Joomla 4 vs Joomla 3
In this article, we will highlight 10 significant distinctions between Joomla 4 and Joomla 3. By doing so, you will be able to determine which version is best suited for your needs, and make an informed decision as to whether or not you should upgrade.
1. Bootstrap 3 vs Bootstrap 4
Bootstrap, the leading framework for creating responsive and mobile-friendly websites, offers BootstrapCDN and a template starter page for streamlined web development. This free front-end framework has become a popular choice among developers due to its efficiency and ease of use.
In Joomla 4, the latest version of Bootstrap (Bootstrap 4) is integrated to provide an improved user interface that is optimized for mobile devices. In contrast, Joomla 3 uses Bootstrap 3. With the new front-end template, Joomla 4 promises a more user-friendly and visually appealing interface.
2. Design Framework LESS vs SASS
On the other hand, Joomla 4 integrates with Bootstrap 4, which uses SASS (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) built on Ruby. Both versions offer excellent CSS extension capabilities. However, SASS has emerged as the more popular and powerful option among experienced developers. Joomla 4’s integration with SASS is a promising sign, indicating that it is in good hands.
3. Better Responsiveness Layouts
In today’s world, designing websites with a responsive layout is essential due to the increasing dominance of mobile devices in web traffic. With Joomla 4, the responsive layout is designed using the latest technology, resulting in a superior user experience.
Joomla 3 offers a responsive grid system, but it has been met with dissatisfaction from users. Developers also struggle with implementing designs and setting the appropriate column widths in the grid.
Joomla 4 replaces the 12 column layout system with the CSS Grid, making the development process more efficient and improving site responsiveness. This change is a significant improvement that promises to enhance the user experience.
4. Comparison with default front-end templates
A comparison of the front-end templates of Joomla 4 and Joomla 3 is readily apparent in the images below. Upon viewing them, it becomes clear that the Joomla 4 front-end design is cleaner and more elegant than its predecessor.
Joomla 4 features a single front-end template, named Cassiopeia, which utilizes Bootstrap 4 for its user interface and CSS Grid for its layout.
5. Comparison with default back-end templates
The interface of the backend template in Joomla 4 has been completely overhauled with numerous changes, the most significant being the vertical positioning of the menu. In contrast, Joomla 3 kept the menu in a horizontal position. Additionally, Joomla 3 has two backend templates, namely Hathor and Isis, while Joomla 4 features a new backend template called Atum that comes with remarkable improvements in the user interface and some fantastic features, such as the new publishing workflow.
6. Simplified Installation process
The installation process for Joomla 4 is more streamlined compared to Joomla 3.x. In Joomla 3, the installation involves three steps: main configuration, database configuration, and overview. However, Joomla 4 also has three steps, but it allows users to go back to previous information without interrupting the installation process or needing to resubmit information if they want to make changes.
In addition to the simplified installation process, the Joomla team plans to add new features that allow users to install extensions, including core support extensions, along with the Joomla 4 installation. This can be seen in the Github process of the Joomla team members.
7. Smart Media Manager with editing feature
The Joomla team has recognized the issues faced by users with the media manager in the previous version of Joomla, which lacked any editing functionality. With Joomla 4, the media manager has undergone a “smart innovation” that incorporates editing features, making it more convenient for users to upload images and view properties of each image by simply clicking on the picture.
On the other hand, Joomla 3’s media manager had limited functions, lacking an editing feature, requiring users to edit the photo before uploading.
Joomla 4 has introduced several new features in the media manager, including support for multiple file uploads and drag-and-drop uploading, as well as picture editing functions such as cropping, resizing, rotating, and renaming.
8. PHP version required for J4 & J3
Joomla is a PHP-based CMS, and Joomla 4 has been integrated with the latest version of PHP that is specifically designed for web development. This latest version provides faster performance, increased security, and many improved features.
Joomla 3 requires a minimum PHP version of 5.3+. In contrast, Joomla 4 requires the latest PHP version of 7+. The reason for this is that PHP 7 uses a new engine model called PHP NG, which doubles the performance of the CMS.
Moreover, PHP 7 includes additional features such as Abstract Syntax Tree and Null Coalesce Operator that make it easier to parse PHP code. These new features result in better performance and improved security for Joomla 4 users.
9. Mootools and JQuery for J4 & J3
Joomla 3 supports both Mootools and jQuery libraries, but these libraries are slow and not updated regularly, despite still being actively maintained.
Joomla 4 is considered the most advanced version of Joomla, as it has been developed with the latest technologies including Bootstrap 4, JQuery 3, PHPMailer 6.0, and Vuejs for Media Managers. These improvements have resulted in a stronger core codebase and better optimization, providing a more user-friendly experience. In contrast, Joomla 3 has outdated coding practices and could benefit from better optimization. However, Joomla 4 boasts a cleaner and more optimized codebase.
Security is a crucial aspect that every CMS should prioritize. Joomla 4, in particular, has made significant improvements in this area to ensure higher levels of security.
Joomla 3 still has some security flaws that require constant updates to address them.
On the other hand, Joomla 4 has incorporated various security features, including support for prepared SQL statements and an increased minimum supported software stack. These improvements, coupled with the latest technologies, make Joomla 4 more secure than its predecessor.
