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So how do you sort through all of them to find those that can really improve your visitors’ experience? Here are some of the free Joomla extensions you shouldn’t be without.
– Social Network Mod
Most people nowadays use social networks to publicize their ideas and to bring in new visitors to their sites, so having an easy way for people to connect to you is becoming a “must have” for most sites. That’s where this perfectly named extension can be handy.
Stalker is the easiest Joomla extension to display links to all your social networks on your Joomla. It uses an attractive interface that is bound to attract your visitors. Stalker comes with approximately 45 social networks ready to go but you can add any new network you wish. It is easy to install and configure, comes with attractive icons and can be easily modified.
– Mailing List Software
There are a lot of paid mailing services around but if you are just starting out, you might not need one just yet. Acajoom is the perfect Joomla extension for people who want to start expanding their list without the costs of paying for a mailing list website to host it for them. Acajoom allows you to personalize your newsletters, import subscribers from other newsletter systems and maintain a public archive.
Community Builder – Social Network Component
Community Builder allows you to create your own social networking community. With features such as user profiles, image upload, PMS, Newsletter, Forum and Galleries and a huge number of third party extensions that add even more features to this great component, Community Builder is the easiest way to create an environment that your visitors can personalize and use to share ideas.
– Photo Album Plugin
Expose is a classy and capable Joomla extension for displaying your images. It is not the simplest one to use, but its small learning curve is certainly worth the effort. It has a very small footprint for a Flash gallery and allows you to create several separate albums.
Virtuemart – Online Shopping Cart
If you would like to integrate a complete shopping cart to your Joomla, you should seriously consider Virtuemart. It has most features you can find in stand alone shopping cart such as order history for the customers, confirmation email, product ratings, downloadable products and 128-bit encryption. It also works with most payment gateways such as Paypal, Authorize.net and 2Checkout.
JComments – Communication Mod
Make your site more interactive and gather more information about your visitors by allowing them to comment on your articles and products. JComments allows them to participate while giving you full moderation control and encourages people to register. JComments includes anti-spam features and integration with many third-party extensions.
Jumi – Platform for Modules
Phoca Google Adsense Easy – Adsense Module
In this tough economy, it’s important to be able to monetize one’s site and help create some added income. Google Adsense is a great way to do that, but it’s difficult to integrate it within Joomla’s modules and place the ads where you want to display them. Phoca Google Adsense Easy offers an easy solution to that problem, allowing you to simply copy and paste the Adsense code and place it wherever you want into the site. It can also be used to add the Google Calendar and Google Search code.
Joomla Pack – Backup Software
Joomla Pack allows you to create a site backup that can be restored on any Joomla!-capable server. It creates a full backup of your site in a single archive. It can be used to move your site to a different host or simply as a safety back up that can be used to restore the site in case of problems or server timeouts.
JCE – WYSIWYG Editor
As many of you might have noticed, Joomla’s page editor is limited and awkward at times. JCE adds many formatting features that are missing from the original editor, such as background color, fonts and styles and better multimedia control. A great time saver for those who can edit the page code by hand and a must have for those who can’t.
With over almost 4000 extensions, Joomla has the support of the open source community and the constant influx of creative minds willing to offer their software for free. Try out the ten suggested here then go back and explore all the other tantalizing extensions you can find. You are sure to find one for almost every need you have.
Have we left out your favourite Joomla extensions? Share them with us in the comments!