Monday, 16 February 2015Written by Alan Foster

If you visit the Joomla extensions site you can be over whelmed by the number of extensions you can download and install. Whether you need a forum, photo gallery, chat, document management or backup extension you will find it at the website.

Before you get over excited and download and install every extension under the sun we have put together a list of really useful, tried and tested extensions which we believe will add real value to your website in terms of improving it's functionality and the day to day management of the website.

Akeeba Backup

Akeeba Backup is one of those must have extensions which is essential for everyone running a Joomla site. The developers of Akeeba Backup have been around since 2006 and the extension has been downloaded thousands of times over the past few years plus it has some amazing reviews from people who use it.

The extension comes in two flavors, the free version and the paid version where you signup for a one year support subscription which costs only 40 Euros.

What Akeeba Backup basically does is allow you to easily create a backup of your whole website from the administrator area. The backup will take a snapshot of all the core Joomla files, extensions, modules, templates, MYSQL database and store them in a single file. Taking a backup is simple and you can also schedule backups to run every day, week or month. Akeeba Backup also allows you to easily restore the website in a couple of minutes. If your site gets hacked or the hosting company closes down or maybe something goes wrong when you upgrade your site or a 3rd party extension you can always easily recover the whole site using this really useful extension.

Find Out More About Akeebabackup

K2

The K2 extension is great for anyone who wants to extend the functionality that Joomla has to offer from a content management and creation point of view.

K2 is a very popular component with over 1 million downloads and is developed by a very experienced and well respected team of developers at the Joomlaworks website. K2 can be installed like any other extension via the administrator area of your site and offers an out-of-the box, fully integrated solution.

The default content items you can create in Joomla has it's limitations, with K2 installed it opens up a whole new world of cool features where you can add additional fields for articles including images, videos, image galleries, forms, voting and attachments plus much more giving you a lot more control and flexibility over how you create, manage and publish the content at your site. Oh and it's also free to download and use.

Find Out More About K2 Extension

JCE Editor

The JCE extension takes creating and editing pages in Joomla to a whole new level. JCE as with K2 can be easily installed via the administrator area of your website and is also free to use and download. Once installed it expands the functionality and features the standard WYSIWYG editor has to offer and gives you the control and flexibility you need to create content rich pages without limitations, and without knowing or learning how to use HTML, XHTML, CSS.

Some of the features you will notice include the ability to link directly to categories, articles in your site using the user friendly link feature you can also upload, rename, copy and paste images into your articles. The advanced code editor also gives you so much more control over styling, coding pages. JCE is a great add on for any site and worth downloading and installing at your website.

Find Out More About The JCE Extension

RS Firewall

Running a website is not just about creating a great site to showcase the products and services you have to offer but it's also about making sure the site is secure. Joomla like many of the other free open source content management systems is prone to getting hacked. Security should be one of your highest priorities and anything you can do to reduce the risk is always a good thing.

Most hosting companies will put security measures in place to ensure your site is secure at a server level, what the RS Firewall extension does is add another layer of protection to your site. Like the other extensions included in this document RS firewall can be installed directly via the administrator area of your site. Once installed your site will be automatically protected from common SQL, XSS and LFI threats and attacks. RS Firewall also comes with lots of very useful, built-in features including the ability to track attacks and black list them, password protect your administrator folder, remove the Joomla meta generator tag, spam protection for forms, version check of your files and database and much more.

Find Out More About RS Firewall

Advanced Module Manager

The advanced module manager is one of those extensions you don't think you need until you start creating a website and realize you need more control over the modules you publish at the site. The default out of the box module features for Joomla are OK but the advanced module manager is much better and after you have used it you can not live without it.

Advanced module manager comes in two versions, free version and the paid version which costs 50 Euros per year, this includes access to updates, additional features and support. What the Advanced Module Manager allows you to do is assign modules to just about anything plus you also have lots of cool filters to play with including menus, home page, seasons, months, days, time, users, Geo location, templates, URLs, K2 and the list goes on.

Find Out More About The Advanced Module Manager

Conclusion

The extensions listed above are based on our own personal experience developing websites for over the past 10 years. We know there are lots of other great extensions you can install but the above have worked really well for us.