When it comes to website creation, Joomla represents a great option for beginning and advanced webmasters alike. Combining the ease-of-use of WordPress with the functionality of the Drupal CMS, Joomla makes it easy to create and manage professional-looking websites.
However, “out of the box” Joomla is missing many of the features deemed essential by today’s business owners. To expand your Joomla site, you’ll need to add extensions. For a few of our favorite options, check out the following popular Joomla add-ons:
Extension #1 – K2
Although Joomla has plenty of different advantages, ease of content editing isn’t one of them – at least, not without the K2 extension. K2 takes the trouble out of article and page creation, giving users the ability to create rich content forms that add fields for images, videos, galleries and more to standard articles. It’s a great option for users who plan to turn their Joomla sites into magazine-style media centers, ecommerce stores and more.
Extension #2 – SH404SEF
Though its title may look nonsensical, the SH404SEF extension is a powerful solution for turning your Joomla site into an SEO powerhouse. The extension’s most widely-recognized benefit is its ability to turn auto-generated Joomla URLs into keyword-rich, SEO-friendly alternatives, though recent releases have expanded the extension’s functionality to include Google Analytics support, built-in canonical headers and more.
Extension #3 – JCE Editor
Not a technically-minded developer? Never fear – the JCE Editor extension has you covered!
This highly-rated extension transforms Joomla’s backend editing panel into a configurable WYSIWYG editor, making it possible to edit pages easily without the need for complicated code. If you’re new to website management using the Joomla CMS, this extension is a “must have.”
Extension #4 – Mobile Joomla
Given the dramatic increase in mobile usage over the last few years, having a mobile website is a non-negotiable part of running a website these days. But if you don’t feel up to the task of building your own responsive website design (or you don’t want to pay a developer to do this for you), take a look at the Mobile Joomla extension, which automatically generates mobile website versions based on the digital devices it detects your visitors using.
Extension #5 – SwMenu
Available in both free and professional versions, the SwMenu extension offers an easy solution for transforming your Joomla menus from ordinary to extraordinary. By giving users the ability to create an unlimited number of Menu Modules using a wide variety of styling options, SwMenu is a great option for updating the look and feel of your Joomla site.
Extension #6 – FrontPage Slideshow
Want to add a professional-looking slide show to your site’s homepage? Configuring this type of display feature using code alone can be challenging, but the FrontPage Slideshow extension makes the process easy. Although there are plenty of different Joomla extensions offering slide show functionality, FrontPage stands out for its ability to integrate text and images together, as well as the number of configuration options that are available to enhance the appearance of your slide show.
Extension #7 – XMAP
Anyone with a basic level of SEO knowledge knows how important sitemaps are for both visitor navigation and search engine indexing. The XMAP extension takes the confusion out of Joomla sitemap building, allowing sites to create both front-end and XML sitemaps based on the existing structure of your menus. It’s a simple, elegant solution to the issue of sitemap generation, so take a look at XMAP today.
Extension #8 – Community Builder
If you plan to add a social component to your website, the Community Builder extension deserves your attention. Available in both free and paid versions, this tool allows Joomla site users to turn their pages into highly-interactive communities through the integration of registration features, member profile pages, forums and more. To take your social integrations even further, the Community Builder works with a number of different modules and plugins that make your site a destination within your industry.
Extension #9 – Better Preview
The Better Preview extension isn’t complicated, but what it lacks in complexity, it more than makes up for in ease of use and time-savings. Once installed, Better Preview generates previews of the content piece, menu item or extension you’re editing – before you commit your changes to the live environment. This simple plugin is a huge improvement over Joomla’s built-in preview functions, making this a great resource for all Joomla site owners to consider.
Extension #10 – Akeeba Backup
We’ve discussed the importance of having a site backup in place on this blog before in the context of protecting your site from security breaches. And if you’re a Joomla user, you can’t go wrong with the Akeeba Backup extension. This helpful tool runs in the background, creating full backups of your site that can be used to restore your website in the event that it’s compromised in the future. For your peace of mind, take a few seconds to install and configure this helpful plugin.
If you’re a Joomla user, we’d like to hear from you. There are thousands of different Joomla extensions out there, so if there are any you’d like to see added to this list, share your recommendations in the comments section below!