Categories: Joomla

Joomla 3.0 Released!

Joomla 3.0 is finally out! As usual, I'm testing it on our servers making sure that it works flawlessly for all SiteGround folks that use this great piece of open source software.

I started installing Joomla 3.0 and writing this post simultaneously. I've just written an intro paragraph on how easy and painless the installation process is, when a nasty Internal Server Error screen appeared - right after I unpacked the official installation package. That kind of reminded me how right was the saying that one should never assume...


However, now few hours later I can still say this: the installation of Joomla 3.0 on a SiteGround account is painless, but only if you use our single-click installer Softaculous. It takes literally two clicks, has zero problems and will save you precious time that you can spend on building your actual site. I was also amazed by the speed with which our partners from Softaculous have prepared the special installation package so that it is already available for you to use!

As to the others, who were as impatient as me to install the new version before it was available in Softaculous,  or simply prefer the manual installation, here are my two cents on it. Until now, all Joomla installation packages came with correct permissions of their files and folders. Joomla 3.0 package, however, has all its content writable by the "others" group. Because it is considered as a security issue this triggers an Internal Server Error message when you try to start the installation. I am saving you the quick visit to the Error Log where you should generally look for reasons why this error appears - it's all about the permissions. You can use FileZilla or other FTP client software and simply remove the writing permissions for the "others" group with it. Remove them for all files and folders, FileZilla and other good FTP clients support recursive change that is really useful in this case.

Once the permissions problem was fixed a new and, I must say, great-looking installation screen appeared. Unfortunately, with another issue - this time the Joomla 3.0 developers have decided that the obsolete PHP variable Magic Quotes GPC must be turned off and that's a required setting for the installation to proceed. Thankfully, there is a great tool in our cPanel that allows you to quickly disable it named PHP Variables Manager. Just add magic_quotes_gpc as variable, set it to Disabled and apply the changes to all sub-directories (there is a check-box for that).

After these initial glitches the manual installation finishes smoothly. I can't hide the fact that the new system and installation pages look much better than the previous oneс, but more on the looks to follow...

The Back End

Did I already say that the Bootstrap-powered new admin page looks fantastic? Well, it looks fantastic and what is even better it looks fantastic on all devices! The first noticeable thing is the new Quick Icons panel with links to the most commonly used tools. On the left of it there are blocks showing the most popular articles on your site, most recently added ones and information about the logged users. I must say that I like the new style a lot more than the old one with the huge square buttons!

The Article Manager has received a major overhaul too! Drag-and-drop arrangement of the articles, quick buttons to Publish, Unpublish, Trash and more actions that you can apply to your articles with just a click are just few of the great features of the new design. I am unable to understand why, however, they have included MooTools in the backend since the entire Bootstrap library is based on jQuery.

The WYSIWYG editor is the same, but the rest of the article editing screen is significantly improved. All the options you don't need to see all the time are hidden in tabs and the ones you really need when you add new articles are brought to the front and easily accessible. Just a personal opinion here, the three default lines of formatting buttons could be easily converted into one line to save some more space.

And most importantly, the entire admin area works great on mobile devices. The design is responsive and adjusts itself depending on the screen size you are viewing the page on. After certain width, the menus are reorganized in a completely different fashion, and not just compressed. This is one of the great advantages of using Bootstrap. I can now easily edit my sites on my iPhone without having to pinch in and out all the time just to do a simple task.

The Front End

Joomla 3.0 comes with a new default template named Protostar. I have played around with it a little by adding sample data and I find the template to be quite elegant and simple, producing a really nice output for a startup website. It does include, however, both MooTools and the Bootstrap libraries. Hopefully, we will soon see a jQuery-powered default template (maybe for Joomla 3.5 ).

The scary question: should you upgrade now?

  • NO, if you are currently using Joomla 2.5
  • YES, but to Joomla 2.5 if you are currently using 1.5.

With the release of Joomla 3.0, the official support of Joomla 1.5 will be discontinued. This means that you are strongly advised to move to the higher version, which is 2.5. However, upgrading a 2.5 Joomla to 3.0 is not recommended. It will be best to wait for the 3.5 version to be released before you start upgrading. For more information on release cycles please refer to the official Joomla blog.

