Joomla 3.2: Over 15 New Features Worth Checking Out

joomla32-betaJoomla! 3.2 is set to be released on November 6, the day before the Joomla World Conference

3.2 is going to be one of the most feature-packed releases that Joomla has ever had.

Here is a list of the top 15 new features worth checking out in Joomla 3.2, followed by a description and/or screenshots for each:

End-user Features:
1) Content History
2) JUX Improvements
3) Front-end Administration of Global Configuration Settings
4) TinyMCE Update

Power-user Features:
5) Install from Web
6) Joomla Multilingual-site Automatic Installer
7) Improved Template Manager
8) Post-install Messages

Developer Features:
9) RAD (Rapid Application Development) Layer
10) AJAX Interface
11) Micro-data Semantics Library
12) HTML5 Form Fields and Attributes

Security Features:
13) Two Factor Authentication
14) BCrypt encryption of Passwords

Miscellaneous Feature:
15) MooTools to jQuery Conversion

1) Content Versioning


Content versioning is Joomla's feature for storing, comparing, and reverting content. For example, you can use it to change back to a previous revision of an article if a mistake happens.

For more information on Content History, click here and here.

2) Joomla User eXperience (JUX) Improvements


There have been dozens of improvements to the Joomla User eXperience (JUX) to provide a more user-friendly CMS. Two of my favorites are the cleaned up control panel and top menu. I especially love the way the new control panel looks.

To check out the user experience for yourself, download the Release Candidate version and install it as you normally would Joomla, then go exploring.

3) Front-end Administration of Global Configuration Settings


Joomla now has two new menu item types that allow end-users to change some of the settings from the front-end. The component uses a web-services approach to change the settings.

Joomla is headed toward front-end in-line editing for the future and this is a small step in the right direction, in order to test the waters from a user perspective.



The above screenshot is from the front-end and shows what the front-end administration options would be like from a user perspective.

4) TinyMCE Update


TinyMCE has been updated to 4.0 and it looks amazing. Just compare the before (above) and after (below) screenshots to decide for yourself.


I love its new design, drop-downs, and ease of use. For more details on the TinyMCE update, click here.

5) Install from Web


While content versioning (see #1) might be the most needed improvement in Joomla 3.2, the Install from Web feature might be the most exciting for most Joomla users. It's basically the Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED) in the backend with one-click installs! Yes, you heard that right, one-click installs. The feature is reminiscent of Apple's AppStore and Google's Google Play.


The Install from Web feature will include free and commercial extensions, with commercial extensions redirecting to the developers' sites for payment, then automatic installation. The process is similar to what you would have encountered when paying for a product via Paypal, then redirecting back to the original site.

6) Joomla multilingual-site automatic installer


For those wanting a multi-lingual site, you'll now be able to set one up automatically during Joomla's initial installation saving you precious setup time.

Note, I'm testing with the latest test version of Joomla 3.2 Beta, so it states "Language pack does not match this Joomla! version. Some strings may be missing." In Joomla 3.2.0, this will have the corresponding data for each language.

7) Improved Template Manager


Previously, all that could be done in Template Manager was to edit pre-existing CSS files of templates, to edit root template files, and to duplicate templates. Now, you can:

  • edit all the files in a template (including in full-screen view)
  • copy templates
  • create new files and upload new files
  • delete files
  • rename files
  • copy files
  • crop and resize images
  • create new folders
  • compile LESS files
  • easily create template overrides of modules, components, and layouts

I'm confident that this feature will make many Joomla power-users very happy.

8) Post-install messages


There's now a post-install component that is used to notify admins of important information when Joomla or an extension is installed or updated. There's also an additional message that's displayed in the control panel to notify admins when they first log in or visit the control panel.

9) RAD (Rapid Application Development) Layer


Joomla's new RAD layer is a rapid application development framework on top of Joomla with the following key features:

  • Significantly speeds up 3rd party development within the CMS
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to understand how to create a components and lowers the learning curve
  • Well documented
  • Strictly optional for developers to use and will not break existing sites
  • Uses convention over configuration
  • Implements DRY code
  • Implements HMVC
  • Decouples input data from the request
  • Manages MVC classes from only one location (front/back) instead of both
  • Reuses view templates in the same way as MVC classes
  • Provides automatic JSON and CSV dump views, and potentially JSONP
  • Incorporates Unit Testing
  • Implements a RESTful web services interface
  • Implements Tags support
  • Improves ACL asset management
  • Provides JObject Removal
  • Provides Application Abstraction
  • Triggers events in as many places as possible

In short, it's a developer's new best friend and makes Joomla developer significantly easier and faster. For documentation on the new RAD layer, click here.

10-12) More Developer Goodies

10) AJAX Interface:
Joomla 3.2 has also added an interface for AJAX entry points. This will save development time and also provide standardization for 3rd party custom extensions. Developers can click here to find out more about it.

11) Micro-data Semantics Library:
Another Library that has been added for developers is one that implements micro-data semantics and its usage can be found by clicking here.

12) HTML5 form Fields and Attributes:
The last, but not least, improvement for developers is the addition new HTML form fields and attributes, which can be demoed by clicking here

13-14) Security Features

13) Two Factor Authentication:
An optional Joomla security feature that has been added to the arsenal is Two Factor Authentication (TFA). TFA produces an extra temporary security code that is then sent privately to the user (e.g. to their smart phone app) and which allows them to login. This prevents unauthorized login attempts.

14) BCrypt Encryption of Passwords:
Joomla now provides an even stronger password encryption method using BCrypt.

15) MooTools to jQuery Conversion

Much of the Joomla Core has been converted from MooTools to jQuery, as jQuery has become the default Joomla library in Joomla 3.

Testing Joomla 3.2 RC

If you would like to test Joomla 3.2 Release Candidate, you can download it here. Note, please don't use Joomla 3.2 RC or Beta on a live site or a development site, as they are merely available for testing purposes. Joomla 3.2 will be publicly available on November 6th, 2013 at

Your Feedback is Welcome

There have been many other improvements and new features added to Joomla 3.2, but the above list is my top 15 features worth noting.

I hope you've enjoyed the article and now over to you.

Which new feature are you most exited about?