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What Are the Highlights of the Newest Version of Joomla, 3.9?

Date Thursday, 22 November 2018 , By: James Roberts , In: Development

Joomla 3.9 recently launched loaded with key features to make life easier for developers, integrators and designers alike. Below, we have collated some of the highlights and things we are looking forward to utilising in-house at Blue Frontier.

 

GDPR & Privacy

GDPR compliance has been the hot topic of 2018, and this latest update from Joomla has taken steps to make collecting and managing users’ content easier than ever before. Some key features of note include;

  • Easier to obtain user consent when you record data
  • A new component to manage information and data requests
  • API extension for developers so that they can report data they collect

User consents

are much more straightforward since the update. If you require users to consent to your privacy policy or T&C’s, it can be handled automatically in Joomla 3.9. Just set up your core forms to request consent before collecting any personal data. From your dashboard, you will be able to track user consent and manage site policy.

User information requests

are now a piece of cake too. If you wish to track and manage information access or removal requests from your users, once a request is made, just log in and export their data and/or remove them.

The Joomla 3.9 Privacy Tool suite also has extension capabilities to ensure users are in the loop with privacy. This makes it clear what data is being collected. When you need privacy consideration, use the Plugin event (PrivacyCollectAdminCapabilities). Users can then gain a clear understanding of your extension and whether they need to amend any of their own documentation.

Joomla also recently outlined the essential steps to make sure you are GDPR compliant.

  • Take customer data seriously by updating your privacy policy to be clear on what data you collect and why
  • Add consent checkboxes to contact forms
  • Ensure your ‘Contact Us’ page allows people to reach out to you about Privacy Issues

 

Monitor on-site actions with the new User Action Logs

Joomla 3.9 now provides administrators with a powerful tool to monitor and administer user activities to see who did what and when it occurred, meaning you will never miss a thing. The user activity tracker provides a facility to choose which actions to track. This includes tracking who has logged in, created articles, installed extensions and more. Currently, Joomla core extensions are the only ones that are recorded.

   

Content Changes

Joomla 3.9 has changed up the content features for the better to make managing your website content that much easier. Add notes to articles for filtering, search for specific author content and load a module by ID into your article.

Add notes to your Joomla articles

Article notes are now displayed in the articles list, so you can go to an article and use the ‘Add Note’ box to add notes. For content managers, this is a great feature as you can then use the ‘Search field’ to enter a word or phrase written within the note and the articles will be filtered out for you.

Search through the text of your articles

Joomla 3.9 comes with a new content search feature that allows you to search through the text of your articles, a vast improvement on the previous version where only text in titles could be searched. This feature streamlines searching for articles, ideal for those admins who have hundreds of Joomla articles.

Show the latest articles by the author

A front-end improvement is that the latest article module now has a fourth option for showing content and that is 'Created by:' which enables you to set the latest articles module to display articles written by a specific author.

 

Flexible Custom Fields

Joomla 3.9 comes with two new options for custom fields meaning there is a repeatable custom field option for more complex fields and an option to create alternate layouts to suit your needs.

Repeatable custom fields

Since the launch of Joomla 3.0, custom fields have been a key feature improvement. A repeatable custom field now allows you to have more than one value and more than one field type per custom field. This allows you to create a mini form, within a field.

Repeatable custom field enhances the ability to create powerful and flexible custom content types using only the Joomla core.

Alternative layouts for custom fields

The arrival of Joomla 3.9 also sees the ability to create your own custom layouts. You can make use of the new ‘Layout’ drop down and proceed to add your layout preference into the code and this will be reflected on the site.

 

Protect your site from bots with Google’s Invisible reCAPTCHA

The Joomla 3.9 plugin integrates the invisible version of Google reCAPTCHA and once it is enabled, your site visitors will be able to fill in contact forms removing the need to deal with a visible captcha. Alongside this, the latest version of Joomla also supports Argon2id Password.

 

Joomla 4

Whilst the excitement grows for Joomla 4, 3.9 is certainly a marked improvement upon previous versions. Joomla 4 promises to come with a significant set of positive changes to help those who work with the platform be more efficient and equip users with all the tools they need.

Joomla in fact, recently announced that 4.0 is coming at the end of 2019, with the simultaneous launch of Joomla 3.10 which will be the final release of the 3.x series. This will be supported for 2 years after release with the initial 18 months for bugs and security and the last 6 months’ security only.

Our web development team are Joomla experts so should you have any questions about your project that involve the platform, we would love to hear from you.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JOOMLA WEB DESIGN

James Roberts

By: James Roberts

James joined the Blue Frontier Digital Marketing team as a Content Writer in December 2018. Graduating with a degree in English and History, he has since obtained experience in digital marketing from the logistics industry. He is now developing a deeper knowledge of SEO and utilising his writing skills to help businesses improve their online visibility.