Hristo Pandjarov: Enthusiastic about all Open Source applications you can think of, but mostly about WordPress. Add a pinch of love for web design, new technologies, search engine optimisation and you are pretty much there!

View Comments

  • I would personally start new projects with Joomla 3.0 from now on because I believe that it will provide better user experience and more functionality. However, you need to take into consideration the following three factors when choosing for yourself:

    1. Extensions – if you know that you want to use a particular extension check out if it is already made compatible with Joomla 3.0. I am sure that all the popular ones will release their updated versions very soon, but if you are in a hurry, this may be a reason to choose Joomla 2.5

    2. Template – it seems that many of the Joomla 2.5 templates will work with Joomla 3.0 (at least SiteGround free templates do). However, this may not be the case for all templates, so if you have a particular one in mind you may want to ask its developers if it is compatible.

    3. Security and bugs – Joomla 3.0 official release is stable, but still as it is the first release of the new branch you may expect updates a little more often than with the 2.5 version that has already been in use for quite some time. However, no matter which version you choose, I strongly recommend that you always keep your Joomla up-to-date with the latest version of the branch.

  • I tried everything to fix the double quotes (") being escaped (\") .

    I tried disabling magic_qotes any way possible but this did not worked! The only solution I found was editing [b]library/joomla/input/filter/input.php[/b].

    [b]Function clean (line 159)[/b]

    [code]public function clean($source, $type = 'string') {

    // Handle the type constraint
    switch (strtoupper($type)) {
    case 'INT':[/code]

    as follow:

    [code]public function clean($source, $type = 'string') {

    if (is_string($source))
    $source = stripslashes($source);
    else if(is_array($source))
    array_walk($source, create_function ('&$var', '$var=stripslashes($var);'));

    // Handle the type constraint
    switch (strtoupper($type)) {
    case 'INT':[/code]

    • Thank you sebastien, u saved me hours, after i did try 2 find out until morning how to get along with this magic quotes on thing... stripslashes
      ... putting ur function into joomla 3 [b]library/joomla/input/filter/input.php[/b]. worked sucessfully 4 me.

    • You are experiencing this issues because you have Magic Quotes GPC turned on for your account or at least for the folder your Joomla 3.0 resides in. As mentioned in the post, it needs to be turned off and this is now a strict requirement for the Joomla application to work properly. I'd advise you to revert the changes you've made to the core Joomla files and simply disable Magic Quotes GPC. To do that, you can use the PHP Variables Manager tool in your cPanel(http://kb.siteground.com/article/How_to_change_the_value_of_a_PHP_setting.html).

  • Hi Hristo,

    Thanks for the information. I would like to install Joomla on some of our websites hosted with Siteground. When logging in through cpanel and clicking the Joomla link in Softaculous, it only gives versions 1.5 or 2.5.7 but not 3.0.
    Am I doing something wrong? Our main site is cciwiki.net

    Thanks, Greg

    • Note that Joomla 3.0 is not added as a separate software in the left column of Softaculous, but as version, available for installation under the Joomla menu. This means, that you have to simply select Joomla -> Install and then chose 3.0 as software version from the first drop-down in the page(check out the screenshot below). I have logged to your cciwiki.net account and Joomla 3.0 was available for installation through Softaculous just fine. If you experience this issue on any of your customers, please provide me with the domain name of the exact account that has difficulties and I will have it fixed for you :)

  • I think i will upgrade my site to joomla 3.0.
    thank you so much for this great post.
    my site is hosted on siteground.

  • Well, I probably stick to the current (2.5)...
    I upgraded the Joomla CMS to 3.0 and got some problems with my ''handmade'' Joomla templates so I decide to stick to the 2.5.
    But without the template problem it worked great and everything looks elegant!

  • Well, I see that I am the village idiot -- there is an option to select a version.... As even stated above!

  • Created a site on joomla using a template ...how do i remove the isis default template from being default because it appears on the site

    • To remove a template completely, go to Extensions -> Template Manager -> Manage section. Then select the template and press the Uninstall button :)

      • actually, to completely uninstall a template you need to go to:
        extensions > manage > filter by template (on the left) > then uninstall.

        Doing this in template manager, you can never remove the last version of a template - you need to do it through the extension manager.

        Hope that helps, Max