Joomla Upgrade

Why should you upgrade your Joomla website to latest version?

Your website is actually running software if you are using a Content Management System or any kind of script (versus just having static, HTML pages) – even if there’s just a tiny script that just sends you an email from a form. This includes websites running WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Dot Net Nuke and Drupal. With the way websites are made today, this is virtually all websites out there. And not only is just the core software but also any and all plugins/extensions that are installed as well. They all make up your website.

That said, your Joomla website that is running on an outdated software stands a good chance for a potential hacker to break in to your website because of previously reported hacks in the software and hitherto reported holes. So, this means the security of your website is not up to date unless you upgrade your software.

What is the Risk of not upgrading the Software?

If you run your website with potential vulnerability and stay at the old version you run the greater risk of loosing your website for few days. For, if the website is hacked, and depending on the severity of the hack we may either have to clean the hack or take down the site completely till we fix the issue. The cost of cleaning and fixing the hack after it has happened will be higher than the preventative measure of upgrading the software in a timely manner.

Any other reason why you should upgrade?

Even so, there are so many other compelling reasons for upgrading your Joomla website to the latest version of Joomla 2.5.x.

  • No More (Security Patch) update for Joomla 1.5.x
    Joomla 1.5.x which is a stable, secure version, is going to reach end of life support from the core Joomla team by April 2012, which means no more security updates to the Joomla 1.5.x versions. As you know from the past there were about 25 patch upgrades released for Joomla 1.5 from the time it first launched in January 2008, and most of which were security upgrades. And so, if some one finds a hole in the Joomla old version, it will not be fixed by the core team.
  • Server/Hosting Support
    Another set back for not upgrading your Joomla wil be that, you will stay with the current verision of MySQL & PHP, and when these technologies are upgraded you have no guarantee that your old Joomla software would still run on the new upgraded technologies. And pretty soon you will only find limited options for hosting the old Joomla website, as many web host would stop supporting old technologies.
  • Less support for Extensions/Modules
    Extensions made for Joomla 1.5.x will not support Joomla 2.5.x. And with the release of latest Joomla 2.5.x, the extension developers would only be looking at developing extensions that will support the latest version, and over time the support for old modules will reduce to none.
  • Less Community Support
    Event though there are millions of website running out there on Joomla 1.5 that number would probably decrease, even more rapidly as time goes by and the community support for the Joomla 1.5 too along with it. So, at some point you will find it difficult to get help or support from the community.
  • You don’t get the benefits of latest version
    Last but not the least, with the release of the latest version of Joomla 2.5.x that comes with extended features, including new search functionality, multi –database support and update notification with easy one click update that allow users to more easily and frequently migrate to the latest version of Joomla! More details about the new features are mentioned below.

Features and Benefits of Joomla 2.5.x


1. New Search
Joomla 2.5 has added an exciting new natural language search function. This feature incorporated auto-completion and stemming. Stemming is the ability for the search to use the root of the word you entered to locate matches. This new search is faster and more versatile that the standard search.

2. Multi-Database Support
Multiple database support is a new feature that makes it possible to run the Joomla! CMS on many different databases, not just MySQL and MySQLi. This facilitates integration and update management processes. Joomla! now allows different drivers to be written that will support different versions of SQL databases. Current drivers exist for the MySQL and MS SQL databases, with PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQLite and PDO drivers close to being ready.

3. Update Notification
A simple easy to find feature for the user to know the available updates for the Joomla. The system detects available updates and initiates them after a click on the corresponding button

4. Captcha in Core
CAPTCHA uses scrambled text to prevent robotic spammers from submitting forms. Joomla 2.5 gains an API that lets you use CAPTCHAs in your forms. The core comes with a a plug-in that gives you the ability to use reCAPTCHA, the most accessible of the CAPTCHA services. Once you sign up for free with reCAPTCHA and enter your keys, you can enable CAPTCHA on new user registrations. It could also be used by other extensions needing CAPTCHA

5. Use the Images and URL Fields to Create Simple Standardized Layouts
In 2.5 you can choose to use the existing image and URL fields in the articles to set up a simple standardized layout for blogs, news reports, etc. These are fields that existed in the database but were never used. After you activate the feature in the Article Options Editing Layouts, you will be able to specify an image for the introduction and an image for the full article, as well as 3 links. This means that your content creators won’t have to fuss with an image in the text (you can even disable the image button in the editor) and your article format will be cleaner and more consistent. You can use css, layout over rides and alternative layouts to customize your pages even further. This feature also allows easy customization of the back end article editor to limit content creator and content editor options, for example removing the ability to change the images or publishing options.

6. Menu Item Note
You have the ability to add a note to menus to remind you what the menu was for. You can use it, for example, to identify the menu item, clarify how it is used, or why it was set up the way it was.

7. Greater Flexibility Filtering by Category in Article Manager
In 1.7 when looking at articles you could filter by category. However, you didn’t have a way of selecting a category and getting all the articles that are in that category and its subcategories. In 2.5, selecting a category in the articles manager will include its subcategories, down to the depth you select. If you only want the single category, you can select a level of 1.

8. Multilingualism
Joomla! core now offers the possibility to create articles, categories and modules in several languages. With the new language switching plug-in and module you can filter the entire site for the selected language. CodeMirror is the new editor, which is supplied in addition to TinyMCE. It is not a WYSIWYG editor but offers a convenient way to work with ‘code-like’ content, which will be displayed in a structured way with syntax highlighting.

Additional Features

  • Includes New Version of Joomla Platform
  • Use the Images and URL Fields to Create Simple Standardized Layouts
  • Choose whether Administrator to Get Email When New Users Register
  • Custom Text Filters
  • Manager for Language Overrides
  • User Notes
  • Flexible Newsfeed Order
  • Image Option for the Offline Page
  • Option to Have a Site Come Up Offline After Installation
  • Better Performance in Menu Item Edit page
  • Alternate meta tags for multi-lingual sites
  • Improving SEO: New system plugin: languagecode

A overview comparison between Joomla 1.0.x VS Joomla 2.5.x

Joomla 1.0 Joomla 2.5
1 Manual patch upgrades and support for Joomla 1.0.x is stopped from july 2009. One click upgrade
2 Does not support template overridding Supports template overriding
3 Extensions for Joomla 1.0 are not developed Lot of extensions are developed
4 Joomla community has stopped supporting Joomla 1.0 We get security patched and updates which can be updated in a single button click
5 Does not follow a MVC model and the script used are not that efficient Follow MVC model, which means the script are really structured
6 Does not support HTML5 Supports HTML5
7 Article Section & categories Nested categories
8 Does not have access control inbuilt Have Access control inbuilt
9 Smart Search
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