Wednesday, 25 February 2015Written by Alan Foster

The Joomla project announced the release of Joomla 3.4 which is available for download at the official community website. You can also complete a one click upgrade via the administrator area of your website to upgrade to the latest version of 3.4. The latest version of the CMS comes with a number of new features including enhanced front end module editing, removal of the web links component, security improvements with the introduction of UploadShield code which can detect most malicious uploads and it also supports the more user friendly version of Google reCaptcha.

Goodbye weblinks component

The development team took the decision to remove the web links component and all its associated modules from the core of Joomla 3.4. This only applies to new installations of 3.4, if you upgrade directly from version 3.3 to 3.4 the web links component and its associated modules will still be available.

This was a good decision by the development team as it reduces the overall size of the core code base to make the CMS lighter plus not so many people use the web links component and there are a lot of alternatives available for download via the extensions directory which offer more features and functionality.

Front end module editing

The latest version of 3.4 introduces the new front end module editing option which is a useful addition especially for people managing websites on a day to day basis. Version 3.3 of the CMS supported front end article editing which was very useful but if you wanted to edit one of the modules you had to log into the administer area of your website.

The latest version of 3.4 has streamlined the process and made it more user friendly by making both article and module editing more accessible from the front end.

New Google reCAPTCHA

Google recently introduced the more user friendly version of reCAPTCHA which is kind to visitors but not so kind to automated bots who try and spam your website forms. The old version of reCAPTCHA made visitors who wanted to contact you via the contact form or register a new account jump through hoops by making them try and enter hard to read words or enter combinations of letters and numbers in order to bypass the captcha test.

The new, much improved version of the Google reCAPTCHA has been incorporated into the latest version of Joomla 3.4 and is a nice addition plus a good step in the right direction in making the CMS even more user friendly to both users and site administrators.

Improved security using UploadShield

The implementation of UploadShield code into version 3.4 is a welcomed addition. This will protect sites by detecting malicious website uploads by examining their file names and file contents first before the files or contents of the files can be uploaded to the website.

Composer integration

In version 3.3 the development team introduced code from the Joomla Framework into the CMS, however, the method in which it is installed into the file system does not align with how Composer installs code. Version 3.4 now integrates Composer into the CMS in a better way to help manage external dependencies such as the Framework and PHPMailer more efficiently.

Core en-GB Standardization

The official language of Joomla is en-GB. The aim was to standardize all the en-GB language strings in the core code based on a standardized style guide. This will provide translation teams with a standardized framework and set of guidelines to create their own style guides to ensure consistency throughout the project.

As you see from the above the latest version comes with some great new improvements and features. This is all down to the hard work and commitment from all the 130 different volunteers who contribute to the project to make it one of the best open source content management systems available on the internet today.