Joomla 3.0 was released yesterday with many great new features. Should you upgrade? Not so fast. First, your template will probably not work with Joomla 3.0. Second, if you have installed ANY extensions in Joomla, they will probably not work either. So who should upgrade?
Who should use Joomla 3.0? Right now, I’d say almost nobody. Why? Unless you are happy using Joomla 3.0 with the default templates and no additional extensions, you should stick with 2.5 or less until the extensions and template you use are upgraded to work with Joomla 3.0. For example, JCE Content Editor, the must-have Joomla editor extension, said yesterday that they are working on upgrading JCE to work with Joomla 3.0 and will probably have something in about three weeks.
Not Ready for Prime Time
Another reason to sit still is stability. I installed Joomla 3.0 this morning and got two errors that will stop most users in their tracks. First, Joomla 3.0 requires PHP 5.3. If you try to install it on a server with a lower PHP version, you will get an error that says PHP 5.3 is required for Joomla 3.0 Most likely, your current web host does not run PHP 5.3 by default, so you’ll have to contact them to find out if you can upgrade your account to use PHP 5.3.
Second, after uploading and extracting the Joomla 3.0 install package on my server, just like I’ve done hundreds of times, I pointed my browser to the new Joomla 3.0 test website and instead of the friendly install screen, I got an internal server error. When I checked the error log in my cPanel, I found that the file permissions were incorrect. Right out of the box, Joomla 3.0 has bugs. Since I have shell access and know a few UNIX commands, I was able to quickly change ALL the directory and file permissions in Joomla 3.0.
So if we can’t upgrade to Joomla 3.0, what’s all the excitement about? Good question. Below are some of the new features in Joomla 3.0.
Canonical URLs in Header
One of my big complaints about Joomla 2.5 or less is that the default SEF does not add a canonical URL to the header. What is a canonical and why is this important? Google does not like duplicate content, content that is exactly the same except that the URL is different. Google can’t tell which page to show when it finds duplicate content on your site. Content Management Systems like Joomla or WordPress create duplicate content, for example, in blog categories where a page has a direct link in the blog listing, and another, different link to the same page in the blog archive. By adding a canonical URL to the ORIGINAL page, you tell Google which page to use, and thus improve you search engine ranking.
Mobile Templates for Joomla Administrator
The new Joomla Administrator template is a mobile, responsive template. That means it automatically adjusts the layout to work on the device you are using: desktop browser, smart phone, or tablet.
With the new Joomla Administrator responsive template, you can easily administer Joomla from an tablet device like iPad or a mobile device like iPhone or Android. A very nice feature for those times when you need to do something in Joomla admin but only have a phone to do it. I’ve had a few emergency situations when client called me with a Joomla problem and I had to access their Joomla admin screens with a phone. Without a mobile, responsive template, it’s very difficult.
Below are a few screen shots of the moble template viewed in a phone perspective:
Joomla Administrator Mobile Control Panel Screen
Joomla Mobile Administrator Control Panel Menu
MOBILE TEMPLATES FOR JOOMLA Front
The new Protostar Joomla front end template is a mobile, responsive template. That means it automatically adjusts the layout to work on the device you are using: desktop browser, smart phone, or tablet.
Below is a screenshot of the template in a phone perspective:
Bottom Line: Should You Upgrade?
NO. But Joomla 3.0 shows us what’s in store for us in about six months. This new release of Joomla is a significant update. Mobile responsive templates for Administrator and Front, beautiful redesign of the Jooma Administrator interface, and dozens of technical improvements. For more details about Joomla 3.0, click here.