Understanding Template Issues When Migrating to Joomla 4.0

Understanding Template Issues when migration to Joomla 4.0 - header image

Working with Joomla sites requires that you work with a particular template that determines how your site will appear on the front end.  If you are using an earlier version of Joomla (earlier than 4.0), then you will need to plan on updating your template to be compatible with Joomla 4.0.  One of the main sticking points for the conversion is the adoption and integration of Bootstrap 5.x into the Joomla code. Many of the older templates use old components that are outdated and considered a security risk.

This tutorial will summarize the conversion scenarios, template assessments, and recommendations to support Joomla 4.x templates. This article is based on the Template Considerations During Migration document on the Joomla.org website.

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Template Conversion Scenarios

Your templates will generally fall into one of these categories when assessing it for migrating to Joomla 4.x:

  • You purchased a template
  • You have a custom template designed for you
  • You are using a default template that has been customized

You should keep in mind that migrating to a newer version is also an excellent time to improve or change your current website look and feel.  A newer version can mean faster, more secure software available for your use.  If you are still on version 1.5 of Joomla, then it is also important to remember that the templates of that version were not responsive. 

Default Joomla Templates

Here’s a list of the templates based on the version number

Joomla 1.5Rhuk_milkyway, JA Purity, Beez
Joomla 2.5Atomic, Beez3, and Beez25
Joomla 3Protostar, Beez3
Joomla 4Cassiopeia

Protostar from Joomla 3.x is not compatible with Joomla 4.x.  The template will be replaced with Joomla 4’s Cassiopeia on conversion/migration.  If you do not plan to use the default Joomla 4 template, then you will need to find another template that is compatible with Joomla 4.0.  Since Protostar is based on old Bootstrap (version 2.x) and Jquery 1.x, it is one of the main reasons that this particular template is not compatible to Joomla 4.x.

Custom Templates from a Third Party Developer

You should first check with the developer to see if they already have a version compatible with Joomla 4.x.  Be aware that version 1.5 will most likely require more work in the conversion due to the lack of responsive design. For the most part, you should check with the developer to determine the proper upgrade path of your template regardless of the version.

Reference Documentation for Migrating Templates

This list is directly from the Joomla.org documentation, “Template Considerations During Migration.”

Version PathLinks
1.5 to 3 https://docs.joomla.org/Special:MyLanguage/Migrating_a_Template_from_Joomla_1.5_to_3.x
1.5 to 2.5https://docs.joomla.org/Special:MyLanguage/Upgrading_a_Joomla_1.5_template_to_Joomla_2.5
2.5 to 3 https://docs.joomla.org/Special:MyLanguage/J3.x:Converting_A_Previous_Joomla!_Version_Template

Migrating an older template may often require planning or require the help of a developer. The migration path itself can be long depending on the version you are using. If you decide to undertake the migration path, make sure to first assess the possibility of using converting or re-creating your content using the newer template.

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Arnel Custodio Content Writer I

As a writer for InMotion Hosting, Arnel has always aimed to share helpful information and provide knowledge that will help solve problems and aid in achieving goals. He's also been active with WordPress local community groups and events since 2004.

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