Since launching in 2005, web host software provider Joomla has continued to grow. Estimated the be the second largest content management system provider on the Internet, many aspiring website creators have chosen to host on Joomla due to the software’s ease of use, technological reliability and visual design clarity across mobile and desktop platforms.
One of the most appealing aspects of Joomla, though, has always been its vast plugin market. Joomla’s developers and users have been steadily adding a series of extensions to the base system that adds to what the already versatile content manager is capable of performing. Now Joomla users have access to thousands of available plugins that allow them customize their websites and ensure that they are as unique as they are functional.
The size of this plugin market is a true gift for Joomla users, but it can also be somewhat daunting to navigate. With so many available plugins, where do you start? Which are the best of their kind? What ones should you know about, but haven’t yet considered?
Rather than wade through thousands of available options yourself when you are trying to focus on getting your website up and running, instead, consult this list of Joomla plugins that no user should be without.
The golden rule for any technology that is important to you is to backup, backup and backup again. You can never be too safe when it comes to ensuring that your website information is properly saved, which is why millions of users turn to Akeeba Backup. Unlike other backup programs that can often make backing up large amounts of website data a burden, Akeeba Backup can instantly create an archived folder that contains the entirety of your database information should you ever need it. Best of all, it offers a variety of upload options that help ensure that its current reputation as the premier information backup host for Joomla remains intact.
Social media is not only an invaluable tool for promoting your website but is the best way to ensure that your website’s fans are able to follow you across various online platforms. Though there are many plugins that allow you to integrate your available social media channels into your site, Stalker distinguishes itself through both its ease of use and visually pleasing layout. This plugin allows you to add up to 45 social network links to your website and manages them all through a customizable icon system that will add to the graphic quality of any design.
JCE – Joomla Content Editor
You may be a master wordsmith whose sentences sing to the reader, but even the best-written content needs equally good formatting options in order to truly stand out. Joomla Content Editor is a free plugin designed to expand the text upload and formatting options available to each Joomla user. It expands the content toolbar options so greatly that the final layout rivals even Microsoft Word for formatting options and ease of use. It’s enhanced toolbar options even eliminate the need for certain complex formatting options once reserved for HTML experts. There is no Joomla website that should not have this plugin installed before the first post is made.
Variety is a major contributor to any website’s success. Even retail websites have found that adding a blog section and other additional content allows them to attract more users than any lone offering ever could. What Zoo does is alter the standard Joomla post layout to allow the user to more easily incorporate additional content formats through a few simple clicks. Whether you’re looking to add a recipe section, an expanded service location menu or a database of movies, Zoo is perfect for keeping a variety of content types located on one website without needing to constantly reformat your site just to enhance the design quality of individual posts.
Simple Image Gallery
A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why it is no surprise to see more and more users turn to image plugin hosts for Joomla to expand their options when it comes to creating vibrant image gallery posts. Among countless image gallery plugins, Simple Image Gallery has distinguished itself as one of the very best by sticking to its namesake declaration of keeping things simple. It makes incorporating photos into your posts as easy as dragging and dropping them where you like, while the caption features and gallery layout options help you to ensure that your photos will stand out even more than they would on their own. Simple Image Gallery even offers a premium subscription option for those that wish to get even more options out of this capable plugin.
Though there are few better ways to ensure the longevity and potential of your website than to add a user-friendly checkout section to it, the process of creating an onsite shopping center can be daunting for even the most experienced web users. Virtuemart not only eliminates the hassle of this task by instantly incorporating checkout features the moment it is installed, but its incredible suite of options allows every Joomla user the kind of customization features that were once reserved for the savviest of web developers. Though many have tried, no other checkout plugin has come close to matching what Virtuemart can give a website is such little time.
These Plugins Are Just the Beginning
As your site continues to grow and you find yourself running into processes that you’d swear there must be a better way to complete, remember that there is most likely a Joomla plugin just waiting for you which will do just that. So get out there and explore the exciting world of Joomla customization options, but be sure to take these essential plugins with you along the way.