How to upgrade to Joomla 4.x

How to upgrade to Joomla 4.x
Remacle Jean-Claude
4 minutes
how to

Mid august 2021 the new stable Joomla 4.0 version was released.
This version is in many way's better then its predecessor but it also brings headaches for so many peoples.

Important system requirements for Joomla 4.x

PHP 8.0 7.2.5
MySQL 5.6 + 5.6
Apache 2.4 + 2.4

Updating to Joomla 4.x can give you a headache

As long as you only used the default extension, then there's no problem. You can just do the upgrade without anything to worry about.
But as soon if you uses a custom build template or other free/payed extension, then the headaches starts to rises.

First of all, you need to check if all installed extensions supports the new Joomla version.
With the build-in check in the latest 3.10.x version, you can do a quick check, but even this isn't bullet proof.

Step by step guide to update Joomla 3.x to Joomla 4.x

Do you want to try the update yourself?
Make sure that you have the latest version of Joomla 3.10.x, also named the bridge version.

Ready for the update? Lets start.

Step 1: Backup

First of all, make a backup!
A backup is very important in this process, so that you always have something to get back to if the update doesn't work.

Step 2: Test environment

If your site only uses the default extensions from Joomla, than you probably don't need a test environment.
But if your site yous non default Joomla extensions OR custom build extensions, it's best to create a test environment.

Create a copy of your website into a test environment that is completely disconnected from the live version.
This way, if the update fails, you website is still online.

Step 3: Joomla pre-update check

Before you can update to the new Joomla version, you have to change the update channel to "Joomla Next".
You can find this in the options of the "Joomla update" component.

Joomla update component will give you a pre update check with an overview off all the extensions and if they are compatible with the new Joomla version.

At this point you can decide which extensions are obsolete so that you can delete them.

The best thing you can do with extensions that aren't supported yet is to disable them.

Sometimes, the best thing during this step is to check manually for each extension that you've installed in your website if the maker of it has released all-ready an update for the new Joomla 4.x version.
If the extension has an update available, then you don't need to worry about that extension.

Step 4: Update to Joomla 4.x

Once the pre update check is green and you're ready to take the big step, you can push the button.
A few minutes later your on the new Joomla 4 version.

Once the update is ready, you can update all the extensions that you disabled to the latest version and activate them one by one.

Step 5: Check you website

After the update is ready, it's time for the "hopefully" last step, checking if everything is still working like it should be.

If everything is still working correctly, you're ready with the update and you can start to enjoy the new Joomla 4.x version.

The "orange" screen of death

Like Windows has a blue screen of death, Joomla 4.x has the orange screen of death.

When you updated your Joomla to the latest Joomla 4.x and there's something wrong, you get to see the orange screen of death.

Best thing you can do at this point if you don't have any coding experience, is to restore the backup that you've made in step 1 and contact a company that is specialized in Joomla.

Need some help

Are you stuck with your update to Joomla 4 or you don't have the knowledge?

jCreativeWeb can help you with your Joomla upgrade and bring you to the latest stable version.

Contact us