Joomla's extensibility begins with templates (the simplest form) and ends with plug-ins (the most advanced). Between the two extremes are modules and components. Whereas templates modify the presentation of the Joomla site and plug-ins sit at the core level to control the functioning of the Joomla system, components and modules are the more familiar type of extension that adds a specific functionality (such as polls, forums, or a menu display). All three types of extensions (modules, components, and plug-ins) can add a tremendous amount of extra functionality to a Joomla system.
There are so many extensions available for Joomla that it's sometimes difficult to choose which one to use. For example, there are six different photo gallery plug-ins—each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some have great customer support, while others have a broader range of features. Sometimes choosing the right extension in a feature category boils down to testing them all.
This chapter examines some of the most robust and popular extensions available in the following areas:
Organization and e-commerce
This survey of extensions will demonstrate the breadth and depth of available expansion potential for Joomla. Before the actual extensions are examined, it is useful to look at the central repository for add-ons located on the main Joomla site.
The main Joomla site (
www.joomla.org) keeps a ...