Compatible with Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3, the new generation of the eCommerce solution VirtueMart is now available with many new easing features. Built with the experience of more than 10 years VirtueMart 3 provides you with a powerful and comprehensive eCommerce solution. We give you a flavour of the work we have done to provide you with one of the best open-source e-commerce solution around!

This new generation of the ecommerce platform VirtueMart includes many new features under the hood and is a continuous development of VM2. Our main focus was to make it compatible with Joomla 3, cleaning the architecture, increasing the stability, and increasing the performance. In short: looking superficially at VirtueMart 3 it looks and works almost as VM2, but the feeling and handling is different.

Thousands of man hours have been spent and countless changes have been done updating and enhancing VirtueMart. We are happy and thank the many dedicated developers and store owners that helped to test and provide positive feedback on this most recent version.

VM2 to VM3 is an upgrade, implemented using the Joomla install manager - it does not require a migration (as was the case for VM1 to VM2). We have maintained as much compatibility as possible with VM2 but we have had to make some changes in order to deliver the improvements in VM3.

Your Shoppers and Store Owners benefits

Shoppers will be delighted by the enhanced speed, add to cart buttons in the category browse view, and simpler checkout. Shop owners will notice the enhanced backend speed and simplified customfields. Shop builders will find a lot more tools to fulfill the wishes of their customers.

The ajaxified reload of product variants and neighboured products enhance the browsing experience significantly. To ensure proper loading of JavaScript we had to implement our own Javascript loader. We may extend this feature also to other views for example the pagination of the product browse page.

New internal program caches reduce the sql queries for the most used tasks by more than 25%. Heavy functions are additional cached with the Joomla cache.

Developers benefits

The new core has an advanced cart with enhancements to provide better update compatibility. For example the new custom userfields include now an option to be displayed on the checkout page and can use their own overridable mini layouts, making it easy to adjust the cart to legal requirements without touching the template. The data stored in the session is minified, which can be easily modified by plugins (for example to adjust the weight). The cart is automatically stored for registered users. The cart checks also for any reload of the available quantity of the items and corrects it if needed.

You can re-use your layouts by using the new sublayouts (like minilayouts). They give your store a consistent appearance and make it easier to adjust standards for different layouts in one overridable file. The input data is very unified which makes it stable against updates. This is very handy for the native "add to cart" button and customfields in the category browse view. New parameters in the Joomla menu settings for virtuemart views and modules provide more flexibility and better joomla integration.

Frontend managing combined with the Joomla ACL now allows your vendors to directly access the VirtueMart backend from the frontend, without having access to the Joomla backend. The system now provides different modes for different multivendor systems. VM3 is now prepared to work with a sales team, or shipment team.

We reduced the dependencies on Joomla, but increased on the other hand the integration. For example, the core now uses only the JFormFields of Joomla 2.5 and not any longer the old vmParameter, but we added vRequest (MIT) as choice for JInput. Developers can now use the normal JFormField joomla conventions for all plugins.

Customfields refined

With new options, redesigned and a lot more flexible to use. In VM2 you had to override none or all customfields of the parent. In VirtueMart 3 you can disable or override each customfield independent of the others. This makes creation of product variants a lot easier and faster. The new child variants gives the possibility to display products with up to 5 rambifications (can be increased), which depend on each other. Very important is also the new behaviour that you can use one customtype as often you want for one product.

"Additional Shoppergroup" is a new feature for shoppergroups, which does not replace the default groups. This is very handy if you use the default shoppergroups for calculation.

jQuery clearance

The new jQuery versions are now mainly the same as in Joomla 3.3 (jQuery v1.11.0,jQuery UI - v1.9.2, legacy complete). Shops using Joomla 2.5 with VirtueMart 3 also benefit from this. It prevents needless configuration problems.

Extensions ready for VM3

All changes in the API have been deeply tested and most 3rd party developers have updated their extensions already. The whole core and extensions are now working with the new abstraction layer (vmText, vRequest,...). Please visit for updates of your extensions.

Customer experience

Will benefit from a smoother shopping experience:

  • Improved page load speeds
  • The ability to add products and their variants to the cart directly from the category browse view
  • Simpler checkout process helping to reduce cart abandonment
  • Predicted shipping costs prior to full address entry
  • Cart contents for logged in users are stored to allow checkout at a later time
  • For multi lingual stores, we now have a language fallback to the default language for non-translated text

Merchants and Shop Builders

Will see significant improvements, such as:

  • The most advanced VM available to date
  • Increased backend performance
  • Simplified process for adding and implementing product customfields
  • Enhanced parameters for displaying related products and categories
  • Additional parameters for the views in the joomla menu configuration
  • Easily add and configure your own shopperfields directly useable in the shopping cart
  • Increased ability to Restrict/Manage employee access to key functions using ACL

Template developers

  • Easily maintain a consistent appearance across multiple views using new Sub-layouts
  • Improved CSS gives a starting point for use in responsive designs

Create your market place

  • Different modes for multivendor
  • Full front end administration

Enhancements from a technical perspective

The team's significant points of focus were:-

  • Compatibility with Joomla 3
  • Clean architectural structure
  • Increased stability
  • Increased performance both for the front and backend
  • New internal program caches reduce the sql queries for the most used tasks by more than 25%
  • Reduced dependency on Joomla where appropriate.


  • Uses only the JFormFields
  • Reduced jQuery conflicts as we now mainly implement the same as Joomla 3.4 (jQuery v1.11.0,jQuery UI - v1.9.2, legacy complete).
  • Core and extensions are now working with a new abstraction layer
  • The xml files have also been updated to J2.5 style
  • New JavaScript Handler for ajaxified product details reload

How to update

Do NOT upgrade straight into live - you should run upgrades on a test version of your store and thoroughly test BEFORE considering a live upgrade

Please read for additional information.

Some useful tutorials for templaters and developers

Are available on our documentation center:

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