Chapter 2. Taking a Look Under the Hood

One of the biggest selling points of Joomla! is the fact that you can extend it to do just about anything you want. Thousands of extensions are available in the JED you learned about in Chapter 1, and you can use those extensions to turn your Joomla! site into anything ranging from a business directory to a sports league manager to a social network.

With all of the great options available to you in the JED, it is easy to overlook the fact that Joomla! has a feature-packed set of core extensions that you can use to build an attractive, interactive site. In this chapter, you take a look under the hood to see what Joomla! can do out of the box. You learn about some of the core components, modules, plugins, and templates available in every Joomla! installation package. You also learn about the pros and cons of some of the core extensions.

Core Components

As you learned in Chapter 1, components are applications that are built upon the Joomla! framework. There is a set of core components that perform several functions within a Joomla!-powered site. In this section, you learn about content, banners, contacts, media manager, news feeds, polls, search, and web links. You learn what each of these components does and some of the pros and cons of each component.


The content component (sometimes referred to as "com_content") is arguably the most important of all the core components. It even has its own link in the main menu bar of the administrator ...

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