Helpful Joomla Extensions and Add-Ons You Should Use

By SolarWinds on February 17, 2020


With so many Joomla extensions and add-ons available, choosing the right ones for your website can be daunting. That’s why we put together this list of five top extensions and must-have tools for any Joomla website. These powerful and popular add-ons will add enhanced functionality to your website and help ensure you meet the needs of your users.

1. Akeeba Backup

akeeba

The possibility of losing your website due to a security hack or glitch is always present. Backing up your website helps you sleep easy in the knowledge that, if the worst should happen, you can quickly restore your site.

Akeeba Backup is a free Joomla extension for you to quickly and easily backup and restore your website. With Akeeba, you can create a full backup of your website, including all files and the database, in one click. Both the backup and restore process is powered by AJAX to avoid server timeouts, and backups can easily be restored on any Joomla-compatible server.

Akeeba Backup is also a good choice for website transfers or for designers deploying sites to client’s servers. For further functionality, you can upgrade to the Pro version of Akeeba Backup. Among other features, Akeeba Backup Professional offers support for multiple storage locations including Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Dropbox, and many more.

2. Pingdom

Pingdom

Tracking your website’s performance will help you gain an insight into the experience your users receive on your website and help you understand what performance-related aspects need improving. Synthetic monitoring can also help you identify problems as they happen, ensuring you keep any disruption on your site to a minimum.

SolarWinds® Pingdom® is an advanced monitoring tool enabling you to monitor your Joomla website 24/7. Pingdom features include:

Website outage checker—Pingdom checks your website every 60 seconds from over 100 server locations across the globe. If your site goes down, you’ll be immediately alerted, enabling you to fix issues as soon as possible.

Synthetic transaction monitoring—Pingdom servers can simulate artificial activity on your site, testing all transactions, from contact form submissions to your checkout process, to ensure everything is running smoothly and efficiently. If an issue is detected with a transaction, Pingdom will immediately alert you, again giving you advanced warning of any site malfunctions.

Real user monitoring (RUM)—Pingdom monitors RUM on your website, giving you insight into page loading times and how these differ depending on factors like user location, device, and browser. This data is stored for up to 400 days, enabling you to analyze your site’s performance over time and identify key trends and ongoing problems.

By using a website monitoring tool like Pingdom, you can diagnose and fix issues as they arise, and use the data to identify long-term problems. You can then implement strategies to improve your site’s performance across the board.

3. JCH Optimize

Optimizing your website to ensure it loads quickly and efficiently is a must. A slow loading website will result in high bounce rates, poor returning visitor numbers, and low site revenue.

JCH Optimize is a powerful Joomla extension focused on improving your site’s speed. This plugin works by combining your external CSS and JavaScript files into one to minimize http requests. It then minifies (compresses) and gzips aggregated files, and combines background images in a sprite.

Other JCH Optimize features include excluding files that don’t aggregate well, and deferring JavaScript or placing it at the end of a page to optimize downloads. Evidently, JCH Optimize provides extensive functionality that can greatly reduce the size of your site’s assets. This in turn will lead to faster loading times, a better user experience, and happier customers.

JCH Optimize also offers a premium version of its extension, which includes features like lazy loading, image optimization, CDN integration, and premium support.

4. JSitemap

jsitemap

Any website that wants to rank well in Google needs to have a comprehensive sitemap. A sitemap enables Google bots to crawl your site and index it in Google Search. This will help all your pages to rank in Google, which in turn will help your site attract organic visitors.

There are several sitemap Joomla extensions to choose from, but our recommendation is the popular JSitemap. Packed full of features, this premium plugin will enable you to create both HTML and XML sitemaps for all elements of your site. Sitemap types include:

• Responsive HTML sitemap
• Mobile/Google AMP XML sitemap
• Images XML sitemap
• Videos XML sitemap for YouTube, Vimeo, and HTML5
• Google News XML sitemap
• RSS Feeds

JSitemap ships with Google Console integration, enabling you to submit, resubmit, delete, and monitor indexing statuses all within your Joomla dashboard. Once your site is indexed, you can track how your content ranks in Google, along with monitoring metrics such as organic searches, keywords, clicks, impressions, and more.

5. JCE Content Editor

If you want your website to stand out from the crowd, you should consider installing JCE Content Editor. This Joomla extension is an intuitive WYSIWYG editor that works straight out of the box. Packed with easy-to-use editing features, you can quickly create well formatted layouts and attractive pages and posts appealing directly to your target audience.

JCE Content Editor features include:

• Office-like functions to make formatting quick and easy
• Configuration options for all main page elements (create tables, edit styles, format text, and much more)
• Integrated spell checking
• Advanced image customization options
• Practical link building tool (Link Browser)

By creating beautiful and engaging content using the JCE Content Editor, you give your pages and posts an edge over your competition, helping to boost returning visitor numbers and ultimately conversions.

Final Thoughts on Joomla Extensions

All the Joomla extensions and tools above are useful addons to enhance your website. However, there are many more plugins in the Joomla repository and any extras you install will depend on your website’s needs.

Although extensions often add much needed functionality, they can also cause website bloat and significantly affect page loading times. Therefore, make sure the Joomla extensions you install are all essential to your website, and you keep them updated.

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