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Warning Joomla 3.10 has entered security only mode. What does it mean?

Are you seeing a warning message in your Joomla administrator panel? This is because the Joomla 3 major version has now entered its security only phase. After August 2023, no new patches will be released. Its time to plan a migration to Joomla 4 but you still have plenty of time. Even if you are reading this after August 2023, a Joomla 4 migration can be implemented so your Joomla site can be back on a stable, supported production version.

Warning
Joomla 3.10 has entered security only mode. Support ends 17 August 2023. Start planning to migrate to Joomla 4 today.

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Solving the vmError: updateStatusForOneOrder unknown virtuemart_order_id

When changing Order Status in Virtuemart you may see an error vmError: updateStatusForOneOrder unknown virtuemart_order_id which is caused by a small bug in the Virtuemart 4.0.4 package. It will be patched in the next version but in the meantime here's how you fix this Virtuemart Error.

vmError: updateStatusForOneOrder unknown virtuemart_order_id

Before you start, always remember to backup - make sure you have a verified backup of your Joomla Virtuemart software

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Joomla 4 update not showing? Here's how to fix

Recently we have been upgrading and migrating lots of Joomla 3 websites over to Joomla 4 and from time to time, the Joomla Update screen does not show the Joomla 4 upgrade information. In most cases, this is because the Joomla 3 Update Channel is set to the Default Channel. To check and change this, while you are on the Joomla Update screen, press the Options button in the top right hand corner and see what Update Channel you are on. To see Joomla 4, this needs to be set to the Joomla Next Update Channel. 

However, in some instances we have found that even with that setting correct - the Joomla 4 update does now show. 

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When should I upgrade to Joomla 4?

Well managed Joomla upgrades can mean you keep the same valuable content you have curated, the same valuable links, SEO effort, software and extensions working hard for you and your business. Trying to update too early or without correct precautions is asking for a headache. In this article we take you through deciding when to update to Joomla 4 and how to ensure a safe & smooth process so you can enjoy Joomla 4 working for you for years.

TL;DR Wait until lots of the community have switched over, and all the bugs have been found. Summer 2022 is a good bet, but watch the Joomla release roadmap for changes.

 

Do you need help with a Joomla update or migration? Get in touch for a free assessment.

 

Upgrading from Joomla 3.x to Joomla 4.x should be a carefully managed process. It should not be done directly on a live website because that is a very risky option. Instead, we prefer to test the migration on a development clone. This way, if an issue arises we can solve it and move forward without scrambling to manage a site down situation. This sort of risk averse approach is the gold standard for good web development.

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Troubleshooting a Joomla Update problem

Troubleshooting a Joomla Update problem

A few things can go wrong when updating Joomla though later releases tend to have fewer and fewer issues. We describe some common issues and provide solutions here as well as examining tools to diagnose the root causes.

1. One-click didn't work. The one-click update basically grabs the update files from the Joomla code repository and installs them similar to the way extensions get installed. If you're behind a firewall or on a weak connection this can fail. In this case, you have the option of downloading the upgrade package ZIP file manually and installing it via the Joomla update extension. If that fails there is a third option where you extract the contents of the upgrade package and overwrite the files on your Joomla installation. If you use that method you'll also need to follow our next troubleshooting tip to apply the database update.

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Update error solved: Error SQL Duplicate entry for key 'idx_username'

The recent release of Joomla 3.9.16 includes the addition of a database index to the users table. If your Joomla website happens to have duplicate usernames, this index addition will fail and you will see an error as in the attached image. The rest of the update will typically succeed just fine. 

Should you have this error, you must first find and solve the duplicate username problems. Each username in your site should be unique, so you should either rename or remove duplicates. 

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How to display the module positions overlay on Joomla

Often it can be really useful to see the name of module position areas on the front end of your website to determine what module you want to edit or to place a new modules into an area you've not used before. You can switch on a toggle that allows you to see the module positions in Joomla, including the name of each module position, in the templates area. To check the "Preview Module Positions" option is switch on, navigate to Extensions > Templates and on the templates screen then click the Options button located near the top right hand corner of your screen.

Preview module positions in Joomla templates

 

In the template options screen then you can see the toggle button for Preview Module Positions. Switch this to on. Now on the front end you can add the URL parameter ?tp=1 to your URL to see an outline of each module position and its name. You may need to clear your caching, and remember to switch this feature back off once you've completed your changes.

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Spring Cleaning your Joomla website

Recently we were asked by a client how best to go through their Joomla CMS website and clean out old content that might be lingering from previous iterations of their website, or unfinished blog posts, and even some older content that was showing up on google search that they no longer wanted appearing. Here is a run down of what we suggested they do to spring clean the content from their Joomla website, and the same strategy can be applied for cleaning out old menu items, modules and content from 3rd party Joomla extensions too.

Managing Joomla Trash

A good strategy I find is to delete anything currently in the trash on the assumption that if it's been sitting in the trash for a while and nobody has complained or there have been no issues then it is very likely these items are actual trash and are no longer needed. That gives us an empty trash as a base point for spring cleaning. In Joomla, there are separate trashes for Content items, Menu items, and Modules and it's very useful to have these separated out like this but the clean up strategy is the same for each. I'll call all of the things in each of these areas 'items'. Before you proceed remember it's always a good idea to manually run a Joomla backup before embarking on any significant changes in your Joomla website.

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Removing the 'No additional Charge' or price addition from a custom filed cart variant dropdown

Joomla's popular ecommerce extension, Virtuemart allows us to add variants of products and charge extra for those variants. You may have products that carry no additional charge such as different colors available, and by default Virtuemart will display a 'No additional Charge' message in the dropdown where your customer selects that variant. In this article we show you how to not display those extra prices or messages.

Removing the 'No additional charge'

The best way to achieve this is to add a langiage override. Language overrides allow us to replace any string constant declared in any of the language files with a custom version. In this case we want to replace the string value of 'No additional charge' with a blank, empty value.

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