Joomla Update not working? Here's how to manually upgrade from Joomla 3.7 to 3.8.xWritten by Juan Navarrete on .
Joomla Updates Are Really Important
With current malicious activity on the rise and to provide your users the best experience on your Joomla website, one of the keys is to keep the CMS up to date; this applies for the core as well for any third party extension you are using.
Latest Joomla series 3.8.x has included bug fixes from previous versions and some other features, but for some users, it has been a real difficulty to update their Joomla sites due to the structural changes made for this version.
In the past, you were able to extract the updated package (with no installation folder) and then run Joomla backend and perform the "database fix" task and usually this allowed to upgrade the site "manually" when the Update component failed to do so.
The "500 server error"
You may have then experienced all sort of errors like, permissions, server errors, ajax server errors, all of this giving as result failed upgrades, broken sites, etc. We have discussed previously options to possible workaround the "500 server error" during Joomla upgrades. However, there are some cases where due to failed or uncomplete previous Joomla upgrades, system or server failures, restrictions and other causes the upgrade is not simply possible.
Joomla 3.8.x Folder Structure Change
For the 3.8 series the Joomla folder structure and classes changed a bit, as a result, the extract and fix process used in past versions will no longer work. However, it is still possible to perform a manual Joomla upgrade by extracting and completing the install manually.
PostUpdate.php To The Rescue
You will need to download the postupdate.php script from GitHub and then upload it to your site so the path is /administrator/postupdate.php or you can use the command line interface as well php /path/to/administrator/postupdate.php. For more reference on this script check the Git and the notes of its maker.
The script is very helpful and it will help you to finish and clean your installation, you may use it from previous versions and it might save your site if you have lost to backend access. Don't forget to remove this file when you are done with the upgrading process.
When the script has finished, you should see a screen similar to this:
Now you should be able to access your backend to complete the upgrade.
Remember to always backup of your site before performing any Joomla updates.