Joomla Extensions Help Services

Extensions Help ServicesJoomla extensions help services

As detailed throughout this section, I can be hired to do all these things on your Joomla websites:

  • install and configure extensions for you.
  • troubleshoot/fix many extension-related problems.
  • implement extensions to meet your website's goals on a timely basis.
  • make minor style corrections ("visual repair") on extensions' front-end features.
  • train you on the use of extensions, either generally, or targeted to your specific goals.
  • customize Joomla and extensions "just a little beyond the options" in all sorts of cool and useful ways!
  • add external features to your website and integrate them into Joomla.

Here is the growing list of Joomla extensions I'm directly experienced with; those with links, lead to more details about my services relating to that extension:

  • AcyMailing
  • Admin Tools
  • Akeeba Backup
  • Alarm System
  • Appointment Booking Pro
  • ARI Ext Menu
  • Articles Anywhere
  • BT Content Slider
  • ChronoForms
  • CiviCRM
  • Community Builder
  • ContentMap
  • ContentBuilder
  • DJ-ImageSlider
  • Expires Headers
  • Fast Social Share
  • Force Password Complexity
  • Freestyle FAQs
  • Helix ii
  • Include Component
  • JEvents
  • JFUploader
  • jQuery Easy
  • JoomGallery
  • JU Directory Lite
  • Kunena Forum
  • Menu Accordeon CK
  • Modules Anywhere
  • Phoca Gallery
  • Readmore.js
  • RokBox
  • RokNavMenu
  • RokSprocket
  • RT Afterburner 2
  • ScriptsDown
  • Shoutbox
  • Superfish Menu
  • Tabs
  • Tip of the Day FTW
  • uddeIM
  • OSMap
  • YouTube Gallery
  • YouTube Plugin
 

Remember, I got most of these skills by customer request. You do pay if I research which solutions fit your needs, but you don't pay for time spent learning how to do the tasks - so if you want help with an extension not listed here, let's talk! I'll take care of your needs, and then add the solution to the list!

Not everything calls for an extension - some things are best accomplished, at least in some cases, by harnessing some other web technology, which can then be integrated into Joomla. For example:

  • Ads Server: OpenX
  • Analytics: Piwik
  • Wiki: MediaWiki
  • Gallery: Gallery 3
  • Comments: G+
  • Speed-Up: Various
  • Basic SEO: Work
  • Google, Twitter, etc: Raw code from vendors
 

I can help you with at least the setup and integration aspects of everything listed above. For those things above which aren't links, I just haven't written them up yet. Contact me with questions about those services. Read on for more about all these related services, starting with...

Extensions Research Service

Joomla Extensions Research Service When you're not sure which solution you want to use - either because it's not clear which software best fits the need, or because you want to carefully evaluate your options before proceeding - my Extensions Research Service results in a consultative report to aid your decision-making process.

The results will be professional, presentable, and informative to you and your partners, investors, and in-house web staff, as part of whatever stage of development you're in. Inform me of your parameters for best results, or just ask me questions and cut me loose on the problem.

Only the most complex questions will require more than two or three hours; most research tasks will take only one or two hours, and a small list of well-explained research tasks can often be combined into a single hour. Use my General Support Service page to purchase research time, either before or after contacting me to discuss.

Installation, Integration, and Setup Service

Services to install, integrate, and configure extensions and other third-party software solutions The rest of this subsection of my site, deals with directly adding features to your Joomla site, and getting them working the way you intend. Read on for customer education. Click a specific solution's name to read about my services. Use my General Support Service page to purchase support time and I'll start working on your checklist ASAP, or contact me to double-check your goals and time-frame are within my range.

Customer Education

Here's why you'd need extensions, and what to expect from extending Joomla. If you need help cutting through the jargon, see the glossary section.

Extensions = Solutions

Use the tabs below to understand extensions from a solutions perspective.

Start Here

The extensive overview in this set of tabs isn't even a scratch on the surface, but I've chosen a guideposts approach to emphasis. Consider this your executive summary of the Joomla extensions ecosystem.

Ask yourself: if the content and logic of your website was run by a desktop operating system, what apps would you wish it had?

That's what it means to select and implement an extension - you're choosing a software solution, with the intent to use it to solve a problem. Be aware, some software does the job for you, other software is a tool which helps you do the job.

