Updating Joomla to its latest version

  1. Updating your current Joomla version
  2. Upgrading from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x
  3. Update/Upgrade Troubleshooting

This text will carefully guide you with the updating process. If you’re unaware as to why you should upgrade, then consider how much at risk your site would be if you didn’t upgrade. All dynamic websites are vulnerable by attacks who want to spam, damage, or steal information for your website. Not upgrading to the latest version of Joomla will put your site at risk!

Perhaps you wonder as to why so many new versions of Joomla are released? This is due to the fact that the Joomla development time finds time to fix critical errors and security problems that exist within Joomla code; and they do it regularly! Joomla developers want to be one step ahead of hackers, but for you to take advantage of the hard work of Joomla developers, you need to ensure that you’ve upgraded to the latest version of Joomla. Check often and make sure that you have the newest version and if you do not, upgrade immediately to the newest version. This will help guard you against security vulnerabilities.

Please note:

Each new version of Joomla will be supported by the Joomla project for only a limited amount of time. The two classifications of support are STS (short term support) and LTS (long term support). Please read more about Joomla support cycles here.

Before updating, back up your website!

Before you make any changes to your site, make sure that all files are backed up! If you’re unfamiliar with how to do this, there are a few ways you can do it:

  1. Using the backend of Akeeba, you can backup your entire website.
  2. You can also back up your website through the hosting control panel.
  3. A manual backup of files can be achieved through the FTP/SSH or through phpmyadmin.

Akeeba is highly recommended as it’s the easiest way to backup your files. Never heard of Akeeba? Click here. Not sure how to use Akeeba? Click here.

Updating your current Joomla version

If you’re still operating with Joomla 3.1 or 2.5.x, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Access the backend of your site and navigate to Components > Joomla Update.
  • Click on the option to install the update.
  • Allow the process to complete.

If you experience cache issues that result in Joomla not determining that an update is available, follow these steps:

  • In the back of your Joomla site, navigate to Extensions > Extension Manager. Open the “Update” tab.
  • Click “Purge Cache”. This will clear out the entire cache.
  • Click “Find Updates” in the toolbar. The screen should list all available updates if there happen to be any.
  • Install the update.

Upgrading from Joomla 2.5 to Joomla 3.x

As always, the first step to be taken is the total backup of your site.

Before upgrading, ensure that your site is fully backed up. Please be aware that you could experience difficulties with 3rd party plug-ins that aren’t compatible with the newest version of Joomla.

If you would like to update your extensions, make sure you don’t have any modified (hacked) 3rd party extensions. If you didn’t develop your website yourself, please consult your web developer to find out what was used to make your site. Any modification of Joomla files is strongly not recommended due to the fact that upon updating Joomla, you’ll overwrite these files which will result in your website not functioning correctly. If you happen to be using a 3rd party extension template, please use the overrides.

Ensure that all things are up-to-date.

  • Go to Extensions > Extension Manager
  • Check to ensure that your extensions are all updated to their latest versions.
  • Ensure that you’re currently running Joomla 2.5.

After that, upgrade! Go to Components > Joomla Update and then click on the “Options” button:


Change the Update Server to Short Term Support; then click Save and Close.


On the test site, the final step will be to click on “Install the Update”. Should everything complete successfully, you should then be able to do it on your live site.

Upon upgrading, ensure that there aren’t any database errors. In order to check, go to Extensions > Extensions Manager. From here, click on the “database” tab and see that the ‘database schema version’ matches exactly with the version of Joomla that you’ve just installed. If it doesn’t match, locate it and click the “Fix” icon in the top right corner in order to fix your database. Now you should be finished!

Update/Upgrade Troubleshooting

Please keep in mind that Joomla 1.5 is completely outdated and is no longer supported in any manner. If you’re still using Joomla 1.5, you’ll need to move your content through a special extension.

If, during the updating process, you experience a blank screen or an error message, ensure that you have no server permission problems. Read the following tutorials for more specific help:

When you feel you’re able to follow these instructions correctly, restore your website from your backup and try the installation process again.