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A Few of Our Favorite Things...Joomla Extensions

With Christmas around the corner, we thought was a good time to expose the Joomla! extensions that we keep on our list of "nice" ways to really make your web site sing. These tools range from just making repetitive tasks simpler to generating revenue. Read on to find our top picks.

The Joomla Extension Directory (JED), is the very best source for current Joomla extensions. We go there regularly to help clients find tools and build solutions. With over 7,000 extensions on the date of this post, though, sifting through the possibilities can be tough. So, we're providing a description of some of the extensions we think truly escalate Joomla's core performance. 

Joomla Content Editor (JCE)
If you can use Microsoft Word, you can edit and create content on your Joomla! site. JCE has been our standard for many years, and they just keep getting better. Features like "paste as plain text" and "remove formatting" let you transfer content from Word or another web site with ease. The image editor allows "dressing" articles with photos easily loaded from your desktop and adding video from YouTube or Vimeo is a snap. JCE lets even the most novice site manager or contributor be extremely productive out of the gate.

This extension is one of those that you configure and forget, for the most part, but can be crucial to your site performing well as a Google search result. You can configure XMap to create a site map based upon your Joomla menus. You can eliminate menus from the display and set the order, too. An XML site map can be generated for submission to Google Webmaster tools---a good idea that will help Google quickly index your site. 

Advanced Module Manager (AMM)
This is how the core Joomla module manager really should work. AMM allows modules to be set to appear on pages by menu item--easy stuff that even the core module manager can do--but also EXCLUDE pages upon which you do not want the module to appear. You can assign a module by specific URL, set for display only to custom groups, make coffee in the morning...oh, wait, not that last part. But hopefully you get the picture. It really provides freedom in the assignment of all modules. Sweet! 

Everyone wants beautiful rotating images at the top of their page these days, and there are a lot of choices for doing so. RocketTheme took a little while to get there, but RokSproket is truly one of the easiest ways to get your high-impact graphics in place with minimum effort. Size and location are quick to configure, and RocketTheme offers numerous templates for the selection of navigation buttons and general presentaiton. If you are able to create graphics, this is the way to go.

Hopefully, these tips will help you choose the best options when selecting extensions of this nature. Be sure to check out our other "go to" Joomla applications in Extensions We Like.
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