Joomla! extensions

Simon Grange.

Extensions menu in BackendIn Joomla!, there are 5 different types of extensions: the Components, the Modules, the Plugins, the Templates and the Languages. Each extension manages a specific feature.

Joomla! natively consists of many features, which will be further detailed in the next chapters, but if you need extra features for your website, we will see how to find an extension that meets your specific needs and how to install it.

When installing Joomla!, you've also installed:

  • 31 Components
  • 41 Modules (26 for the Frontend and 15 for the Backend)
  • 50 Plugins
  • 5 Templates (3 for the Frontend and 2 for the Backend)
  • 1 Languages


These extensions will help organize your content and will bring various functionalities to your website. Before detailing each extension in the next chapters (Components, Modules, Plugins, Templates, Languages), here's a brief definition of each type of extension available in Joomla!: Composants, Modules, Plugins, Templates, Langues

 Joomla! extensions frontend

Extensions in Frontend




Components are the most important and complex extensions. They can be compared to "mini-applications". Most components consist of two different parts: a site part (Frontend) and an administration part (Backend). When a page is being loaded, a component is used to display the main body of this page. For example, Content (com_content) is the component which manages how your content is being displayed; users can view this content in Frontend and administrators can edit it in the Backend of your site. Components are the major elements of your page because a component is driven by a menu item and all menu items run a component.

Examples: Banners, Contacts, Newsfeeds, Weblinks, Smart Search...

To manage the components: Admin drop-down menu → Components



Modules are lighter and more flexible extensions used for pages' rendering. These modules can be seen as "boxes" set around a component, like the connection module for example. The footer is also a module. Modules are assigned per menu items. Therefore, you can decide to show or hide the connection module according to the menu item the user is viewing. Sometimes modules are linked to components, like the "Latest news" module, which is linked to the com_content extension and displays links to new content items. However, it is not necessary for the modules to be linked to components, they actually don't need any linkage at all and they can merely be static HTML or text.

Examples: Banners, Menus, Who's Online?...

To manage the modules: Admin drop-down menu → Extensions → Module Manager



Plugin are more advanced extensions. When executing any part of Joomla! be it in the core, a module or a component, an event can be triggered. When an event is triggered, the plugins registered with the application to handle that event run. For example, a plugin can be used to intercept the articles submitted by a user and filter some words out.

Examples: Content - Page break, Editor - TinyMCE, quick icons, extensions update notifications...

To manage the plugins: Admin drop-down menu → Extensions → Plugin Manager



A template is actually your Joomla! site's design. With a template, you can change its look or its atmosphere. Templates are rather simple to build (with a solid grasp of HTML and CSS) and they give you maximum flexibility to display your website as you like. There are two different types of templates: the templates for the Frontend and those for the Backend.

To manage the templates: Admin drop-down menu → Extensions → Template Manager



Languages are probably the most basic extensions. Language files can be packaged in two different ways, either as a Joomla! core package or as an extension package. These files are mainly keys/values or sequences of characters. These sequences enable the translation of static texts that are assigned within Joomla! source code. The language packs will affect both the Frontend and Backend of your site.

To manage languages: Admin drop-down menu → Extensions → Language Manager


Extension Manager

When selecting ExtensionsExtension Manager, you can manage all the extensions that are installed on your site. Thanks to this manager, you will be able to: 

  • Manage the different extensions that are installed on your site, enable/disable them, remove the useless ones. Note: some of these extensions are locked, so you can't disable or remove them. These are essential extensions that make your site work properly.
  • Install new extensions.
  • Check if your extensions are up-to-date and update them if new updates are available.



Third-party Extensions

Joomla! is a natively well-featured CMS, but if you're building a website with Joomla! and need additional features which are not included by default, you can easily extend your site by installing extensions.

The JED (Joomla Extensions Directory) offers more than 10,000 free or commercial extensions (among which more than 2,000 are compatible with Joomla 3).

No doubt you will find the extension offering the feature you're looking for.


How to install a new extension?

After visiting the JED, you have found the extension meeting your needs and you've downloaded it. You can now install this new extension on your website. To do so, you can read the article dealing with the 3 ways to install an extension in Joomla 3. un billet traitant des 3 possibilités permettant d'installer une extension sous Joomla 3.


How to uninstall an extension?

Because keeping useless third-party extensions is never a good thing, it is recommended that you remove them. For this purpose, you can read the article explaining how to uninstall an extension in Joomla 3. comment désinstaller une extension sous Joomla 3.