How to Upgrade Joomla to the Newest Version Safely

How to Upgrade Joomla to the Newest Version Safely

Upgrading Joomla to the newest version is one of the greatest methods for website security enhancement. This is because bugs cannot be fixed effectively within the old versions. Whereas more security patches are available in the latest version, which increase the security level of your Joomla site in an easy manner.

Here, we would like to brief you on a step-by-step guide to upgrade your Joomla to the latest version. The two methods mentioned in this guide are easy to understand and handle, even for beginners. In case of data loss and file damage, we suggest you to backup all web content before starting out, especially for databases and files.

Method 1: Upgrade Joomla When Prompted

Briefly, the latest version of Joomla is Joomla 3.4.1, which has been released on February 24, 2015. That comes with an array of new functions, like Google new reCaptcha, improved security advancement, composer integration, and so on. The other versions popular with users are Joomla 2.5.x and Joomla 3. Honestly, those previous versions are nothing compared to the newest one.

Since a new version is released, a notice is shown conspicuously on your Joomla dashboard. That enables you to upgrade the old version to the latest one without downloading file from Joomla.org. Log into your Joomla dashboard and check if there is a message displayed as below. If so, click “Update Now” and get started to upgrade to the newest version. If not, skip to the Method 2.

Joomla Update Notice

You are directed to the Joomla! Update page and this is where to check the current Joomla version, latest Joomla version, update package URL and installation method. Make some changes if needed. Perhaps, it is fine to leave the default settings and then click “Install the update” button.

Joomla Update Page

It takes a few seconds to update Joomla files. The details during the Joomla update are displayed clearly on this page.

Updating Joomla Files

Since there is a Joomla! Versions Update Status notice said “Your site has been successfully updated. Your Joomla version is now 3.4.1” shown on the current page, you have the newest version installed on your Joomla website successfully.

Joomla Version Update Status

Method 2: Download Latest Joomla via Joomla.org

If you miss the notice for Joomla version upgrade, you should turn to Joomla.org and download the latest version manually. Access to Joomla.org and here comes three buttons on the homepage. Click Download button to enter the Download Joomla page.

The latest version is always placed on the top of this page. Here, the newly released version is Joomla 3.4.1. Click “Upgrade Packages” to check all files available for Joomla upgrade.

Upgrade Packages

Before selecting an upgrade file from a list of options, you should get to know the current Joomla version of your website via Joomla dashboard. In most cases, the version number of installed Joomla is shown on the upper right corner or lower right corner of the Joomla control panel. That depends.

Another way to check the current Joomla version is accessing to System > System Information. Focus on the “Joomla! Version” item, which is followed by the Joomla version and the update time. Turn to the page with a list of upgrade files for Joomla update. For example, if the current version is Joomla 3.4.0, download “Update from Joomla! 3.4.0” zip file on your computer.

Download Upgrade File

Unzip the loaded upgrade file and then upload this file to your Joomla site by using FTP. The process of file upload can be easy for webmasters who integrate website with cPanel. Go to cPanel > Files > File Manager and then click “Upload” button. Choose the upgrade on your computer and upload it.

Since a notice asks you whether to overwrite the previous version, select “Yes” for this request. Refresh the browser and make sure that everything runs well on your Joomla website.

Note that the first method is good for the minor update. The minor update means the upgrade within the same major version, such as updating from the version 3.0.0 to the version 3.0.1. Generally, a minor update happens when Joomla developers fix the security loopholes that are found online. Therefore, there are no big changes between two minor versions, and the only difference is that the latest version is safer than the old one.

The second method is good for the major update. This can be regarded as a huge upgrade as it not only ensures a safer environment, but also adds more features and highlights.