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Joomla 4 is a huge generation of Joomla CMS. Joomla 4 presents many new great features, raise the minimum supported PHP version to PHP 7 as well as remove previously deprecated functionality. Joomla 4.0 is based on Joomla! Framework 2.0 and new core User Interface that is worth looking forward to.

How to Migrate/Upgrade Joomla 3 to Joomla 4 Step by Step Tutorial

Joomla! 3.10 contains backports of API changes and it will primarily be a bridge between Joomla 3.x and Joomla 4. You should update your website for Joomla 3.10 only if you tend to update your website for Joomla 4. In addition, Joomla 4 is still in RC development phase, then DO NOT MIGRATE/UPGRATE ON A LIVE SITE, just on a test site only.

Steps to Migrate Joomal 3 to Joomla 4

  • Backup your website
  • Check the technical requirements
  • Update Joomla 3.9.x site to Joomla 3.10
  • Joomla 4 Pre-Update Check
  • Update Joomla 3.10 site to Joomla 4

1. Backup Your Website

Backup is an essential task for website administrator. It will save your website when things gone wrong. You can simply restore it by using backup. You are strongly advised to make a backup of your installation before you start updating. You should use a good backup extension to get the most effective backup, Akeeba is one of the most popular backup tools for Joomla you can refer.

2. Technical Requirements

To check your technical information, in Admin Panel -> Menu System -> System Information.

Requirements for Joomla! 3.x:

Software Recommended Minimum More Information
PHP 7.3 + 5.3.10
Supported Databases
MySQL 5.5.3 + 5.1
SQL Server 10.50.1600.1 + 10.50.1600.1
PostgreSQL 9.1 + 8.3.18
Supported Web Servers
Apache 2.4 + 2.0
Nginx 1.8 + 1.0
Microsoft IIS 7 7

Requirements for Joomla! 4.x:

Software Recommended Minimum More Information
PHP 7.4 + 7.2.50
Supported Databases
MySQL 5.6 + 5.6
PostgreSQL 11.0 + 11.0
Supported Web Servers
Apache 2.4 + 2.4
Nginx 1.18 + 1.10
Microsoft IIS 10 +

3. Update Joomla 3.9.x site to Joomla 3.10

Joomla 3.10 is now available with the first Candidate Release. Joomla 3.10 stable is planned to come out on 17 August, 2021 simultaneously with Joomla 4 stable. So, on this tutorial, we work on Joomla 3.10 RC1. Please do not update your live site to Joomla 3.10 or Joomla 4 currently.

In Admin panel:

Go to Components -> Joomla! Update -> Options.

In Update Source, set the Update Channel to Testing and Minimum Stability to Release Candidate as we work on Joomla 3.10 RC1, Save & Close.

Now click on the Check for Updates to see the available new version. Click on Install the Update.

Update Successful Message

4. Joomla 4 Pre-Update Check

Joomla 3.10 introduces a built-in option Pre-Update Check for Joomla 4. extension or template is not ready for Joomla 4. It is strongly recommended to checkup before updating Joomla 4.x to see the compatibility of them with Joomla 4.x. In Joomla Pre-Update checklist, if there is any extension is not ready for Joomla 4, you have to update it to be compatible or remove/unpublish it.

Database Schema check

Navigate to the Extension Manager -> Database tab. If it shows the schema is not up to date, click the Fix button.

Go to Components -> Joomla Updates -> Check for Updates -> Pre-Update Check.

The Pre-Update Check provides you with information about the readiness of your server, setting and installed extensions for the update. In this stage, you can check if you have passed the requirements or not.

3rd Party Extensions Check

By Pre-Update Check, you also can find out which extensions work with Joomla 4 or not. In our tutorial, the SJ Extra Slider for Content module is not ready for Joomla 4, then we will update it to the compatibility. If there is any extension that no longer works with Joomla 4, you should remove it.

5. Update Joomla 3.10 site to Joomla 4

Go to System -> Global Configurations -> Server -> Error Report -> Maximum

Go to Components -> Joomla Updates -> Options,  Set the Update Channel to Joomla Next to see Joomla 4 update notification.

If there is no update notification showing, you can upload the Joomla 4 package manually. (Download the package HERE.)

Go to Upload & Update tab to manually upload the Joomla 4 RC5 package. For installation confirmation, login and click Install.

After successful installation, you will see the new Joomla 4 dashboard.

There are some few steps you need to do:

  • Go to Updates and Clear Cache.
  • Go to Extensions -> Manage -> Database and click Fix if any errors show.
  • Review the site front-end and back-end pages again.
  • If all is fine, set the Error Reporting to Default which had been set to Maximum before.

Your Joomla 4 website is ready and you can start working on it.

Joomla 4 is on the go with candidate release. We will update all our Joomla templates, Joomla extensions to Joomla 4 as soon as the stable release.

Follow up all of the news of Joomla 4:

Joomla 4 Templates

Joomla 4 extensions

[SmartAddons] Products Support Status & Joomla 4 Update Plan

Joomla Announcement - Joomla 4 Stable 17th August

Differences Between the Joomla 3 and Joomla 4

Joomla 4 New Features

Joomla 4 News

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