What is new in Joomla 1.7 vs Joomla 1.6?
The Joomla team recently announced Joomla 1.7 is now stable for live sites. This new version fixes a variety of issues with Joomla 1.6 as well as introduces the ability to upgrade to future versions from within the Administrator panel.
No more uploading via FTP, hooray!
This marks the first step towards a upgrade system that is similar to WordPress, thus making your life as an administrator easier. The Joomla 1.7 release does not bring a huge amount of changes, but it is a vital step in the right direction for Joomla and it’s new release schedule. In this article I will cover what is new, if you need to upgrade, and why I used such an ugly graphic for this post.
What are the newest and biggest features?
- One click upgrades – Starting from Joomla 1.6 you can upgrade your install by going to: Extensions -> Extension Manager -> Update -> Find updates.
- Faster release cycles – Short term releases will be changing every six months and only supported for one month after the next release.
- Multi-Language improvements – Associate menu items to different languages.
There are a variety of other minor changes that you can review on the official Joomla 1.7 page.
Do I really need to upgrade?
Depending on what version of Joomla your site(s) are on now, this may be the last time you have to do a “scary upgrade”. Scary meaning doing it all via FTP and hoping you didn’t miss any upgrade instructions or caveats. Upgrading is really easy since J1.6, so this shouldn’t be a huge deal.
It’s also important to note that Joomla 1.6 will go end of life in August 2011. That means no more security updates or patches or fixes for vulnerabilities. If your site get’s hacked 6 months from now due to some kid developing some obscure technique, you will only have yourself to blame–not Joomla. Upgrade them sites!
I am on Joomla 1.5. How do I do it?
There is no upgrade path from J1.5 to J1.6 or J1.7. You will have to migrate. There are a variety of changes from J1.5 to newer versions including changes to tables and the ACL (access control list) so a migration is the only way. If you are comfortable with migrating from different Joomla releases you probably have a system in place. If not, you can try out this extension. I personally have not tried it, but it seems pretty straightforward. Take all the usual precautions and backup your databases and files before doing something like this. Try it on your development site first and test the process before doing it on a live site.
I am on Joomla 1.6. How do I do it?
It’s easy peasy if you already made the leap to Joomla 1.6. Just go to: Extensions -> Extension Manager -> Update -> Find updates.
What’s up with that ugly Joomla image you used in the beginning of the article?
Kids refrigerator magnets are cute, cheap and fun. They also stick to anything metal. Slapping some fridge magnets on a whiteboard or something metal or *gasp*, your actual fridge is a good way to nag yourself that this upgrade is very important and needs to be done soon.
Do I have to worry about extensions breaking?
As with any upgrade there is always the potential for things to break. You should never do a upgrade or migration without some tested and proven way to revert back to a working site if it all goes pear shaped. The changes from J1.6 to J1.7 are pretty minor, but ther are so many extensions that do so many things, it’s hard to make a blanket statement.
How about you?
Do you have any tips or tricks I didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments, we would love to hear from you.