If you are going to have a Joomla website, you will need to install several components to enable functionalities not supported by Joomla natively (not yet). For example, a Site Map is a must for SEO. Newsletter subscription is a must for lead generation. Google Analytics is a must for your understanding of your visitors' behavior on your website. And there are a few more functionalities that most small business owners would find very useful. So we compiled a list of 10 free must-have Joomla extensions that even a toddler can get installed and enabled:
- Xmap – automatically generates a Site Map element on your website. Every time you add or delete a page, your site map will get updated automatically.
- CCnewsletter – a simple newsletter sign-up component with subscriber list management capabilities. The display understands your template CSS, but needs a bit of tweaking if you want it to look perfect. Reporting features are not available, ie you can test and send your own emails, import and export you list of subscribers, but you will not be able to see how many clicked or opened your email. Heck, it's free.
- SimpleCalendar – this one is a darling! If you need to post a calendar of events on your website, for seminars, trade shows or whatever – this component is a sweetie pie. It even allows you to select your own colors. The only two things we found would have liked to change is a link back to the author (a tiny one, not invasive) and a "back" arrow icon displayed next to each listing. Those two are not necessary and should be displayed on demand only.
- JComments – this is a very popular component in the Joomla user community. It is used on this site, right here, in the blog section. It works well and looks well, so we highly recommend it to anyone having a blog on their Joomla site.
- JCE editor – this is a very nice article editor component. There are other – fancier – editors available for Joomla, but we love this one for one convenience it offers: ability to add links to your own pages via a drop-down menu and by copying a URL. Images too!
- Gtranslate – this component provides translation of your pages into 20+ languages. It does not translate modules and plugins, but it works well.
- JoomlaPack – this component is a must have. It allows you to backup your website online. Do not forget to click on the backed-up file and save it to your hard disk. The restoration of the backed-up file is not easy as the actual backup, but it works very well when you learn how to do it.
- MassContent – if you need to publish several articles at once or simply have a lot to publish on a daily basis, this component is a must. You can publish a blog, a news release, a static article – all from one place. Sweet!
- Google Verify – this plugin allows you to verify your Joomla website on the Google webmaster central. Google will generate a line of code for you which you will need to paste inside this plugin – and voila, you can get statistics about your website the way Google sees them (your links, your pages, your coding error, things like that).
- BIGSHOT Google Analytics – this plugin allows you to enable Google Analytics website statistics tracking on your Joomla site.
In our view, every website must have those extensions installed and enabled, especially if you need SEO .