Update Joomla 3 with Visforms (and Subscription) to Joomla 4

Visforms is now fully compatible with Joomla! 4. The following article describes all the steps that are necessary in order to migrate Visforms on an existing Joomla! 3 instance to Joomla 4. The description assumes that it is a clean Joomla! Instance and that the only additional component which is installed is Visforms (and maybe Visforms Subscription). In reality, on a Joomla! Instance you usually have significantly more extensions installed (usually at least one template, often additional plugins, modules and components). It is therefore possible that although we have tested the Visforms update process very thoroughly and it works safely under the conditions described, problems can still arise during the update. Therefore, the update should always be tested in advance in a non-productive environment and backups made before each step. We also assume that you are familiar with the Joomla! Documentation on how the actual Joomla! Update is made. We only describe the steps that are relevant for Visforms update.

We maintain different Visforms versions for Joomla! 3 and for Joomla! 4, which each only is compatible and works with the associated Joomla! major version. The update process starts on Joomla 3.10.x. The update basically consists of 3 essential steps:

  1. Make sure that in the Joomla! Update Manager, the update sources for Visforms (and if you have installed Visforms Subscription for the Visforms Subscripiton, too) are activated. Clear the Joomla! Update Manager cache and check for updates. If you see a Visforms (and / or Visforms Subscription) update, install it. Before the Joomla update, you must have installed at least the Visforms Base Package Version 3.0.0 (and the Visforms Subscription Version 3.5.5.)
  2. Now go the the Joomla! Update Component. After you have set the Joomla! update chanel in the options of the Joomla! Update Component to "Joomla! Next", the new "Pre Update Checker" feature of Joomla! will run. Both Visforms and Visforms Subscription should be displayed here in the section of extensions that are compatible with Joomla! 4, but for which an update is required. Although developed with good intent, the Pre Update Checker is rather confusing in terms of its messages and instructions. In principle, the following applies: If you have carried out the first step and installed the corresponding Visforms / Subscription versions, no further steps are necessary at this point with regards to the Visforms update. All Visforms plugins, including those which Joomla! may flag as problematic are unproblematic in the update process. However, you can disable the corresponding plugins before of the Joomla! update. Then run the Joomla! Update.
  3. After the Joomla! update, on your Joomla! 4 instance, go to the Joomla! Update Manager. An update for the Visforms Base package (and Subscription) will be displayed there. Install both updates. If necessary, activate plugins again, if you have disabled them before the Joomla! update.

Special steps when updating with a Visforms Subscription

The update of a Visforms subscription software via the Joomla! Update Manager is only possible if you have an active Visforms Subscription license and you have saved your download ID in the Visforms Administration (see also Update Subscription using the Joomla! update manager.

All existing Visforms Subscription licenses are limited to the Visforms Subscription versions for Joomla! 3. To help you transition to Joomla! 4 more easily, we decided to expand all 1-year licenses to Joomla! 4. So if you have purchased a Visforms subscription - 1 year licence and this subscription is currently still active, the subscription update to Joomla! 4 can be installed in the Joomla! Update Manager directly without further action.

If you have a Visforms Subscription licence for Joomla! 3 with an unlimited term (Unlimited or Premium), we offer you the opportunity to convert it into a one-year Visforms Subscription licence for Joomla! 4 (with the same number of licenses / websites). With an active Subscriptions licence for Joomla! 4 you will still have access to the Visforms Subscription for Joomla! 3, too. If you want to take advantage of our offer, please go to the menu Subscribe and fill out the order form for the proper version. You must be logged in with the user with whom you purchased your Subscription licence for Joomla! 3. Then you will be shown the payment amount of 0 euros. You must have completed this step before you can update the subscription to Joomla! 4 in the Joomla Update Manager.

If you intend to not use visforms on Joomla 4 any longer...

.. please uninstall visforms before your update Joomla. Please note, that this will also remove every visforms related tables from the database.