In a confusing progression of version numbers, i.e 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, to 2.5, Joomla 2.5.0 GA (general availability) is set to be the next release on 24th January 2012.
Notable dates after this are:
- 24th February 2012 – Joomla 1.7 reaches end of life and is no longer supported
- April 2012 – Joomla 1.5 reaches end of life
- September 2012 – Next version of Joomla is released
After a first look at the beta release this latest version looks good and offers some core improvements. These are well reported in the Joomla Community Portal so I won’t repeat here.
Touchline customers will be offered migration options from 24th January but contact me if you want more information.
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For a long time now I’ve been recommending that website owners use a content management system (CMS) rather than have a series of linked static pages. The main advantage is that it makes the website content easy to maintain by non technical users for both changing and adding content. Regular updates to your website make it more interesting for visitors, encourage them to return and help in search engine rankings. If you’ve used MS Word or any other word processor then you can easily use a CMS.
All of my Touchline clients’ websites have been converted to use an open source CMS from Joomla!, CMS Made Simple or WordPress. The chosen solution depends on the type of website. For a very quick and simple CMS, WordPress is a good choice (now used for this website) and there are lots of good commercial and open source templates available. For a more bespoke look, that is still easy to use, I recommend CMS Made Simple which I find ideal for converting static websites as the templates are straightforward to develop. This is demonstrated in the Shotokan Worcester website and its sister (or should it be mother) website for the International Japan Karate-Do Association.
Joomla! is more suitable for content rich websites and is used for the colloborative group website for Advanced Power Generation Technology Forum.
Any of these systems can be installed for you and if you’re interested you can develop your own look and feel or Touchline can provide recommendations and bespoke development.
It may be the best Joomla release ever but I’m not proposing to migrate Touchline customer websites from their present Joomla! v1.5 to the latest Joomla! v1.7 any time soon. This is because v1.5 will continue to be supported to April 2012 and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (and it isn’t broken).
The introduction of Joomla! v1.6 and now Joomla! v1.7 isn’t just an upgrade from v1.5 , it’s a migration to a whole new release and requires some serious work. Also, v1.7 is an interim release that will be replaced by v1.8 (or other version number such as v2.5! – don’t ask) in January 2012. The January release will then become the next Long Term Support (LTS) version (after v1.5) lasting for 18 months.
So migrating now will mean applying an update in January and hence involve more work and expense.