Demo Joomla 4 website –
Joomla 2.5 installation was complicated, whereas Joomla 3 installation process was simplified with three steps, but the user interface was not user-friendly. However, Joomla 4 has addressed these issues with a user-friendly installation process and an attractive interface.
Bootstrap is a front-end library containing HTML and CSS based responsive design templates for various interface components. Joomla 2.5 used Twitter Bootstrap, and Joomla 3 used Bootstrap 2, but Joomla 4 is developed with Bootstrap 4. With the integration of Bootstrap 4, Joomla 4 has become faster and more responsive.
Joomla 2.5 required a minimum PHP version of 5.2.4+. Joomla 3 required PHP version 5.3+. Joomla 4 requires a minimum PHP version of 7, ensuring a more secure and faster performance with numerous new features.
Joomla 4 code is optimized and cleaner than Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3. It is developed with a core focus, providing more stability and better performance. Some functionalities are rewritten with standard coding to ensure better performance.
Joomla 2.5 used Beez 3 as the frontend template, while Joomla 3 had two frontend templates. Joomla 4 has a single frontend template named CASSIOPEIA, developed with Bootstrap 4.
Joomla 4 has made significant improvements in the admin backend, providing a more user-friendly and accessible interface compared to its predecessors. In Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3, the admin backend structure lacked user-friendliness, but Joomla 4 has revolutionized this structure to provide a superb interface.
The backend template for Joomla 2.5 was Bluestork and Hathor, and for Joomla 3, it was Hathor and ISIS. However, Joomla 4 offers Atum as the backend template, developed with Bootstrap 4 and SASS. The default template’s layout has changed, with the entire menu now located on the left side, similar to WordPress.
LESS and SASS
Joomla 4 has integrated SASS since Bootstrap 4 is based on it, while Joomla’s previous version used LESS. This update ensures better performance.
Joomla 4’s responsiveness is based on Bootstrap 4, providing significantly better performance than previous versions.
Joomla 4’s media manager is a complete overhaul and offers several new features, including drag-and-drop image uploading and image editing capabilities such as renaming, cropping, resizing, and rotating images directly from the Joomla backend.
Overall, Joomla 4’s smarter interface, improved stability, faster performance, and enhanced security make it a promising CMS for the future.
Joomla 4 has been designed to prioritize speed, optimization, security and performance, which was not achievable with the codebase of Joomla 3. Although Joomla 3 accomplished some significant milestones, it was not enough to ensure a sustainable future for the platform.
With Joomla 4, the development team has aimed to create the best version of Joomla to date. When compared with Joomla 3, Joomla 4 places a greater emphasis on optimizing the core codebase, removing all deprecated elements, and utilizing only the latest technology with the newly written plugin system.
Joomla 4 is a powerful platform with improvements in the MVC Layers, clean UI components that use modern technologies, and an Orthogonal Component Structure. These features make Joomla 4 more advanced and robust than its predecessors.
More Security Added
As an open-source CMS, Joomla faces the significant challenge of ensuring security. While other popular CMS like WordPress have struggled to maintain security, Joomla has always taken security seriously, as evidenced by the vast improvements made in Joomla 3.
With Joomla 4, security has been taken to the next level. Prepared SQL statements are now supported, and the minimum supported software stack has been increased. These measures, along with the latest technology, make your site even more secure.
Additionally, Joomla 4 requires a minimum of PHP 7, and support for outdated SQL servers has been dropped, further enhancing the security of your site.
Updated Bootstrap for better user interface
Joomla 4 has undergone a significant revamp of the entire project, including its use of Bootstrap. While Joomla 3 relied on an outdated version of Bootstrap, Joomla 4 has upgraded to Bootstrap 4, which is the latest version available. This major upgrade has enabled developers to build more responsive websites more quickly and easily. Furthermore, the new front-end templates in Joomla 4 feature modern and improved user interfaces. To support the use of Bootstrap 4, Joomla 4 now uses SASS (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets) instead of LESS, which was used in Joomla 3.
Fully rebuilt Media Manager with lots of new features
Joomla 3 Media manager was decent, but it lacked some essential features such as file uploading and image editing. However, the new and improved Media Manager in Joomla 4 is a game changer. It has been completely rebuilt to ensure stability and reliability, and it now offers a wide range of features that editors will love.
With the revamped Media Manager, you can easily edit images, crop, resize, rotate, and upload multiple images with drag-and-drop functionality. These features are available right out of the box, making Joomla 4 a go-to choice for those who need a powerful and user-friendly media management tool.
Improved Performance & Loading Time
Everyone desires a website that loads faster and performs better, regardless of whether it is a single-page website, a large website, or a landing page. Joomla understands this and has made significant improvements in Joomla 3, which have been further refined and focused in Joomla 4.
Joomla 4 aims to improve the quality of the base code, use modern CSS systems, remove outdated and deprecated functionality, and introduce a completely revamped plugin system. It also incorporates Dependency Injection Containers to replace JFactory, makes greater use of the Joomla framework in more components, and introduces Code Namespacing and Depreciation. These are all important steps that Joomla has taken to enhance CMS performance and achieve the best possible page loading speeds.