From the director's office
I mostly blog about the Joomla! Content Management System, business networking, and other geeky subjects which I think are interesting.
Update: How to install an update/upgrade patch to your Joomla! installation
A long time ago I wrote an article explaining how to install an update/upgrade patch for your Joomla! installation, and while a lot of the information is still perfectly relevant today, I thought it was about time to write an update, given the wide range of technologies there are available now to not only keep your site up to date, but also advise you of any changes - potentially letting you know if something untoward is happening.
There are several tools available now to help you manage your websites, that it really is a crime to be out of date.
Joomla! Utilities on Rochen
Firstly, if you host on Rochen (which we do), they have a very nifty implementation within CPanel called Joomla! Utilities which allows you to install Joomla! within seconds, and also apply some basic security tasks, at the blink of an eye. It also lets you upgrade Joomla! installations quickly and easily.
Akeeba Backup & Admin Tools
By far and away the most useful tools I've come across in a VERY long time are the professional versions of Akeeba Backup and Admin Tools. Unlike many companies, the free versions of their components are pretty darn good as well. Akeeba Backup can be used to back up your site prior to applying a patch as well as automatically scheduled using the provided plugin (the pro version also lets you back up to the cloud or FTP to your server as well), and Admin tools will allow you to both apply a patch, and also re-install Joomla! in its entirety. It also does a whole load of other funky things more relating to security - such as allowing you to change your database prefix and superadmin ID at the click of a button. Awesome ++ and definitely recommended for anyone serious about Joomla! sites.
Joomla! Site Monitor
A relative newcomer, Joomla! Site Monitor shows great promise although it has been a bit slow getting off the ground due to the lead developer getting married! What I find most useful is being able to have a notification when files are changed on your sites, but also being able to quickly view which extensions are out of date (compared with their automatically updating database of known extensions). It certainly made me raise my eyebrows when I saw the number of modules and plugins I had overlooked for update!
The Pro version is yet to be released, however I understand it'll allow you to look at what files are changed in the extensions, and upgrade your extensions on the fly (with the option of a roll-back if things go wrong) using their in-built backup system. I've been using SiteMonitor on all my sites since Joomla!Day UK 2010 and I have to say, it's certainly raised my awareness somewhat.
Joomla! 1.6 comes with its own in-built update system, and many extensions are writing their own update checking/installing systems nowadays, which is really great from an administrators point of view, but it does still require actually logging into each site individually. I'm looking forward to a system which is slightly more intuitive, such that when I know an extension is good for rolling out to all the sites I manage, I can press a button and queue each of those sites to update. Is this just laziness? Sure, but when you administer large numbers of sites, it can take you all day every day to keep everything up to date!