Almost all extensions not bundled with Joomla are third-party, and, so, are supported by their authors, to whatever degree. Some offer paid support, either as a plan or per instance; and almost all offer free, self-help support on volunteer schedules, via email or a forum on their own websites.

The more robust an extension or the more far-reaching its effects, the more work it usually takes to deploy correctly, although some need only be installed and activated for full benefit.

If you need more basic-level info before diving into these tabs, see the Glossary & Tips section of this page.

Member Features

Features for your site's members These powerful value-adds let your site's visitors enact their nesting instinct within your brand. A mix of member feature extensions can be done well, and become the killer feature set to put you on the map. It can also be a detrimental "me too / keeping up with the Joneses" mistake, leading to a ghost town of echoing silence, or a mob demanding moderation. If you have enough vibrancy in your site and its niche, and the dedication to control the chaos as your public's sense of ownership and loyalty become married to how you manage your community, all of these and more can be added to a Joomla site:

  • Social networking

    Depending on which site you have in mind when imagining a Joomla-driven social network, there is probably at least one good option. Expect long, costly development work to bring your vision to light.

  • Discussion forums

    Organized, moderated, searchable, message-board-style chat has been the backbone of the internet since its inception; many excellent options exist, free and otherwise.

  • Profiles

    Most of these features overlap, some to 100% degree, with this one: the extensions which make front-end control of a public profile and user preferences, the primary feature.

  • Visitor blogging

    These extensions let registered users run blogs, comment on each others' blogs, and build user profiles based on those activities. You and hand-picked moderators keep control.

  • Commenting on articles

    You can self-host a commenting system which integrates to Joomla's articles and/or other types of content, or use a third-party service, such as Disqus.

  • Posting videos

    Either linked to, or independent of, regular article submissions, extensions can let users submit links from YouTube and other popular video sites, to be embedded on your site after your approval.

  • Posting random things

    Many categories of extension offer you, and your users, custom data entry fields; some transform the entered data into powerful, consistent layouts you control.

  • Instant messaging

    If you want your users to become pals, an IM extension goes beyond forums, allowing real-time text chat on your website, using a feature similar to Facebook's.

  • Content voting

    Some accomplish mere cosmetics, others do more, ranging from tools to feature content by rank, to systems which reward users with point systems or by tying into social networking extensions.

Comm & Contact

New contact methods for your website's visitors Joomla offers a bundled Contact component, but it's rather basic; advanced customization is linear at best, and moderate customization means going under its hood. Third-party alternatives exist which take "contact us" in every conceivable direction, in user-friendlier ways.

  • Quizzes and surveys

    These extensions are either multi-purpose or specialty, ranging from detailed feedback surveys and fun personality tests, to educational tests and job skills assessments.

  • Contact directories

    Curate and organize anything from one company's internal departments, to a whole regional business directory, often with options to allow registered users to self-manage their submissions, act as moderators, or tie-in with vertical features like events, booking, and more. This category blurs far into enterprise solutions.

  • Custom contact forms

    Add specialized questions and info fields, encouraging (or requiring) customers and leads to self-qualify and aid the people who answer the contact submissions.

  • Appointment & reservation booking

    Automate many of the steps involved in casual customer contact, by allowing non-members to book services or appointments with you or your staff.

  • Feedback & trouble tickets

    Anonymous visitors get a voice without needing to create an account; meanwhile, these systems are often enhanced when used by registered members.

Note: See also "Other Pro Features" for high-powered contact solutions and "Member Features" for broader-ranging contact solutions.

Layout & Content

Layouts and data shaping Layout deals with arranging and decorating spaces; Content is data that's been decorated and arranged in various formats. Joomla offers a very good layout system in its templates, but deep customization immediately involves going under its hood; and its content system is famously either perfect for your needs, or laughably basic, depending on many factors. Third-party solutions present countless alternatives to these two most-fundamental aspects of any website:

  • Site templates

    First impressions stop here, but templates are like any other extension - massage it into place for professional-looking results. Beware of DIY editing without CSS skill.

  • Administrator templates

    An admin templates can be like a total overhaul of the back-end, can save money with darker colors and fewer images, and of course, can look nice.

