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Joomla!Joomla is a powerful and popular Open Source Content Management System that powers thousands of sites on the world wide web. You yourself may be one of the thousands who chose to power your website with Joomla!. If you are, you may also be using the 1.5 version of Joomla!. In writing this article, I hope to provide the information required for you to make an informed decision as to whether you should upgrade from 1.5 to the newest version (as of the time of this writing), Joomla! 3.3.

Joomla! 1.5 was first introduced January 22 2008. Since that time it went through 26 different builds. The last build, Joomla! 1.5.26 was released March 27 2012. Since that last release, Joomla has gone through 7 different versions. As of October 01 2014, the latest stable build of Joomla! 3.3 (the time of this writing) is Joomla! 3.3.6.

Sites built using Joomla 1.5 are for the most part working perfectly well and will probably still work as they have for a number of years, but as more time goes by, and newer web technologies and standards are being implemented by browsers, it will become more probable that newer browsers will not be able to display Joomla! 1.5 sites as they were originally intended. within 4 to five years I suspect no Joomla! 1.5 site will be viewable in modern browsers for this reason and the latest extensions available for newer versions of Joomla! Will not be available for version 1.5.

At some point in the future you will need to plan on upgrading to a newer version of Joomla! before it is too late. As I said that probably gives you at least 2 years or more, but there are good reasons to consider upgrading to the newest version sooner rather than later:


  • An upgraded site will look better - When Joomla! 1.5 was the newest version of Joomla!, there were more restrictions on template creation, web technologies were not as advanced and fewer extensions were available for presenting content in a more attractive way. This meant that design, layout, user experience and presentation of sites was limited to what Joomla! 1.5 allowed, what extensions are available for Joomla! 1.5 and what web technologies are supported by Joomla! 1.5. The newest version, Joomla! 3.3 has almost no restrictions on layout, supports all of the newest web technologies being supported by the most recent browsers, and is supported by many more improved extensions created with the most recent technologies. This allows a site design using style elements that did not exist when Joomla! 1.5 was created but are available for use with modern web browsers and supported in Joomla! 3.3. To give you an idea of (some of) the variety of things that are possible using Joomla! 3.3 check out the following sites:
  • An upgraded site will allow pages to be optimized for viewing on a variety of mobile devices - When Joomla! 1.5 was created mobile web browsing was very new and there was little if any support for making sites that displayed well on different mobile devices. The standard was to create separate sites that were individually styled to display optimally on every different types of device you wanted your content to display on. Now, with new and better styling standards and technologies, it is possible to have one single site that is "responsive". A responsive site recognizes the device and screen width being used to view the site and responds to it, changing the scale and layout of elements to best suit the device being used. That means one site can be viewed using any mobile device and if you need to update content on your site you need do it only on the one site.
  • An upgraded site is easier to use and more secure! - In the five years since Joomla! 1.5 was created, the Joomla! Open Source Community has spent countless hours improving the Joomla! CMS. With each new version and build of those versions, they have become progressively easier to use, and more secure than previous versions. The same applies to the community that has created extensions for Joomla!. Extensions for the latest version of Joomla! are better, easier to use and come in more varieties and for fore utilities than for any versions in the past.
  • An upgraded site will be supported longer by the Joomla! community and by future browser updates! - As mentioned before, the Joomla! community is focusing support on newer versions of Joomla! that are designed to use technologies that are being embraced by modern web browsers and are more likely to remain supported by web browsers for many more years to come.

As you can see there are definitely advantages to upgrading your Joomla! 1.5 site sooner rather than later.

For more information on the various versions of Joomla! that are available visit the downloads section on the Joomla! CMS website.


Richmond Lauman

JAMAXX Web Design


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Is It Time to Upgrade Your Joomla! 1.5 Site? by Richmond Lauman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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