Hey Joomlers! A big news is here. I cannot wait to share my excitement about it. Joomla 3.9 has been released. It’s largely about privacy and user data management. There are many other good stuff inside Joomla 3.9. In numbers, your favorite CMS brings over 250 improvements. On top of that, Joomla 3.9 gets you a big step closer to the grand Joomla 4.

All of our Joomla extensions are compatible with Joomla 3.9.

I know you are eagerly waiting to jump into the Joomla 3.9 things right away. So I would not take up your time. Let’s see what the latest version of the CMS presents to you.

The privacy tool suite

Joomla calls v3.9 the ‘Privacy Tool Suite’ that has a load of privacy focused features inside. Joomla 3.9 addresses the concerns of GDPR, an EU privacy law which went into effect on May 25, 2018. Compliance with GDPR is crucial because a breach could make you face a fine of up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million. New Joomla has some amazing tools that help you facilitate user data privacy to play nice with the privacy laws.

What’s new in Joomla 3.9?

Joomla 3.9 handles user-privacy in a well-suited way. You get several new tools to handle user-consent and data management from the beginning. Here is the approach at a glance.

Privacy Policy

Joomla 3.9 strongly suggests you to create a new article and menu item with detailed Privacy Policy information for the current website. The main idea behind creating this document is that you are being transparent about what data you are collecting about a person, who you are sharing it with and how you are using it. At a minimum, you must inform users about:

  • Who the processor of the information is. This includes the business’ contact information (company name, address, company ID).
  • The contact details of the data protection officer (if applicable).
  • The categories of personal data the business will collect and process through website.
  • Why is the personal information collected for (for example, statistics).
  • The existence of any automated decision making including profiling.
  • Whether the collected information will be disclosed to third parties.
  • How the user may exercise their rights further in connection to deletion of information and withdrawal of consent.

Your Privacy Policy article should be freely available to all users, registered or not, on your website. It can include information about Cookies, according to a cookies law, as well. 

As an online business, you must ensure proper levels of security over the data collected.

User consent management

You can ask your website users for their consent before they share any data with your site. Asking user consent is just a few form-settings away in Joomla 3.9. Plus, you can set a time frame after what the user-consent will be expired and you need to get their consent again. Track and manage all the consents from your dashboard.

For extension developers

What’s new in Joomla 3.9?

If you are a Joomla extension developer, here is a good news for you as well. If your extension collects any user data, you can use the Plugin Event “onPrivacyCollectAdminCapabilities” and Joomla will handle the privacy consent and other relevant stuff. This will help the extension’s admin-users and website owners decide if any modification or disclosure is required in your documentation.

User data request

Joomla 3.9 offers a straightforward way to enable your users to submit a data request. They can ask their data and/or also make a data-removal request right away. A site admin can export or delete the user’s data from the site upon any such circumstance.

User action log

What’s new in Joomla 3.9?

If you are a Super User on your Joomla site, now you can see what administrative actions are taken by which user starting from Joomla 3.9. There will be detailed logs containing the date, time, and export/purge options. Additionally, the supported extensions will also provide action logs.

Invisible reCAPTCHA

What’s new in Joomla 3.9?

As a webmaster, you must be aware of spam bots and Brute Force attacks. And probably you’ve also implemented a captcha verification method on your web forms. Joomla 3.9 brings Invisible reCAPTCHA support which will offer a better UX to your form users. With this, Google’s reCAPTCHA service will recognize the safe users and will skip the traditional captcha verification altogether. It does not require the user to click on a checkbox. Once plugin detects a suspicious user, the captcha challenge appears.

Legal Notice: If you use reCAPTCHA plugin on your website, you’ll need to include that information in your Privacy Policy. It's because the system collects some personal information from the users. Google’s Terms of Service for reCAPTCHA requires websites that use reCAPTCHA to include “any necessary notices or consents for the collection and sharing of the data with Google.” For the site owners from EU, Google has a special EU User Consent Policy that must be followed.

Easier content management

Joomla 3.9 makes it easier to manage contents on your website with some simple new features.

What’s new in Joomla 3.9?

  • Add notes: You can add notes to your Joomla articles on the backend and filter them. These notes are visible in the backend list environment so admins can learn if there is anything special about an article.
  • Search contents: Before Joomla 3.9, you could search articles by their title words/phrases from the backend. That search would not work with the articles’ inner contents. It used to work with the titles only. But now, with Joomla 3.9, you can search inside the Joomla article contents from the backend. Go to Content > Articles. Search for article content by prefixing your search with “content:”, e.g. “content:joomshaper”. Articles that have the "joomshaper" string in their content would be found.

More new features

Although Joomla 3.9 is more about privacy, there is now better content management and security. Here are the other improvements in the latest version.

  • More flexibility for custom fields with 2 new options such as a repeatable custom field, and alternative layout creation capability to fit specific needs.
  • Support for Argon2id Password is now available.
  • Option to display the article intro or full image in the Newsflash module. Also, you can show the articles from only a specific author in the Latest Articles module with more options.
  • New features have been introduced for multilingual sites including a new toolbar button to edit associations, existing association propagation, showing tags by language etc.

I am sure that you’ve liked all the new features in Joomla 3.9. All of our Joomla extensions are compatible with Joomla 3.9. If you want to update your production site, please take a full backup before proceeding. If anything goes wrong, you can get things to the previous working state by restoring the backup. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts regarding Joomla 3.9!

Download Joomla 3.9