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Top 10 Joomla Extensions

Written by Taylor Hawes

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

top joomla extensions

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.


joomla slideshow

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!


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30 Responses to Top 10 Joomla Extensions

  1. Stoney says:

    How about a caching Plugin? Joomla’s builtin has always left something to be desired for me.

  2. frex hosting says:

    k2 and mobile joomla the best.

  3. Diego says:

    Mobile Joomla is a perfect extension. Thanks

  4. US Joomla Force says:

    JEvents and Virtuemart are worth adding extensions to this list.

  5. Maja Pon says:

    What about some content slider ? I’m using 2jnewsslider last 4 years and hundreds of my customers happy with it!

  6. HostGator says:

    All good suggestions! Anyone have any other extensions to add to this list?

  7. Another worth adding extension is JSN PowerAdmin making Joomla much easier to use.

  8. Andrew Crossan says:

    huge fan of Akeeba Admin Tools Pro.

  9. Andrés Maeso Broncano says:

    I get this is user-focused, but developers around the world also love The Joomla Component Creator. A real time saver.

  10. Sy says:

    Please visit our Blogging website


  11. Good list, but these have not all been great for me, though I have alternatives. 1. I would have put Akeeba Backup at the top of that list – invaluable to making sure that your site is easily and quickly restored in the case of a hack or failed extension install. 2. K2 is great for some things, but if you extend it too far it can really slow down your site. Keep track of you performance when using this component (or check out other alternatives, like Yootheme’s Zoo, especially if just adding a blog). 3. Front-page slideshow: neat, but a bit of a pain to design and administer – other options, like the klixo article slider, and the new Revolution Slider (super cool, but a few things to work around) beat it for me. 4. JCE Rocks. I put this on every site I develop – especially their newer versions that allow for direct drag-and-drop of images into articles. 5. SH404SEF – great but not for the timid. Make sure you fully understand what happens to your old URLs that the indexes already have in them and that you correctly redirect or style the resulting “not found” page so it doesn’t look like an error to your visitors. 6. Last but definitely not least – if you are a developer, take the time to check out the available frameworks out there. We use Joomlart’s T3 for easing development of new templates and flexibility. Hope these help!

    Scott Lavelle
    Technical Resource Solutions

  12. disqus_LVgQgTNFCJ says:


  13. Kaloyan Banev says:

    I think it is better to take a loot at top ratings at Joomla extension directory. Though many extension are premium there, I think those with most votes are definitely the best and most suitable for most kind of projects based on Joomla

  14. royhaanen says:

    Nice list Taylor. I use many of them on a daily basis. K2 is also one of my favorite blogging components. It is so favorite that I created a social sharing plugin for it, because I had the opinion that it lacked this extended functionality.

  15. product.egrove says:

    Its better to add Joomla first data gge4 and Gcoupon virtuemart component to this list

  16. mihe says:

    Good plugin. I like hostgator!

    Sale & Mangaer

  17. Jose says:

    Nice extension, nice article!

  18. artdocksdisqus says:

    A good article.

  19. cmsmart says:

    Virtuemart Templates for Joomla – Virtuemart 2 Templates free – Templates club for Virtuemart 2 with PSD, Joomla Quickstart install – Free Virtuemart 2 templates

    Template for joomla store . Thanks you

  20. sleeva says:

    Great list taylor, I use many of them on a daily basis. XAMP is also one of my favorite blogging components. It is so favorite because of It’s a simple, elegant solution to the issue of sitemap generation.

  21. dMiguel75 says:

    descargando todos

  22. krish kash says:

    It’s a huge list of Joomla Extensions. I would like add another similar extension in your list :
    I came across lately your blog!!!

  23. Kačka Kubová says:

    Hello, thank you for this helpfull list. I would like to add one more great extension – rich snippets for VirtueMart :… It is awsome and it brings me many customers. :-)

  24. Marco Heinski says:

    Seblod is very flexible and a great solution for cck.

  25. Xmap is very intresting in joomla. It helps alot in SEO.