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LinuxSecurity.com has been using the open-source Joomla Content Management System (CMS) and Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) scripting language for nearly three decades and recently migrated to the latest versions, Joomla 4 and PHP 8. This allows LinuxSecurity to use new features and optimizations to provide visitors with an enhanced user experience. We’ve decided to pull back the curtain on our experience with the migration to Joomla 4 and PHP 8 to give users planning to migrate their websites insight into the lessons we learned.

What’s New in Joomla 4 & PHP8?

Joomla has demonstrated significant strides with the release of Joomla 4 and PHP 8 over the last three years. Joomla 4 is built with modern open-source technologies to become a more robust and easy-to-use CMS platform with an intense focus on network security toolkits and is bringing both user experience and code quality improvements along with it, including:

Joomla Esm W494

  • Faster page loading times
  • Features to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Framework 2.0
  • Bootstrap 5 integration
  • Raising the minimum supported PHP version to PHP 7
  • New media manager
  • Back-end UI improvements
  • Improved functionality with the removal of previously deprecated functionality
  • Simplified upgrade process with a one-click upgrade for core
  • Limited backward compatibility breaks for extensions

Php8 Esm W350The release of PHP8 also brings many new and exciting features and optimizations, including:

  • Named arguments
  • Union types
  • Attributes
  • Constructor property promotion
  • Match expression
  • Nullsafe operator 
  • Just In Time (JIT) services for safe access
  • Improvements in the type system, error handling, and consistency

IDL Web Inc. Founder and Senior Developer Jacob Hodara explains how Joomla 4 and PHP 8 improve security posture and performance, “The key with any upgrade, whether it is software running on your computer or the web, is security. Without being too technical, both Joomla and PHP offer improved performance, ultimately giving the LinuxSecurity user base an improved and secure experience while visiting LinuxSecurity.com”.

Our Migration Experience

Overall, our migration to Joomla 4 and PHP 8 went pretty seamlessly. This outcome can be partially attributed to our careful planning, documentation, and team meetings, which helped iron out any possible data and network security issues. Hodara reflects, “We were well prepared with the amount of research, documentation, and testing done before going live with the upgraded site.” Below, we have listed various suggestions to keep in mind if your company plans to migrate to Joomla 4 and PHP 8.

Our Top Suggestions for Users Migrating their Websites to Joomla 4 & PHP 8

Planning

Check in with your developer to ensure all areas of your Joomla site are PHP 8 compatible, from extensions to templates and plugins. We found it helpful to locate the changelog and scan the document for PHP 8 references. Joomla 3.10.10 offers a Pre-Update Check report to see if it is or is not compatible with Joomla 4. If a system is not ready for Joomla 4, you may have to consider a different extension that offers the same functionality. 

Staging

You will want to set up a staging environment to test PHP 8 and Joomla 4. The testing process can be lengthy, depending on the website's complexity. We recommend using a staging site to test your website correctly.

Documentation

Document any file modifications made for future reference. More importantly, document the process to launch the site, as you may need to refresh some data or content on the staging site.

Testing & More Testing!

After you’ve completed either upgrade, be sure to test every part of the website thoroughly. You will want to do a visual and functional check (form testing, user registration, user login, etc.). All of this will be helpful in checking that your company’s data and network security are strong enough after the migration.

Final Thoughts on Migrating to Joomla 4 and PHP 8

We’re happy and proud to have completed the migration to Joomla 4 and PHP 8 to provide our users with an enhanced LinuxSecurity.com experience. We hope those planning to upgrade their websites have learned something from our migration experience!