Joomla's extension directory is one of its greatest strengths and also one of its greatest weaknesses. Poor documentation and support can ruin an experience for some Joomla developers, but sometimes functionality rules over all. If you know what you're doing, you can probably figure out how to implement them into your website the way you want. I've compiled a list of some of my favorite extensions and some of my experiences with them. Not all of these are free, but if they serve their purpose then they are well worth your hard-earned cash.
Best Joomla Extensions!
1. RS Form! Pro
Cost: About $25
RS Form! Pro is an excellent choice for creating forms on your Joomla website. While its ability to quickly create contact forms is useful, where RS Form! Pro really shines is its storage of user submissions, additional fields for PHP scripts, and generation of user/admin e-mails. This makes it extremely customizable, with the ability to integrate with other extensions. I honestly can't review their support because I never really had to resort to utilizing it. Most of the features just seem to make sense – after navigating through the interface enough, you get accustomed to how it works.
Cost: $79 for the professional addition with 12 months of support
Side note: check www.retailmenot.com for coupon codes for a nice little discount
I can’t say how much I love how simple EasyBlog is to configure. The first time I used it, I had the extension installed and configured to start blogging within 15 minutes. Of course, it took some more time to tweak the layout, but this extension is so easy to use I didn’t even have to look at their documentation to get it setup. In fact, my blog is utilizing EasyBlog. Other benefits of this extension are the social media integration, feed importer (useful for migrating your blog), aesthetically pleasing themes, and a plethora of options for SEO.
3. JFB Connect
Cost: $59 with 6 months of support
I don’t know about you, but Facebook integration can seem very overwhelming due to their constantly changing policies and vast amount of documentation. Luckily, JFB Connect does a good job of letting users login to your website using their Facebook account, and integrates seamlessly with other components like Jomsocial (which works beautifully, by the way). I actually bumped into the owner at a Joomla convention and gave him props for having such a great extension. Just keep in mind that while this extension is easy to configure, setting up your Facebook pages for proper integration with your Joomla site can be very time consuming and frustrating if you are doing it for the first time.
Cost: Free! Keep in mind additional add-ons will cost you
JEvents is a calendar component with many options to administer, import, and integrate your website’s calendar. I have to admit, JEvents feels like it could use some help in the usability and graphic design departments. So why is it on this list? Their support, of course! Their forums provided me with quick and helpful advice, and have many resolved issues to search through. This is a very intricate extension that functions well (for the most part) and has a diverse assortment of plugins that will help integrate JEvents with other components. You will have to purchase an advanced subscription for access to those, though. Unfortunately, JEvents does not have much to offer for their calendar designs. They all feel very basic, with the only differentiation between the designs being slight changes to the layout and colors. It can be customized to look like anything you want if you are skilled enough with CSS, but expect to face some challenges, as this is a very intricate extension.
5. Advanced Module Manager
Cost: Free, with upgraded Pro version available with more features
Do you ever find Joomla’s default module manager frustrating? Advanced Module Manager lets you assign modules in just about every way imaginable; I found its ability to assign based on URL’s (including Regular Expressions) particularly useful. While I wouldn’t consider this a necessity for every Joomla website, it’s a lifesaver for complex sites with many pages and/or menus with different layouts.
There are so many other great extensions for Joomla out there, but these are a handful that I had the best experiences with.