We have created a single tutorial for the latest Joomla versions - 2.5, 1.7 and 1.6. The three application versions don't have any significant differences in the way they operate or are managed. This is why you can follow the same instructions if you are using either of them.
The latest Joomla 2.5 version has the several main improvements:
- Joomla update notification button: You can now see if there is a new Joomla version available right Joomla notification buttonsafter you login to your administrative area. There are two buttons that show you whether your application and the installed extensions are up to date.
- Additional databases support: You can now run Joomla on a few additional database engines including Microsoft SQL Server / Windows Azure and PostgreSQL server.
- Core captcha support: Now you can easily implement human verification in your website. Joomla 2.5 has core captcha support and you no-longer need to browse for 3rd party extensions unless you want to add an additional layer of security to your pages.
- User notes: If you have a website with multiple authors and users you will definitely appreciate this function. You can now add notes to all of your users and include all sort of information in them – text, images, video, etc.
- Who’s online filters: Joomla administrators can now show only the online users from a specific group if they want to. This can come really handy if you want to display the available administrators online for example.
Joomla 1.7 introduced several new features available for its users:
- Improved single-click version update - you no longer need to use 3rd party extensions to upgrade your Joomla site to the latest application version or to perform risky manual tasks. Now, all you have to do to be up-to-date is press a single button.
- Multilanguage improvements allow you to associate menu items in different languages for better navigation.
The previous version, Joomla 1.6 introduced several improvements and new features such as:
- Configurable user groups and viewing levels. This will allow better access control to the site resources. This is a feature highly demanded by the community for a long time and it has finally arrived in version 1.6.
- Site structure improvements - Joomla 1.6 has switched from complex section / category structure to a more intuitive multi-level categories hierarchy. This is definitely a huge step forward towards user experience. If for you publishing in Joomla seemed complex before now it should be easier to grasp the simple concept of articles organized in multi-level categories.
- Installation and maintenance improvements. Finally it is possible to install a more complex extension with one package and there are options to automatically update Joomla and its extensions.
- SEO improvements - semantic markup along with better URL rewriting. This will allow your site built with Joomla 1.6 to be even better indexed by the search engines with less or even no help of third party Joomla SEO extensions.
There many other improvements in Joomla 1.7 which together make it faster, more powerful and easier to use while still keeping all the good features from the old version. Joomla 1.7 continues to be free, open source (GPL) and well-supported by its Open Source Matters foundation and the community.