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Our Top Ten Joomla Extensions

Written by Rob Bryan, December 13, 2010
13 Dec 2010

Our Top Ten Joomla Extensions

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Joomla is one of, if not the top web Content Management System (CMS) in our experience and here are our top 10 Joomla extensions.

Running your website within a CMS allows you to modify and update any content on the site very easily, including adding new pages, new text, new images all without the need for any HTML coding knowledge. One of the biggest benefits of using Joomla is that has a vast array of add-ons or extensions that can be downloaded and then easily bolted-on to your website. We will cover some of our favourites below:

Virtuemart

http://virtuemart.net/ Cost – Free Virtuemart provides Joomla site owners the ability to turn their website into a fully fledged eCommerce store. It is a highly customisable and regularly updated Joomla component, matching and in some cases even exceeding the capabilities of standalone online-shop solutions like Magento and OsCommerce. With a very active community on hand to help out with any problems, Virtuemart can be the number 1 choice for many online stores. Opace used Virtuemart to build the online-shop component of the Acorns Children’s Hospice website as well as several others. The Acorns shop can be seen at http://www.acorns.org.uk/shop

Akeeba Backup

http://www.akeebabackup.com/ Cost – Free  for Core Edition, enhanced editions cost more. Akeeba Backup offers an all-in-one solution for carrying out a complete backup of your Joomla website. It will take copies of all of your files/folders on the webserver (keeping permissions intact) as well as copying your MySQL Database, you can then download all of this as one single JPA archive and keep regular backups of your site. A recent addition to the software allows automated backups, requiring zero user intervention, these backups can then be uploaded to an online file storage solution like Dropbox, you can be safe in the knowledge that your site is being backed up every day and stored offsite.

AceSEF

http://www.joomace.net/joomla-extensions/acesef Cost – Free for Basic version, enhanced editions cost more. AceSEF gives the owner of any Joomla website the ability to easily control and maintain the URLs for any page on their site, any page URL can be renamed to suit the purpose. It also includes functionality to customise Metadata for any page, using an automated Keyword/description generator or a manual override function. AceSEF is in use on the Opace main website at https://www.opace.co.uk to create and manage search engine friendly URLs for the various subpages on the site. We also use AceSEF on most of our other Joomla projects.

Joomfish

http://www.joomfish.net/ Cost – Free Joomfish can be used to easily configure and implement language translations for any Joomla website. It will automatically translate the Core Joomla administrator area and non-user content on the front of the site. You then need to provide translations for all of your user content, Joomfish will then allow you to enter these translations into simple forms in the component interface. Instead of having to create multiple sites for each language, one single site can run in several different languages. Opace used JoomFish on the website we created for English Marketing Solutions, allowing visitors from England, Russia and China to view the site in their native languages. This can be seen at http://englishmarketingsolutions.com/

Community Builder

https://www.joomlapolis.com/ Cost – Free Community Builder can be used to turn any Joomla website into a fully functional Social Media website, in the vein of Facebook or Myspace. Users can register on your site, interact with each other, create in-depth profile pages and leave status updates, all directly from your Joomla site.

xmap

http://joomla.vargas.co.cr/en/downloads/cat_view/1-xmap Cost – Free xmap is one of the most comprehensive solutions for created automated sitemaps for Joomla websites. The administrator can specify which menus to create the sitemap from, hide certain pages from the sitemap and how often to renew the data. A dynamic address then becomes your static sitemap file, regularly updated.

JEvents

http://www.jevents.net/ Cost – Free for Standard version, enhanced versions cost more Jevents is a robust and highly customisable Events Calendar solution for Joomla websites. Users (specified by the site admin) can add, modify and delete entries into the Events Calendar, these can then be seen from the frontend of the site, using several different display styles. There are similiar components, but these cost considerably more. Jevents is in use on the website Opace created for The Academy of Personal Excellence. Its utilisation can be seen at http://www.nlp-businesscoaching.co.uk/year.listevents/2010/04/15/

Linkr

http://j.l33p.com/linkr Cost – Free Linkr allows content editors to very easily create internal links to any page, article or file on the Joomla site. Instead of having to memorise complicated page URLs, they can be selected using a very straightforward interface. This can make content creation a much faster process.

eXtplorer

http://extplorer.sourceforge.net/ Cost – Free Extplorer offers a fully comprehensive file management interface directly from the Joomla backend, with feature matching and even exceeding those of top FTP applications. Now all file management can be carried out within the site interface without the need for any third party applications.

LyftenBloggie

http://www.lyften.com/ Cost – Free LyftenBloggie is a free and open source Blogging component for Joomla websites. Offering features like trackback, access control and a full commenting system, your Joomla site can now rival complete Blogging solutions like WordPress or Blogger. The interface is very straightforward, enabling anyone to create and publish a blog in no time at all.

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