A new version of Joomla will be released in the future, though no specific date has been set.

Joomla 3+ has been out for over 5 years, so the vast majority of Joomla sites are built with this version. Web developers should be aware of the new version and start planning accordingly.

Joomla 4 works in a similar way to Joomla 3, but the administrative side is set up quite differently. The framework has changed dramatically and Joomla 4 will use Bootstrap 4 and SASS.

There are Alpha versions of Joomla 4 available for the developers of templates and extensions to work with. You can download the Joomla 4 software and set it up on a test site if you wish to take a look at the administrative side. Alpha versions of Joomla 4 should not be used for live sites as all the bugs and security issues have not been worked out. There are also no Extensions or Templates for Joomla 4 available at this time.

It may be many months before Joomla 4 is introduced to the public, but it is something that web developers should keep in mind before installing Extensions or developing Templates.

Will you have to migrate your Joomla 3 site to Joomla 4?

Web developers may choose to wait to upgrade to Joomla 4 until the first wrinkles in the software are ironed out. Eventually, everyone should migrate their site to the new version to keep up with security fixes. There is also the issue of extensions. New extensions and templates will be written for Joomla 4, though they likely will still have a Joomla 3 version for some time.

Support for Joomla 3 will last for a while, but you will not longer see updates released with bug fixes and security upgrades.

You may have to wait if your site depends on Extensions that have not yet released a version for Joomla 4.

What will migrating my site to Joomla 4 entail?

It is highly suggested that you keep your live site as a Joomla 3 site and run the upgrade on a copy of your web site that is not available to the public. It can take some time to iron out any issues with templates and framework and styling issues. There may be glitches with extensions, PHP versions and other things. You don't want your live site to look bad or function incorrectly.

The first thing you will need to do is to list out all of the Extensions that your current site is using. Check to see that a Joomla 4 version of these Extensions is available. If there is not a Joomla 4 version available, you need to either remove that Extension or wait for a new version of the Extension to upgrade. Chances are that your Joomla 3 Extension will not function properly with Joomla 4.

You will need to duplicate the files and the database in order to do create a duplicate site for your upgrade. You will either need to move your site to a subdirectory on the host server or copy your site to a local compute with XAMPP or WAMP software installed. When you do this, the configuration.php file needs to be edited to point to the duplicated database with its new name.

You will need to upgrade your duplicate site to the latest version of Joomla 3 in order to run the migration version of the upgrade.

The Joomla 3 to Joomla 4 upgrade will be a Migration. This means that it will need to change the core files to work with the new framework and software.

What will Joomla 4 have to offer

Joomla 4 will have a simpler and smoother installation process.

Joomla 4 will have a different Media Manager.

Joomla 4 will have a different default template that uses Bootstrap 4 and SASS.

Joomla 4 will have a code cleanup.

Joomla 4 will offer an improved upgrade experience.

Other features of Joomla 4 include

  • Final router improvements
  • Improved SEO features
  • Webservices
  • Upgrade Administrator Template with minimal options.

Resources

Joomla Project Roadmap

GitHub Joomla 4 Alpha 2