What Is the Worst Joomla Version?

Some time ago, we have written a post on the best Joomla version – we said that is was Joomla 2.5 (in case you don’t have time to read the post). Since then, we had some of our customers ask us, “what is the worst Joomla version?”

Before answering, you probably might think we are going to say that it’s Joomla 1.5 – but it’s not. In fact, in our opinion, Joomla 1.5 is the second best Joomla version, and the proof is that it’s still used by literally millions of websites out there, and those with Joomla 1.5 are very hesitant to migrate to Joomla 2.5, despite the fact that Joomla 1.5.26 has been deemed insecure as of May of 2012.

So, what is the worst Joomla version?

Without any further delay, we think it’s Joomla 1.6. Here’s why:

  • Joomla 1.6 is buggy

    All the work that we get on Joomla 1.6 is usually related to a bug in its core. What we do is we usually modify the core (something that we don’t like to do) to fix the issue. The issues that we’ve seen on Joomla 1.6 are numerous, but the most recurring issue that we’ve seen is described in the next point below…

  • Joomla’s 1.6 ACL is completely unstable

    One of the most prominent differences between Joomla 1.6 and Joomla 1.5 is the ACL (Access Control List). Joomla 1.5 didn’t have an ACL per-se, it just had an ACL look-alike. Joomla’s 1.6 ACL is a real ACL but unfortunately, it is very badly written, which results in instability issues affecting the whole website. The most common issue when it comes to the ACL is when people are getting more/less permissions than explicitly assigned.

    On the same note, one of our top clients (an extremely well known Fortune 500 company) is currently suffering from an ACL issue on one of its microsites (it’s a Joomla 1.6 microsite used by its staff). We’re working with them to resolve the issue.

  • Joomla 1.6 cannot be easily upgraded to Joomla 2.5

    Forget about official statements telling end users that Joomla 1.6 can be easily upgraded to Joomla 2.5. According to our experience, it cannot! In fact, on several occasions, we had to treat an update from Joomla 1.6 to Joomla 2.5 as a migration! (read about the difference between an update, an upgrade, and a migration here.)

  • The lifetime of Joomla 1.6 was only 7 months

    Joomla 1.6 was released on January of 2011. Its support was ceased on August of 2011, that gives this CMS a lifetime of only 7 months. Compare that to the lifetime of Joomla 1.5 which was about 5 years, and to that of Joomla 1.0 which was slightly less than 4 years. Clearly, product management at Joomla did not trust and did not like this version to give it this extremely short lifespan!

  • Joomla 1.6 was not widely adopted by end users

    Out of every 100 tasks/projects that we get, we have only 3 or 4 of them on websites that run Joomla 1.6 – a clear evidence that Joomla 1.6 was not widely adopted by Joomla’s large community.

  • Joomla 1.6 was not widely adopted by 3rd companies

    Yes – we know that most extensions out there state that they support Joomla 1.6. But this support is by accident, it’s because Joomla’s 1.6 infrastructure is very similar to that of Joomla 2.5. So, when these 3rd party companies develop an extension for Joomla 2.5, this extension usually automatically works on Joomla 1.6. This doesn’t mean, however, that this extension is stable on that platform because the platform, in and for itself, is not stable (as described earlier).

But what about Joomla 1.7, isn’t it even worse than Joomla 1.6?

Well, in fact, Joomla 1.7 is actually slightly better than Joomla 1.6. It still has some ACL issues and it’s still a bit buggy (and it had the same lifetime), but it’s generally better than Joomla 1.6. This makes Joomla 1.7 the second worst Joomla version!

Now, if you’re stuck with Joomla 1.6 (or Joomla 1.7, for that matter) and you have problems with your website, then you can always contact us! We’re fast, we’re efficient, we know our Joomla, and our fees are competitive.

Note: We still perceive Joomla 3.0 as a beta product and that’s why it wasn’t mentioned in this post. Had this not been the case (e.g. if we did perceive it as a production product), then most likely Joomla 3.0 would have won the worst Joomla version medal, as its stability issues are much more severe than those of Joomla 1.6.

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