  • Template system frameworks

    Joomla's template system is among its best bits, but alternatives exist. A common trade-off is a marginal loss of speed and compatibility, for more user-friendly access to advanced features; many other philosophies-in-action exist, embracing priorities like enforced device responsiveness, minimalist data footprints, etc.

  • In-content data structuring

    Content Creation Kits (CCKs) let you define articles in more granular ways, so each type of thing you cover gets its own consistent, special treatment.

  • Total content structuring

    Categories and articles aren't holy writ. The same category, the CCK, also includes a few total paradigm conversions, complete with new everything.

  • FAQ & knowledge base

    Some content begs specific styles of structure and presentation, such as Frequently Asked Questions lists, and banks of articles-as-support. Expect many options here.

  • Timed content

    Joomla ships with basic start-/stop-publishing features for articles; but lacks even basic elaboration on this theme, such as a Message of the Day, or even start-/stop-featuring; extensions fill the gap.

  • Content slideshows

    A type of content spotlighting: these show a series of featured stories scrolling past on a timer, either hand-picked, or chosen by category or other logic.

  • Image slideshows

    Since fully all websites want one at some point or another, you'd be correct to assume there are many excellent options; some double as content slideshows and more.

  • Content spotlighting

    The bundled Newsflash extension is good for some; alternatives exist in addition to slideshows, including in-page pop-ups, interstitial pages, feeds, daily emails, etc.

See also "Doodads" for specialized widgets and gimmicks, such as new features, like maps and shoutboxes, plus alternative solutions, for menu styles, search boxes, and more.

E-Commerce

E-commerce extensions If your website is a structure and extensions are structural modifications, then launching e-commerce is akin to a whole new set of priorities in designing that structure. The risk and effort to ensure customers flow freely through your catalog and checkout system, finding everything they need and nothing they shouldn't, is worth it. However, rushing through the launch of these features as a layman is not advisable:

  • Full catalog e-stores

    The prime category, these let you build catalogs, define business parameters, and integrate relevant features. Visitors buy online, you manage orders and reports.

  • Membership subscriptions

    Exclusive content can be teased publicly, but reachable only by paid members. Such extensions manage billing, payments, access control, and account status update.

  • Payment gateways

    If the e-commerce solution you chose lacks a certain payment gateway, it can usually be added via special plug-in; e-shop software tends to provide for that faculty.

  • Paypal and Google Wallet checkout

    These systems can be used many ways, from integration with other e-commerce systems, to stand-alone buttons with fewer features, but fewer points of failure.

  • Paid booking and reservations

    Paid consultations, event ticket sales, or a table reservation at your restaurant can be completely transacted via internet using these extensions.

  • Asset rental

    You can showcase fixed or portable assets for rent, with photos and details, auto-updating reservation calendars, online payments, and support communication tools.

  • Paid downloads

    Whether PDFs and photos, or movies and games, these extensions enable paid downloadable content with better admin control and customer experience than with stock tools.

Site Management

Site management extensions Take control of your domain with the features we Joomla pros believe no site should do without. If you think Joomla should be easier to administrate, these extension authors agree:

  • Backups

    Joomla lacks backups out-of-the-box. Are you certain the backup plan you think you got with your hosting, is even active, or adequate? This is a must-have category.

  • Maintenance tools

    Tidy up, perform health checkups, track and review custom log data, and do periodic screw-tightening tasks such as resetting correct permissions, scanning for dead links, and more.

  • Speed & SEO tools

    Speed and SEO got married, and best practices are now well-known. These extensions help you tick items off your YSlow and PageSpeed Insights task lists.

  • Behavior & logic plugins

    A vast, overlooked category: new options for old features, automatic content enhancements, smart widgets you can embed in things, and much more.

  • Admin feature plugins

    Miscellaneous admin powers, such as better front-end editing, more security, new ways to embed things in other things, and total overhauls of the admin interface.

  • Search engine sitemaps

    Raw data needed by search engines, to help them structure an index of your site, so they'll present the right pages when you're found in search results.

  • Accessibility sitemaps

    The older kind of sitemap and deemed important by Google, these present plain links for low-tech browsers, text-to-talk software, and other accessibility purposes.

  • Localization

    Joomla's native translation engine is adequate for many sites, but not all; alternatives add ways to control how language affects performance, enable user-contributed translations, and more.

