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What’s New in Joomla 4 – Major Initiatives & Improvements

Hola Joomla enthusiasts! I am sure you’ve already heard the birthday present announcement Joomla has made recently. As per the official announcement, the planned launch of Joomla 4 will take place on 17th August 2021. Nearly nine years in the making, this major Joomla version is ready to change the way you’ll be using Joomla in the future. Excited? So are we!

It is the perfect time to explore the new features and fall in love with Joomla all over again. Today, let’s shed some light on the major initiatives and improvements Joomla 4 is shipping with and appreciate the work of art it is.

Before we proceed, please note that if you’re using any JoomShaper product on your live site, please do not upgrade your site to Joomla 4 until the products in use are fully compatible with Joomla 4.

Brand New Administrator and Site Templates

The very first thing you’ll notice about Joomla 4 is the completely new layout of the administration area. The new Admin Dashboards are designed for site managers to optimize their site management experience for themselves or clients quickly and easily.

The Home dashboard presents Admin modules like Logged-in Users, Latest Actions, Site Information, Notifications, system shortcuts, and more to get you started administering your Joomla 4 site. Followed by Content, Menus, Components, and Users dashboards to easily manage content, menus, components, and users.

On each dashboard, there’s always an area to click on to add a module to customize the dashboard.

Joomla 4 also introduced 1 new front-end template: Cassiopeia and 1 new back-end template: Atum.

Improved Command Line Interface (CLI)

The new improved and expanded command-line interface is introducing a faster way to perform operations through the command line. It brings forward a way to integrate things faster, perform updates in the CMS, and run small tests without having to go through the process of the web dashboard.

With the available commands you can easily check for core updates, manage ( install, list, remove) extensions, update the Joomla core, quickly put your Joomla-powered website into offline or online mode, and do much more.

More Powerful Codebase

Joomla 4 has a clean and optimized codebase with the removal of all 3.x deprecated functions. The move to PHP namespaces is one of the biggest changes in Joomla 4 empowering developers to develop more robust and innovative applications.

The PHP namespacing allows for a better organization by grouping classes that work together to perform a task. It also allows you to use the same class name for frontend and backend classes. Read the official documentation to know more about namespace conventions in Joomla 4.

Bootstrap 5 Integration

Bootstrap 5 is a major rewrite of the entire Bootstrap project to make it even more powerful. And the good news is Joomla 4 is shipping with Bootstrap 5! This means Joomla 4 and its later versions will stay up-to-date with the latest Bootstrap version to prevent conflict and backward compatibility issues.

As the web has already evolved beyond jQuery, so does Bootstrap. With JavaScript standards and dominant web browsers already supporting most of the features in jQuery, Bootstrap 5 has dropped the support of jQuery and Internet Explorer. It’s a huge improvement as Google uses page speed as one of the ranking factors.

From an improved grid system, custom form controls to a new icon library, you’ll get to enjoy all the great features Bootstrap 5 offers with the new major Joomla version.

Accessibility – (WCAG) 2.0 AA Compliance

Joomla 4 got even better with one of the most important features, which is accessibility support. It has WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance, which means websites powered by Joomla 4 are usable and understandable for the majority of people with or without disabilities.

There is no need to invest in any external extensions or plugins, thanks to its built-in accessibility for both frontend and backend templates. With this feature, anyone can manage a Joomla website, it is a fantastic convenience for people who have been struggling with accessibility to use Joomla.

New Workflows

The new Workflows feature will make sure the tasks get done more efficiently and by the right people. This is a feature content writers will surely fall in love with!

With the new Joomla 4 workflow feature, you can set the workflow stage and allow administrators to review the article before it is supposed to be published. The new features allow you to create user groups, give limited access control, and set approvers and posters for the article or blog.

New Media Manager

The new media manager of Joomla 4 comes with a cleaner UI and new image editing capabilities. It is much more user-friendly and has more advanced features in comparison with Joomla 3. It’s now more efficient and hassle-free with the support of multi-files upload and drop & drag uploading.

You can now edit images straight from the backend. Once you click on the ellipsis icon over an image, it will give you options for Preview, Rename, Edit, Get shareable link, Download, and Delete an image.

You can perform basic edits to your images with the image editor like crop, resize, and rotate.

Email Templating

Another feature of Joomla 4 that adds remarkable value is the new customizable HTML Mail templates. In Joomla 3, we had to modify system emails creating a custom language override. We were limited to having the emails go out as plain text only unless you used a third-party extension. There’s no need to use third-party extensions anymore to modify your emails from the Joomla core, you can do this through Joomla itself!

The new Mail Templates component allows you to add HTML formatting along with plain text to make your emails look far more professional. A wide range of Mail Templates is available in Joomla 4 that can be easily customized to suit your site’s needs.

Smart Search

Joomla 4 smart search has many improvements over previous Joomla search and is the best to date. The com_search component of Joomla 3.x is replaced by Joomla smart search in Joomla 4 with new options for the active search index.

With the active search index, every time you add new content on the website, Joomla will automatically index the new items for the search result. Wave goodbye to manual indexing!

Apart from this, it also brings new advanced options for a search filter and content map. You can also publish the search module anywhere on the website using a module position and support different types of filter selection.

Improved Security

With many architectural changes and well-written code, you can be assured your Joomla-powered website will be more secure than ever. New security features such as support for prepared SQL statements and managing security headers from within your site make protecting your site even easier.

Joomla 4 has new tools for the Joomla Core to help every site integrator with the setup of the headers. That allows a wider range of users to understand and set up that headers and even apply some of the basic protections by default.

Joomla 4 SEO & Speed

SEO built into the architecture of the page means you get the correct page structure without any additional extensions. The Joomla 4’s key features and core benefits have greater potential than other CMS to rank very high if a website and pages are set up properly.

Joomla 4 comes with a built-in plugin for Lazy Load. Once it is enabled, it will automatically lazy load all the images resulting in faster-loading pages, better user experience, and better organic rankings for your website. There’s no doubt with all improvements in the codebase and core architecture, your Joomla site will be more powerful and faster!

Final Thoughts

Joomla 4 brings a huge upgrade to the CMS and is packed with features it needs to perform at its best!. It’s safe to say with all the improvements – Joomla 4 will offer you a platform that is reliable, steady, secure, and fully equipped to empower innovations.

So get ready for a new world of possibilities. With the platform growing so tremendously, we are incredibly proud of how Joomla has evolved throughout the years!

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