How many sites are updating to the latest version of Joomla?

Published by Vic Drover

Updating To The Latest Version Of Joomla

Updating to the latest version of Joomla is perhaps the single most important way to keep your website safe. The latest supported versions of Joomla are the 3.10.x series and the 4.0.x series. All Joomla users should be running one of these two major versions.

In August of 2021, Joomla 3.10.0 and Joomla 4.0 were released. We compiled the version used by all Joomla the sites here at Watchful to see how they have been changing in the 5 months since those releases. Here are the results of the analysis.

Joomla 4 Status After 5 Months
Changes in Joomla version usage from August 2021 through January 2022.

How many Joomla sites are updating to Joomla 3.10?

At Watchful, 78.1% of Joomla sites are running on version 3.10.0. As shown above, the number of sites on this version increased rapidly in the first few weeks of it’s release and then stabilized.

We also see a large drop in Joomla 3.9 usage that mirrors the increase in Joomla 3.10. Unfortunately, More than 16% of Joomla sites at Watchful are still running version 3.9 and another 1.4% are running an older version in the 3.x series.

Sites running Joomla 3.9 and earlier are at an increased risk of attack and/or intrusion: they should be updated as soon as possible. If you are managing many sites, Watchful offers a number of bulk update tools to make this fast, easy and safe.

What about Joomla 4.0?

In the first few weeks after Joomla 4 launched, very few sites were using it in Watchful. This is not surprising as very few extensions were supporting Joomla 4 at that time.

However, we have seen a steady rise in the number of Joomla 4 sites since October. Anecdotally, this corresponds to many Joomla developers releasing compatible versions of their extensions.

As a result, Joomla 4 usage is increasing at a rate of 0.5% per month at Watchful. It now represents 2% of the total Joomla sites in the platform.

Is Joomla usage increasing market share overall?

Since October, we’ve seen a 2% drop in Joomla usage at Watchful. This follows a trend we’ve been following for a few years. Since November 2020, Joomla usage has dropped a staggering 10%!

The popularity of closed-source systems like Wix and Squarespace undoubtedly contribute to this trend. But we have also detected a rise in WordPress usage at Watchful that closely parallels the drop in Joomla. It is clear that a significant portion of this change is Joomla sites migrating to WordPress.

Joomla Cms Usage Status
Joomla CMS usage at Watchful from October 2021 through January 2022.

Are you updating to the latest version of Joomla?

We’d love to hear about your update experience with Joomla. For example:

  • What Joomla version are you running now?
  • What prevents you from updating to the latest version(s)?
  • Have you tried migrating to Joomla 4?
  • Are you considering moving to another CMS?

We’d love to hear your answers to these questions in the comments below.


Paul · February 3, 2022 at 8:48 AM

I’m currently running 18 sites. 3 on J4, the rest on J3. Basically I won’t be updating the rest until J2XMLS and a few regular labs extensions are available. However, I am concerned the Joomla development team are talking of moving to J5 in one year’s time and, if that’s the case I will consider where to take my sites.

    Vic Drover · February 4, 2022 at 11:08 AM

    Yes, many will consider this. I am hearing some WordPress users say the same with full site editing now included in the latest release. I’m hoping J5 has better backwards compatibility.

Bill Bentley · February 2, 2022 at 4:13 PM

I’m running Joomla 3.10. I plan to migrate to 4.0 but not until the first or maybe 2nd upgrade release. Partly because I prefer that others who are more sophisticated than me find the early bugs and deal with them; and partly to give all of my extensions time to catch up or find suitable substitutes that I’m comfortable with.

    Vic Drover · February 4, 2022 at 11:08 AM

    Wise path forward! Have you experimented with migrating to Joomla 4 yet?

Pietro · February 1, 2022 at 11:20 AM

With our small agency in Italy we are betting a lot on joomla4, especially for the performances that we are detecting. We are migrating sites from wordpress to joomla, and not the other way around.
We find the development model of joomla more linear than wp, and the sites created are easier to manage (of course it’s just our thought).
The migration from 3.10 to 4.06 is giving us some small problems, and sometimes we prefer to redo everything from scratch, we lose a little more time, but in the meantime we deepen the knowledge of the new system.

    Vic Drover · February 1, 2022 at 12:00 PM

    That’s great! I’ve long said that Joomla and WP have more similarities than differences. I’m not surprised to hear you are migrating users to Joomla, especially if they prefer the classic WP editor.

    Vic Drover · February 4, 2022 at 11:10 AM

    What sites are more likely to be rebuilt from scratch in Joomla 4? Smaller brochure sites?

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