If you are looking for a Joomla extensions yet don't know where to start, this post is something helpful to begin with. Where is the best place to find a qualified Joomla extension and how can you find it?
Some people, as a habit, access Google and type keywords "Joomla extensions". The link to Joomla! Extension Directory (JED) is shown up right on top of the page result. This is the place where you should go directly to search for whatever Joomla extensions you want.
This post contains two parts:
Part 1: What is JED?
Part 2: How to find a specific Joomla extension on JED Search System?
Here is the first part of the post. Enjoy it!
Joomla Extension Directory or JED is a sub-page located in the Joomla Community Portal, in which Joomla Extensions are continuously updated by Joomla developers all over the world.
JED contains nearly 7,000 Joomla extensions uploaded by Joomla experts from different countries. Many extensions are provided under GNU/GPL License and non-commercial edition. You can feel free to make changes and download them.
In addition, although there are thousands of Joomla extensions in JED, it is easy to choose a proper extension for your needs because JED gives users the right to review, vote, and rate freely about the products. Some extensions may get numerous votes from users, some do not. You can depend on the statistics and reviews to consider what extension is good for you.
On the left menu, you will see a list of categories, which divides extensions into different topics such as Access and Security, Administration, Content Sharing, Core Enhancements and so on. If you want to find an extension to secure your site, for instance, you'd better head for "Access & Security" category, click "Site Security" where you've got sixty-six options to choose from.
Should you want to find a back-up extension for your Joomla site, you hit on the Backup category in Site Security, then eight related extensions will show out and your work is to choose the one that fits your needs.
When you click on any extension, you will be directed to its the Panel Interface, which shows all information related to the extension.
There are some things you should notice about the Panel Interface of an extension. For example, I choose Xcloner Backup and Restore from the Backup category. Here it is:
The Panel Interface contains information about XCloner Backup and Restore extension as following:
Version: You will know if this version is new or out-of-date. I prefer extensions with regularly updated periods. This extension is updated on the first of March this year; that's good.
Compatibility: Recently, there are many extensions marked as 1.7 Native, which means compatible with Joomla 1.7. You will find a lot more extensions for Joomla 1.7 in another category mentioned later in this post.
License: Normally, the extensions are provided under GNU/GPL, which means the code is open for you to make changes.
Type: Is this non-commercial or commercial. If they put it Non-commercial, you can download the extension for free; if it is Commercial, you need to pay a little to get the product.
Apart from that are the Rating, Votes and Views from users. Also, you should read the reviews of users underneath to get more ideas about the product.
If you see this extension is okay, just hit the Download button to grab it for your own.
Some extensions require add-ons, components and plug-ins to complement or run naturally. The Extension Specific category provides these extra things.
The Extension Specific category is in the same category list on the left menu. Click on the link and you will see another list of add-ons, components and plug-ins equivalent with their extensions.
Unlike the Categories menu, Directory Menu categorizes extensions in a different way. This directory includes almost all of the best Joomla extensions voted by both users and editors.
New Extensions: There are a lot of new extensions uploaded onto this category every day. I recommend you subscribe to RSS Feeds to get information about the latest extensions (please read below to know how to subscribe to RSS Feeds).
Recently Updated: Many extensions on JED are updated to new versions on a regular basis, which will display in this category. You can subscribe to RSS Feeds to get the latest updates from JED soon.
Most Favoured: Extensions in this category are voted as "Favored" by Joomla users. Normally, these extensions also belong to Popular or Editors' Pick categories and get much positive feedback.
Editors' Picks: Extensions picked by the editor staff based on positive reviews, votes and download times from users.
Popular Extensions: Almost extensions in this category are widely used in Joomla powered websites like Community Builder, JEvents and VirtueMart.
Most Rated: Extensions got much rate from users.
Top Rated: Extensions that are highly rated by Joomla users. This is pretty similar to the Most Rated category yet the extensions here got higher rate, mostly Excellent.
Most Reviewed: Extensions have good reviews from users.
1.7 Compatible: Extensions compatible with Joomla 1.7. This has been the most concerned category in JED since Joomla 1.7 released. You can also subscribe to RSS Feeds to get the latest 1.7 compatible extensions.
To subscribe to RSS Feeds, you click the button RSS Feeds right beside its category name. Then you choose your familiar web-based news reader such as Yahoo, Google Reader, Newsgator or others to receive content updates.
You have learnt about JED; the next part comes with a short tutorial "How to find a specific Joomla extension on JED?" Don't miss it!