Howdy Joomlers! As we all know curtains have already been raised on the latest version of the ever-evolving Joomla CMS. The team announced its newest release on the 16th of August, a day before Joomla’s 17th birthday. Although it’s just been a month since the latest version rolled out, it’s already been seen gaining momentum in popularity. And we bet you all are excited to see what this major update has in store for you. 

So in this article, we will highlight some of the significant features packed with this latest update. Excited? Let’s dig in!

What’s New in Joomla 4.2

This new major release of Joomla comes with an impressive and significant list of newly added features that contributes to the maintenance of Joomla’s regular high standard. Let’s take a look at what the update comprises.

New Features

  • Keyboard Shortcuts for Accessibility
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (replaces Two-Factor Authentication)
  • Windows Hello support in WebAuthn
  • User-defined hide table columns
  • Allow typing in the media field
  • Indicate if the category is not published
  • Allow to disable session metadata tracking for guest users
  • Reduce the number of permission columns
  • Smart Search: Allow fuzzy word matching
  • Package filter in the Extensions: Manage page

Few Exciting Features of Joomla 4.2

Among all the new key features that have been included, we have listed some of the significant features for you to look closely at. 

Keyboard Shortcuts

Check this feature out! With the new keyboard shortcuts, you can save time and become more productive. There are 9 built-in key shortcuts to your site’s administrator side, such as J + F to jump into the search field or J + S to save. 

To enable the keyboard shortcuts, from your Joomla dashboard navigate to the Systems > Manage > Plugins. Search for System – Keyboard Shortcuts and enable it.

Now you should be able to use the shortcut keys. All you have to do is just press J (don’t hold the button down) followed by the shortcut key. As simple as that!

 To make your work easy here is a list of all the shortcuts that you can use.

Multi-factor Authentication

Next comes the multi-factor authentication feature. The previous versions of Joomla only allowed Two-Factor authentications. This has now been replaced by Multi-factor authentication which will take your site access security one step further by allowing you to choose different authentication mechanisms to ensure maximum security. To check out and enable the Multi-factor authentication plugins navigate to your Joomla dashboard and go to the Systems > Manage > Plugins. Search for Multi-Factor Authentication and you should be able to see all the listed plugins and publish your authentication system from here.

Indicate If the Category is Not Published

Next comes another exciting feature, the unpublished category reminder feature. Once you unpublish a category, the articles under that particular category will now put an extra status to remind you that the category has not been published. The articles in that category will still remain published. This acts as a quick reminder that you need to publish your category in case you had forgotten about that.

Allow to Disable Session Metadata Tracking for Guest Users

This is a performance enhancement feature for sites that do not use the User registration/login feature. Suppose you have a Joomla site that doesn’t need a login or membership, then Joomla doesn’t really need information about people visiting the site. In that case, you can now simply turn off the metadata tracking for guest users. 

To do that, from your Joomla dashboard go to the Global Configuration > System. Scroll down the page to find ‘Track Guest Session Metadata’. Disable the option and you are good to go!

Smart Search: Allow Fuzzy Word Matching

The Smart Search word matching feature is also another new addition to the Joomla 4 family. This basically allows you to search for any particular word in 3 categories: 

  • Match Exactly: This allows you to search for the exact word that you have entered on your site.
  • Match Words Beginning with the search term: This allows you to look for words in your site that match your input terms at the beginning of the word.
  • Match Words Containing the search term anywhere: This allows you to find words on your site that contain your input terms anywhere within the word.

Miscellaneous Improvements

This mega release is not just about new additions to the Joomla world. This version also comes with extensive bug fixes and improvements that will take your Joomla web-building experience to a new height! Here’s the list of fixes and improvements that you can expect:

Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Accessibility plugin – update and fixes
  • Joomla Updater improvements
  • Improved the extension installer to be more robust
  • Added permissions (ACL) to Media Manager actions
  • Added Save button to front-end article editing to save and stay in the article
  • Added ordering parameters to web service requests
  • Upload button only available once the user clicked the checkbox that they are prepared
  • Enabled use of Form::process() in FormModel 
  • Convert log type field to fancy select
  • Enqueue requests made from QuickIcon plugins
  • Made Media Manager Folder Selectory accessible 
  • Workflow Notification no recipient

Should I Plan to Upgrade to Joomla 4.2?

Joomla 4.2 is the latest major release meaning it has been updated to match the latest web trends with all the necessary features, security enhancements, and bug fixes that you will eventually need. And updating to the latest Joomla version is as easy as pie! 

A few of the news have it that after upgrading to Joomla 4.2, some of the sites have been breaking. Joomla team has now had these issues in control and two updated versions 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 have already hit the ground with several fixes. 

Also, it has been officially announced that Joomla 3.10.x will continue to be supported with security fixes but only until 17th August 2023. Hence it’s only wise for you to start planning your migration to Joomla 4 now. For those who looking for assistance regarding how to update to Joomla 4, check this article out.

What’s the Wait For?

This new version of Joomla marks another major step closer to an even more powerful open-source web platform. For those who still haven’t updated to the latest version, it is already time now.

What new feature are you most excited about? Do let us know in the comments section. 

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