Joomla had so much fun releasing its biggest version to date in November that it decided to update again this quarter. 

The company, an open source web content management system (CMS) provider, today announced the availability of Joomla 3.3. The new version overhauls its security approach, enables micro-data for the first time and replaces MooTools-based JavaScript with jQuery equivalents.

In other words, it helps developers and users have a more efficient experience and makes Joomla-powered websites better indexed by Google while ensuring robust security, the company boasts.

“It’s a more secure Joomla than we’ve ever had before,” said Sarah Watz, newly elected president of Open Source Matters, a nonprofit that provides organizational, legal and financial support to the Joomla project.

New Features

Joomla has experienced what officials call unprecedented growth recently. It has been downloaded more than 52 million times.

Joomla 3.3 also introduces:

  • A higher minimum PHP version of 5.3.10: This Enhances the level of cryptography that can be used for securing passwords. “This enhances our security even more,” Watz told CMSWire.
  • jQuery JavaScript: By moving from MooTools to jQuery JavaScript, the size of Joomla websites will be reduced and sites will load faster
  • Micro-data implementation: This allows many aspects of the content rendered by the Joomla CMS to be explained to search engines using semantic information, making Joomla websites more searchable.

“Joomla is now more compatible with how Google index sites,” Watz told CMSWire.

In this release, she added that the web semantics were improved for better rendering. The easier it is to get to a site, the more searchable it becomes.

customer experience, Joomla Web CMS Version 3.3 Boosts Search, Security Functions

“It’s easier for Google now to know what kind of information is what,” Watz said. “What’s a headline? What does this content mean? How are the links on the page related? What do the dates mean? What’s a paragraph markup? … Implementing these changes alongside using more modern technologies has the effect of making Joomla websites load faster, which in turn can help to improve the SEO of your site.”

Learning Opportunities

Faster navigation and quicker page loads was “something we are aiming for,” Watz said. “It has to do with searchability. If the site is faster, Google may index it higher. We don’t want people coming to our sites with mobile devices to have a long loading period. We cranked that up as well.”

Why Joomla?

It’s a crowded space out there in the open source content management system world. Take a peek at any of our “What’s New in Open Source CMS” features – like this one in April -- and you’ll see why.

Joomla’s paired alongside Drupal often, each known for powering websites that need complex content hierarchy, tagging and authoring.

So why Joomla when it’s so often compared with Drupal

“It is one of the most translated CMS' in the world and that makes it accessible for so many more users than a lot of others,” Watz told CMSWire. “And if you want to build a website where you have a lot of different access levels and languages at the same time, Joomla rocks.”

Further, for organizations that have channel partners, providing accessibility to Joomla-powered websites is easy, Watz said.

“You don’t have to have any add-ons,” she said. “It’s easy to give people access to other parts of Joomla without doing add-ons. If you want to do add-ons, we have tons. In fact, we just passed 8,000 extensions compatible with this version of Joomla.”