I’ve been creating most of my clients websites in Joomla for a few years now. Occasionally I create sites in WordPress or Zen-cart but I will talk about those some other time. Right now I am going to let you know my favorite joomla plugins components and modules.
While being a web designer, I am also very concerned with SEO and creating a xml sitemap is vital for having your site indexed quickly and accurately. Xmap allows you to choose which menus you want listed in the sitemap, so if there is a hidden user menu hiding it from the sitemap is easy. This helps especially in high traffic niches which can have hack attempts regularly.
This component from Yoo-themes is quite versitile. I use it for maps with single or multiple locations, image sliders, and accordian menus. It does so much more though. The locations in the maps are clickable for directions with settings to allow or disable this. There are multiple ways to use the gallery to create an image wall, slide sets, a single slider image. Widgetkit allows you to create a lightbox on images, as well as a spotlight effect. It also allows for embedding media such as video or audio. For a single component it is quite versitile and extensive in its function, bravo Yoo-theme.
I have been a loyal Fox contact user for a while now. I think its the simplest most attractive contact form you can use. I have recently found a few others that I also like. One in particular is Form Maker (lite). The lite version is free and has functionality that cannot be accomplished with Fox Contacts simple setup. Another alternative to Fox Contact which works well is simpleform. It also looks very good and doesn’t require a donation to remove the maker link.
Social interaction is an important addition in recent web design techniques. Rokcomments makes it simple to integrate comments on articles, with your facebook app id. It’s simpler than you think, and rokcomments walks you through the steps in the plugin screen. Rokcomments works with many different systems as well as facebook, so if you’d rather use disqus, intensedebate, or livefyre those are simple to set up as well. The comment system is easily cusomized to fit nicely into your web design.
Social Share Buttons
This plugin is great for allowing your visitors to post the article they just read to their favorite social site. I usually disable a few since the list of available sites is so large. It also allows for likes and +1’s. Put it at the beginning or the end of an article, choose which categories or articles you want commenting allowed on and much more.
These are just a few of my favorites that make working in Joomla a bit easier. Finding the set of plugins that allow your sites to function well is important whether you’re using Joomla, wordpress, zen-cart, drupal, magento or any of the available management systems.