by January 1, 2009 0 comments



Joomla perhaps doesn’t need any introduction. It’s one of the most well-known
content management system and portal engine. Here we shall be looking at a few
free extensions that would help you turn your Joomla portal into an attention
hog.

Blogs
If you want your Joomla portal or a part of the portal to appear in the blog
layout, you can easily do this by using integral blog features of Joomla.
However, if you want all the blog features like Word Press or any other blogging
platform, you will need to use one of the blog extensions available for Joomla.
One of these, which we really found useful for blogging is “IDoBlog” Extension.
It can be downloaded from http://community. idoJoomla.com/download.html.
Available in both paid and free versions, IDoBlog is easy to implement. All you
need to do is install IDoBlog component. Once installed you can access CPanel of
IDoBlog component from the Component Manager of Joomla administrator console.
Here go to global configuration, to configure its main options. Under
Notifications, you can configure whether you want admin, authors and users
notified about latest posts, comments etc. To allow users to be able to blog on
your portal, create a new menu and under ‘Select Menu Item Type’ option, choose
“Write to blog” menu type under IDoBlog. This would simply allow users coming to
the site, to post a blog from the front-end.

Direct Hit!

Applies To: Web masters, Joomla users
Price: Free
USP: Enhancing Joomla portal with
extensions
Primary Link: joomla.org
Keywords: Joomla Extensions

Virtual keyboard
This extension allows you to have a virtual keyboard for your Joomla portal. If
you are running an ecommerce site or even a non-commercial site that stores
critical information pertaining to your users, which if stolen can cause a lot
of damage, then this extension is a must for you. With virtual keyboard, you can
protect your users against keyloggers, trojans and other password stealing
malware, which could be running on his machine. This also comes in handy when
users are trying to access their accounts from public machines, as such machines
might be infected or even a targeted attack could be running on them. Deploying
and using this extension is very simple. It can be downloaded from http://www.rawdev.net/category/Joomla/joomkey/
. Once installed, you can find it under module manager. First enable the module
and define position of the keyboard, depending upon the portal design. Now
whenever a user clicks on a login/password box, automatically a floating virtual
keyboard will appear. This extension works fine with IE and Firefox. However,
you might face some issues when using it in Chrome.

VirtueMart — Shopping Cart for Joomla
This extension allows you to integrate popular shopping cart software VirtueMart
with Joomla. It can be downloaded from http://virtuemart.net. If you are looking
for an easy way to sell products online on your Joomla portal, then this
extension can help you. It also has support for 16 payment methods which can be
customized. You can add new payment methods also. Once you have uploaded this
extension, you can access it from Components>VirtueMart. When you go there for
the first time after installation, it will greet you with a welcome screen and
ask you whether you would like to install sample data for your shopping cart or
go directly to the shop. If you are using a shopping cart software for the first
time, it’s recommended to choose, install sample data option, as it will
familiarize you with the solution. Next you will see the Control panel of your
store. Here you can activate payment method type, Add/Remove and publish
products, track orders, add tax rates, view reports, manage users and perform
other shopping cart related admin tasks. A lot more plugins and extensions for
VirtueMart can be found on this website.

Under Notifications of the
CPanel of IDoBlog component, you can configure whether you want to notify
users about the latest posts or not.

jSecure authentication
One of the most common ways to find out if a site is created in Joomla is by
simply typing domainname/administrator (www.sitename.com/administrator). This
allows hackers to directly attack Joomla’s administration console, and at times
perform a brute force attack to crack user ID and password. This nifty extension
denies access to backend administration console without a proper access key.
Using this extension is simple, it can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/
57zg2f.

Once installed, you can access it from plugin manager. Under plugin edit
option, you can modify the access key, which by default is “ jSecure”. Here you
can also modify redirect path. If someone tries to access the back-end console
without an access key. Once enabled you can access administration console by
typing, http://www.site name/administrator/ ?keyname (here instead of keyname
provide the key which you had earlier provided in plugin edit.

AllVideos
This is a one-stop media management extension for Joomla. With video sharing
becoming popular, you will find videos related to just about anything you are
planning to write about. Instead of giving external links to that video, it
makes sense just to simply embed it in your content.

This extension allows you to do that in a really simple way. Extension can be
downloaded from http://Joomlaworks. googlecode.com/files/ plg_jw_allvideos
-v2.5.3_j1.5.zip. Once installed you can find ‘AllVidoes’ under plugin manager.
Once enabled, using this extension is really simple. You don’t need to
copy-paste any HTML code. For eg, if you want to embed an video with URL:
http://video. yahoo.com/ watch/ 1385962/ 4769356, you can simply do this by
inserting {yahoo1385962 / 4769356 (/yahoo)}.

The jSecure plugin denies
access to the backend admin console without a proper access key.

This also allows all the external users who might be blogging on your Joomla
portal, to embed videos within blogs. However, you would need to educate them
about the process first. Entire tag list of AllVideos can be found at http://www.Joomlaworks.gr/content/view/35/41/.
As it supports almost every video provider, the list would be too exhaustive to
be published here.

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