The Joomla! developers recently released Joomla! 3.8 of their popular CMS software. Suffice it to say, there has been a lot of scrutiny with this release. There have been a lot of issues with the update process for Joomla! 3.8. On many occassions updating to Joomla! 3.8 breaks the website and it is a painstaking endeavor to get the website back up and running. To be fair, there are several other instances where updating to Joomla! 3.8 went smoothly. So to say that the update problems are an underlying problem with Joomla! is a false statement. But it still can’t be discounted that at lot of people are having issues with the Joomla! 3.8 update process.

As a web hosting provider, and one that cares about security, we have to advise you to keep the software and scripts on your website up to date. Because of this, we have to advise you to insure that you are running the latest version of Joomla! (Joomla! 3.8.2 at the time this post was published). But at the same time, we also recognize that there are issues related to some websites attempting a Joomla! 3.8 update.

All of these issues with Joomla! updates is making it very difficult for us to recommend Joomla! as a website platform. Joomla! may be great Content Management System for managing your website, but it’s updating process leaves a bit to be desired. If you are considering reworking your website altogether, you may want to look at alternative CMS software – such as, but not limited to, WordPress – to manage your website.

How can you be better prepared for the Joomla! 3.8 update?

• Backup your account before attempting any update
If you have a Joomla! extension that can backup your site, you may be able to use that to create a backup of your account before attempting any update. If you need us to make a full backup of your account before attempting any update, we can do that for you – just open a support ticket.

• Make sure you are using a reasonably up to date version of Joomla!
From what we have been able to ascertain, if you are using a version of Joomla! that is older than 3.6.5 (meaning your Joomla! version is less than 3.6.5) then you will most definitely have issues updating to Joomla! 3.8. You will need to update to at least Joomla! 3.6.5 before attempting the Joomla! 3.8 update. How exactly you do that is uncertain – Joomla! does not provide direct instructions on how to do that, just simply stating that it’s best if you are updating from Joomla! 3.6.5 or newer.

• Make sure your components are up to date and reputable
A lot of the issues related to the Joomla! 3.8 update seems to revolve around websites using outdated, abandoned, insecure, or just poorly written extensions and components. How exactly you determine if a component or extension is reputable, up-to-date, and secure – again that is not directly provided by Joomla! But you should review all of the components and extensions you have installed prior to attempting a Joomla! 3.8 update.

• Updated and still have issues?
If you attempt a Joomla! 3.8 update and you have issues with your website, our best advice is to seek help at the Joomla! forums – whether or not if they can help you, I do not know. But they have a much better understanding of Joomla! and what might be wrong and what needs to be done to fix it. Trying to resolve the issue might become very technical, but unfortunately that is just part of running a Joomla! site.

One of the best things you can do to insure that future updates will work better for you is to insure that you are using reputable components, extensions, and themes. There are lot of components and extensions out there for Joomla!, but a lot of them are poorly written or not properly maintained. If you can avoid using components and extensions that are not reputable, this will better insure that the developers that write the components you are using are updating their components to work with updated versions of Joomla!

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