people in front of joomla booth at conference

Joomla released a new version of its open source web content management system today that company officials claim will improve user experience for both developers and administrators.

Joomla version 3.5 contains nearly three dozen new features, they explained.

Joomla is built on PHP and MySQL. The update will make website's faster because it offers PHP 7 support, said Joe Sonne, former Open Source Matters, Inc. board member and current member of the capital committee. Open Source Matters is the nonprofit organization that supports the Joomla Project. 

Faster, Less Memory

Sonne in an interview with CMSWire, he noted that Joomla 3.5 includes:

  1. Email notifications to keep the software up-to-date
  2. The ability to export anonymized Joomla system information to streamline support. This is separate from anonymized data, which users opt to provide to share with Joomla to improve later versions. 
  3. Users can drag and drop images right into the editor
  4. Users can insert modules into articles, not just template positions
  5. New functionality for tinyMCE editor, including buttons for modules that can be inserted into the article

Of the 34 features released in version 3.5, Sonne was particularly excited about the support of Zend’s PHP 7, recently announced and now available for use by the general public.

joe sonne headshot

“It’s going make things two times faster with half the memory in systems that run on PHP 7,” Sonne told CMSWire. “Anything that speeds up a website is wonderful.”

According to Joomla officials, Joomla still provides legacy PHP support going back to PHP version 5.4 for web servers that have not yet upgraded.

Inside the Updates

Joomla also updated email update notifications of new versions. It will help website users and site administrators receive updates on Joomla releases, like updates and bug fixes. Previously, notification was only available by logging in to the Joomla back-end, or signing up for the Joomla Security News mailing list. 

joomla infographic

Other features include:

  • Adding CSS file to Protostar: currently users cannot use a custom.css file when using the Protostar template. This update adds a check to see if the file user.css exists and loads the file to allow for user customization
  • Added site and admin links to module user: adds switches to the mod_status module to show/hide links to the front-end and back-end of the site
  • Article counts: a set of pull requests that allows the visual presentation of published, unpublished and trashed articles in the Category Manager for articles, banners, contacts and newsfeeds
  • Email tests: users can now test email addresses with one click
  • Random category blog and list order: answers a common user request to add a random ordering option for articles in the blog category and category list view
  • UX editor button: provides users with another button bellow the main editor, which allows them to insert a module to their article

'Enormous' Effort

Joomla officials said nearly 675,000 Joomla forum members and data from more than 7,500 Joomla extensions contributed to the latest version.

“The number of hours into development of Joomla is enormous,” Sonne told CMSWire. “Being open source it’s free to use. It’s a game-changer. This was very intelligently thought out and is intended to be user friendly.” 

Joomla announced version 3.4 about a year ago. That came on the heels of a beta release two months earlier.

The 3.4 release introduced new features into the CMS such as improved front end module editing, decoupling of weblinks, composer integration and security improvements. 

According to BuiltWith, Joomla powers 8 percent of the entire internet for websites using CMS technologies, second behind WordPress (50 percent).

Title image "Joomla" (CC BY 2.0) by lejoe