Joomla 4 is out - when should you upgrade?

The long awaited Joomla 4 was released in August. Alongside it was the 'transitional' version of Joomla 3.10, intended to make the upward migration to Joomla 4 as simple as possible.

With Joomla 3.10 now nagging users about the new improved features of Joomla 4, many will be wondering about whether to upgrade or not, and when to do so.

Whether to upgrade...

There is no great urgency over this decision - without doubt Joomla 4 is an improvement on Joomla 3, hard though that may seem, but Joomla 3 will continue to be fully supported until August 2023, when it will officially reach 'end-of-life'. So no great rush is required, but ultimately the upgrade will be required.

Uprading from one major release version to the next is not quite as straightforward as the one-click (or even automated) updates of the minor updates - as with the earlier updates from 1.0 to 1.5, 1.5 to 2.5, and 2.5 to 3, the process is a migration rather than a simple update. Given the complexity of a major re-write to improve performance and to future-proof the new Joomla 4 core, the Joomla team have made this process remarkably straightforward.

When to upgrade

The more difficult question is 'when' to upgrade. Although migrating the core from Joomla 3 to 4 is straightforward, the question is complicated by any 3rd party components that may be deployed in your site. Although many 3rd party components are already Joomla 4 ready, some are not. Consequently the timing of updating may be dictated by the progress of 3rd party component developers in updating their plugins.

When are we upgrading?

Like many developers, we use a number of 3rd party plugins in our standard Joomla deployment. Most of these are Joomla 4 ready, but a small number are not, and in a few cases, the developer roadmaps indicate that some these will not be ready until the end of this year, and in a couple of cases not until early in 2022.

As a result, we will be holding off any routine upward migrations until we are happy that all the features that we have built into our Joomla sites over the last few years will continue to be available in the new Joomla 4 version.

Once we have reached that point, we will be offering upward migrations to all clients. In the meantime, if you would like to consider upgrading earlier, please talk to us so we can evaluate your specific configuration and advise on when to upgrade.