For bringing to you a clearer look of Joomla 3 and Joomla 4 features!

On 17th November 2017, Joomla 4 development team has released the Alpha 1 version with enormous updates and core developments for improving user experience (UI), quality of coding and bringing bigger functionality advances to prevent backward compatibility breaks. Will Joomla 4 features be greater than it was in Joomla 3? Today article is going to give you a proper answer. Let’s take a look!

1. Between Bootstrap 2 and Bootstrap 4

As we have known, Bootstrap is considered as the most well-known HTML, CSS, and JS Framework to create mobile-first sites, responsiveness. Bootstrap 2 from Joomla 3 is now out of date, therefore, in spite of keeping this version of Bootstrap, Joomla 4 is going to keep up to date by integrating with Bootstrap 4 – the main rewrite of the whole project to develop responsive site easier and quicker.

Joomla Integrates Bootstrap

Joomla 4 with Bootstrap 4

2. LESS and SASS

These CSS extensions are both powerful, which are programming languages developed for making CSS more extendable, themeable, and maintainable.

Less Language

Joomla 3 was built with LESS.

Joomla 3 was created with LESS via integrating Bootstrap 2, while Joomla 4 integrates Bootstrap 4 then using SASS.

Sass And Less

Joomla 4 is built with SASS.

3. Responsive and mobile-first

To be honest, although Joomla 3 based on Bootstrap 2 responsive grid system which brings responsiveness to frontend and backend template, it still wasn’t Mobile-first. With the powerful Bootstrap 4 for developing responsive and mobile first sites, Joomla 4 will run smoothly on responsive.

Joomla 4 Joomla 3 Responsive

Joomla 4 is promising to work well on mobile

4. Installation process

There were 3 steps to install Joomla 3 which are configuration, database, then overview. It is really easy for users.

Joomla 3 Installation

3 steps installation of Joomla 3

With Joomla 4, its installation process offers 3 steps as well, but with a better friendly UI, multilingual and sample data installation are included in “Customize installation” panel. More options are intended to be added to the installation such as:

– Able to install extensions (at extensions with minimum core supported)

– Rework sample data installation.

Joomla 4 Installation

User interface improved from Joomla 4 installation.

5. Media manager

If media manager features from Joomla 3 are limited with one file upload and no editor in file management, in Joomla 4, Media Manager is fully rebuilt with many significant features and advanced working panel for making everything easier to manage files.

Joomla 3 Media Manager

Media Manage limit features of Joomla 3.

  • Multiple files upload with drag and drop

Joomla 4 Media Manager

  • Image editor: crop, resize, rotate

Joomla 4 Image Editor 1

  • Image properties

Joomla 4 Media File Properties

  • Many other options: image preview, delete, rename …

Joomla 4 Manage File

6. Default Front-end template

Beez 3 with Protostar are both frontend templates of Joomla 3. While Protostar was a brand new template for Joomla 3, Beez 3 was an updated version to be able to compatible with Joomla 3 – which based on LESS and Bootstrap 2.

Joomla 3 Front End Templates

2 frontend templates from Joomla 3

Joomla 4 Front End TemplateJoomla 4 new frontend template.

7. Default Back-end template

Like frontend template, Hathor and Isis are both backend templates of Joomla 3, which base on LESS CSS, Bootstrap 2. On the other side, Joomla 4 provides a new built backend template which is called “atum”, based on SASS, Bootstrap 4 and brilliant improvements for workflow and user interface.

Joomla 3 Back End Template

Backend templates from Joomla 3

Joomla 4 Atum Template

Joomla 4 new backend template.

8. With Mootools and Without Mootools

Mootools will be no longer in Joomla 4 library (in Joomla 3 library, there were Mootools and JQuery) for making its core cleaner and work quicker. Besides, this change helps to improve process times and readability without conflicting.

9. PHP version required: PHP 5.3 and PHP 7

Joomla 4’s minimum PHP version is PHP 7 which brings a faster performance (up to 2x in speed), with more new features, secure and advances for online apps and websites.

Joomla 4 Require Php 7

10. Horizontal and vertical collapse menu – Back-end navigation

While Joomla 3 backend navigation used drop-down menu structure in the horizontal style, in Joomla 4, backend navigation which is fixed on left sidebar will have a vertical style. It is going to be collapsed to give space for users. When you click a submenu, the main menu will be automatically switched to the toolbar with an icon.

Joomla 3 Navigation

Horizontal backend navigation from Joomla 3

Joomla 4 Navigation

Vertical backend navigation of Joomla 4.

11. Backend UI responsiveness: compatible and mobile-first

Although admin panel from Joomla 3 is fully responsive and it works well on every layout of mobile and tablets, there are still some limitations as well as the performance isn’t quite good. Those problems will be improved in Joomla 4. This new version brings us a new template of admin which integrates Bootstrap 4, improved backend UI and a better performance.

Joomla Back End Responsive

Responsive backend user interface between Joomla 3 and Joomla 4.

 12. Performance/loading time

There were considerable improvements in performance from Joomla 3 and it will continue to be concentrated on Joomla 4 with code quality improvement, latest technologies, previous deprecated functionality deleted, replace JFactory with dependency injection containers, new plugin system which has been rewritten, Code Namespacing, using more components for Joomla framework, etc. Therefore, Joomla 4 performance is promised to bring us the best experience!

Joomla 4 Performance

Greater performance from Joomla 4.

13. Technologies

There are many changes in web technologies since the release date of Joomla 3. So, in Joomla 4 which core will be built by the latest technologies including Bootstrap 4, PHPMailer 6.0, Jquery 3.

14. Coding quality

Compare to clean code of Joomla 3, Joomla 4 has a strong concentrate on the core codebase – well optimized, clean and integrate with latest technologies, the new plugin system has been rewritten by following the coding standard, removing previously deprecated functionalities.

  • Orthogonal Component Structure: make it possible for every component to use new capabilities which are going to be used across extensions
  • Improving MVC layer: limit a component’s duties for a component to implement its own main functionality. The rest thing will be pulled out to the system.
  • UI components with modern technologies: list of components which are developed from new W3C standard using plain and Javascript for cleaner performance and greatly optimized HTML markup.

15. Security features

From Joomla 3 we already had many security features and it has been updated continuously for fixing security problems. In Joomla 4, more security features will be added such as supporting for prepared SQL statements, pay off some technical debt of project by retiring deprecated code and increasing minimum supported software stack.

Requirements for Joomla 4 system:

  • PHP 7
  • MySQL 5.5.3
  • Dropped SQL Server support
  • PostgreSQL 9.2.


That’s all for our article about comparing Joomla 3 and Joomla 4! We are not going to judge which one is better, but you will decide it yourself! We really hope that with information from this article as well as your experience, you’re easier to have a choice. We are going to keep our products up to date as soon as Joomla 4 launches, and releases Joomla 4 templates as well! Feel free to share it with your friends if you find this article is useful!

Thank you so much for reading! If you have any question, please contact us by leaving a comment below, we will reply as soon as possible!

Image Credit: Joomlart


5/5 - (3 votes)
Lt Digital Team (Content &Amp; Marketing)

Summer Sale Grab 50% Off for everything on today, don't miss it. Coupon code: SUMMER2024 Redeem Now
Summer Sale Grab 50% Off for everything on today, don't miss it. Coupon code: SUMMER2024 Redeem Now