  • Sub-domains and multi-site management

    A highly-rated extension now exists for running multiple sites via one copy of Joomla, with robust features and a capable interface.

  • Alternate navigation

    Joomla has one mandatory-use way of linking users from Point A to Point B on your site, and many optional ones. Extensions can add new optional nav features.

Doodads

Miscellaneous doodads for your Joomla site The philosophy, "make it modular," is seen everywhere in Joomla. If Joomla has it, it can be cleanly replaced; if Joomla lacks it, it can be cleanly added. Your site might need any number of user-facing value-adds and other visible bells and whistles, which can often be provided via extensions:

  • Menu UI overhauls

    You need not understand industry terms like "responsive" and "user experience," in order to hire me to achieve your navigation scheme's look and logic goals.

  • Maps

    It's much easier than you might think to integrate most of the major map websites into Joomla, including with directions, or even custom map data.

  • Shoutboxes and Guestbooks

    Two of the oldest interactive widgets on the web, still very popular with community websites, and well-represented in the extensions ecosystem.

  • Image galleries

    Always popular, more popular now that making one's site accessible for image search has become better-understood as a SEO vector.

  • Calendars

    A broad, popular category: some let visitors find old content; some do events, with event management features; yet others merely show the date.

  • Weather

    Use one which detects visitors' locations, or simply target it at your outdoor space. These are useful for some sites, mere speed drains on others.

  • Social sharing

    A must-have feature for many sites, these buttons - Like, Share, +1, Tweet, Pin It, etc. - all make word-of-mouth marketing easier for your visitors.

  • Games & fun

    You might underestimate how much breadth and depth of variety exists in this category, including the ability to embed syndicated Flash games.

Other Pro Features

Miscellaneous pro features you can add to JoomlaJoomla's main goal is to provide a solid platform so that other programmers can put new features into the Joomla Extensions Directory, and in your hands. In other words, making "Other Pro Features" possible, is Joomla's first order of business; actually creating them, is up to extension authors.

Besides full-time programmers, many entrepreneurs, thankful for what Joomla gives them, have given back by creating extensions specific to their business niche. There is no end of possibility, in what might already be, or might tomorrow become, an extension - it's just a random chance whether it's been done yet, or not.

  • Help Desk & Sales Chat

    Ignoring overlap with trouble ticket systems, these enable instant-message chat rooms, either on request, or as a salesroom approach tool.

  • Customer Relationship Management

    Keeps track your client affairs, contracts, contact database, marketing, and more; especially useful for teams.

  • Constituent Relationship Management

    Similar to the other CRM, but for a different relationship. Helps manage pollsters and canvassers, assets flow, and reporting.

  • Newsletters & mass e-mail

    While I personally advise third-party-hosted services for this, well-loved extensions do exist for sending and archiving newsletters.

  • Specialty databases and search

    From real estate to fantasy sports, from gamer guilds to credit clinics, many sites need to handle specialty data.

  • Specialty interactions

    E-commerce, contact forms, file upload and download - many types of features can be rolled together in myriad specialty ways, and indeed, already have.

...and more. With more than 8,000 extensions listed at Joomla.org, it's easy to get lost on a free software shopping spree while adding new features to your website!

Hence, "Platform."

Any software can claim to be a platform, but the word means more than "a thing upon which you do stuff." Joomla is almost like an operating system; components (one type of extension) are like apps. Modules and plugins (two other types of extension) are just what they sound like - extra widgets and logic. That's why extensions are solutions - they build upon the platform to add new features and faculties to your Joomla site.

Some Assembly Required

In web tech, you can either have one-size-fits-all solutions, or you can have powerful solutions. Joomla is powerful - and thus, its extensions must usually be configured and worked into place, before they'll act as you imagine.

Installing an extension is easy. Installing and enabling it and then doing no more, however, often accomplishes nothing - and on occasion, worse than nothing. Enabling some extensions, without setting an informed configuration, can actually accomplish embarrassing or even harmful things, as it can mean offering capabilities to the public without any deliberate control, or even full awareness, on your part.

Remember, your website is like a structure - extending Joomla means modifying that structure. If things aren't done well, they can look shoddy or come crashing down.

If you'd like help extending Joomla from expert hands, my services are your solutions. Questions? Contact me.