Crazy about the new release of Joomla 3.8 version? If your answer is yes, then you should wait until 19th September 2017 to get the new flagship version of Joomla 3.8. As far as Joomla project teams, there will be tons of new features for the user's community with advanced routing system and forward compatibility layer with Joomla 4.
In this article, we will give you the details step by step guide to the biggest ever up-gradation! By following our guide, you can be 100% sure to get the full process done with ease.
Well, let’s discuss some of the exciting features that are coming with Joomla 3.8 version and how you can make the changes to get it done correctly:
What’s new in Joomla 3.8
Advanced Routing System
The new and advanced routing system gives users more control over their URL structure that includes the often requested ability to remove unnecessary IDs from URLs.
Compatibility Layer for Joomla 4
For a website owner, this might not be a fascinating feature to update to Joomla 3.8. But if you are a developer, then you will get ample amount of time to make your component ready before Joomla 4 released. Well, there are few changes in Joomla 4. One of the main changes is that how the core code is structured by migrating classes to use PHP namespaces. Joomla 3.8 has a mapping layer where you can still use the older class names while being able to take advantage of the new class name structure.
Sodium Encryption Support
PHP 7.2 will be having a new extension called a Sodium Encryption Support that is scheduled to be released in November 2017. With the help of polyfill of this extension, Joomla 3.8 makes this new API available for all of our users even before PHP 7.2 release. However, you should remember that PHP 7.2 will be removing ext/mcrypt from the core distribution and ext/sodium will be added to the core as a new encryption library.
Improved Sample Data Installation
With the updated version of Joomla 3.8, it is now possible to install sample data within your site backend after finishing the installation process. This will help further to users and developers to create their own generic data sets for their extensions. This will also make developers work easy to install sample data for the extension they are working with.
Expandable module mod_stats
Any user will be able to expand this module from the custom statistics very easily.
Reviewed general code
With the new Joomla 3.8, you can be sure that the majority of the code has been reviewed and updated to give you the best ever Joomla experience.
And there will be much more exciting features like CSS class to menu item images, Customizable menus and modules etc waiting for you in Joomla 3.8.
Things to remember while upgrading to Joomla 3.8
Take Full Backup
Upgrading to a new version may be time consuming and sometimes complicated. There are possibilities that your site may crash or even entire work may go to vain during up-gradation to a new version. So, it is always recommended to take a full backup of your last working Joomla website. Do remember that you must clean your site cache before taking backup.
Update your PHP version
Before starting up-gradation you should fix up some of your old software, supported databases and Web Servers. To make the process easier, Joomla gives you an opportunity to update the mentioned things just by updating your PHP. It is recommended that you pre-installed PHP 7.0 +.
With the new version of Joomla 3.8, you will get a new and more flexible Router specially created for the developers. This router interface has included handling creating and processing URLs that give end users more options to display the website URLs as per their needs.
For developers anxious to upgrade to the new routing system, there are few factors to take into consideration. The new system is not completely backward compatible with the existing router, there are some well-known traits with how URLs are generated and processed and those traits will no longer available in the new system. To give you a fair idea about the changes, below are two sample pages from the testing data set with each of the routing configurations.
Animals Photo Gallery Category Page:
- Existing router: /article-categories/72-park-site/photo-gallery/animals
- New router with IDs: /article-categories/26-park-site/28-photo-gallery/72-animals
- New router without IDs: /article-categories/park-site/photo-gallery/animals
Koala Article Page:
- Existing router: /article-categories/72-park-site/photo-gallery/animals/25-koala
- New router with IDs: /article-categories/26-park-site/28-photo-gallery/72-animals/25-koala
- New router without IDs: /article-categories/park-site/photo-gallery/animals/koala
You will get step by step guide to enable new Routing System here: https://docs.joomla.org/J3.x:New_Routing_System
Joomla 4 Compatibility Layer
The core architecture in Joomla 4.0 will be supporting and mostly using namespaced PHP code. To make it compatible with the new namespaced classes in libraries directory, the majority of the library classes from 3.8 now use the namespaced class names while supporting existing class names.
As this change is happening, the update to 3.8 will be a bit more resourceful than normal. Generally, a file is moved or deleted during a core update. You will get an update step which removes the older version of the file from your site. Most of the files have been moved to a new libraries/src directory from the libraries/cms and libraries/legacy directories. Now, you have to delete the most number of files in these directories as part of the update process.
We recommend that you should wait for at least couple of days to update to Joomla 3.8 after its release. There are possibilities of bugs in the new version. So, to make the product bug free, Joomla may release some patches after a few days of release. Furthermore, if you don't like the new version, then you may choose to keep the older version from your last backup.
So why are you waiting for? Joomla 3.8 is now knocking at the door and you need to be ready. We assure you that if you follow the mentioned steps above then you will definitely get a hassle-free experience while updating to the awesome Joomla 3.8 CMS. If you have any questions or suggestion, feel free to comment below.