Before I talk about extensions (apps), I have to urge all Joomla users to keep their sites up to date. A Website needs to be an ever changing and evolving entity. If it sits there doing nothing for long the search engines will stop indexing it. And worse, you may be opening it up to hackers. You can loose all your content in a matter of seconds. Hackers have nothing else to do but find vulnerable sites and attack them.
Joomla and most of the extensions developers publish security patches on a regular basis. If there are known viruses, they put out patches to protect you from them. It is imperative that these patches are installed as soon as they come out to protect your site. I also highly recommend a backup service in your server. Do not leave your site at the mercy of hackers without having a recent backup that you could install on the fly. I recently had a client that lost 4 sites to hackers all on the same week. There were no recent backups. I had to install an older backup and update the site. It can get expensive very fast. There are two major viruses that have attacked over 75 million sites in the last few months. Don't be one more victim. Many are being developed every day with the only purpose to kill your site.
Within the last year we have stopped using some third party apps because their developers were not updating them fast enough. This created a vulnerability in your sites. We are constantly finding and testing new apps that meet the safety requirements. However, no site is 100% protected. The best protection is to
1. keep the site up to date
2. keep daily backups
3. host them in a reputable server.
Remember that even the Pentagon got hacked.
We can keep your site and extensions up to date for a small fee. Please contact us for more information.
Most content in your site that is not contained in an article is generated by an extension (component, module or plugin). These are apps that allow you to add usability to Joomla. In some cases, they are already built-in and included as part of the Joomla package, such as the Contact Form, banners functionality, and search engine. Others may be third-party extensions such as slideshows, galleries, thumbnail galleries, and menus. It can be a little confusing to understand the differences between modules, components, and plugins.
PLUGINS are behind the scene extensions that make things happen in the site. You can only call on them by adding some code to your text in an article where you want the plugin to appear in your page. Each plugin has it's own unique code to call the plugin into action. Your site may have gallery plugins. You can't display plugins in module positions. They are usually only used in articles.
MODULES are extensions that you can manipulate and place in specific positions in your template. (Your page is built with several predetermined positions that you can call on to place content in your pages.) You choose which one of the positions you want the content to be displayed in. Joomla includes a lot of modules that you can use to add different effects to your site. Or you might want to use a third-party module to extend your site's usability.
COMPONENTS are much more in depth extensions that control other plugins and modules. They may me part of Joomla or third party extensions. Joomla built-in components include your Contacts, Banners, and Search. Your JCE editor is a commercial third-party component that I install in all my sites because it is a much better editor than the one included with Joomla. Your site may have a third-party form component.
Every template is made up of quadricular spaces known as module positions. These module positions were coded by the person who developed the template. In this case, us. Your site guide, which was given to you when your site went live, contains a map of all your site's module positions. Each page shows you what part of each page is an article, a module, or a plugin. If you want to quickly look at the positions available in each template, click here to find out how. (This only applies to clients with advanced Joomla knowledge and super administrator permissions.) If you want to extend your knowledge of Joomla and want these areas of the site available to you, please contact me. I will be glad to change the permissions.)
PLEASE READ AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AND EDUCATE YOURSELF WITH THE WORKINGS OF THESE EXTENSIONS SO THAT YOU DON'T DAMAGE YOUR SITE'S CONTENT.
UNLESS YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF AN INTERMEDIATE OR EXPERT USER, PLEASE DON'T TOUCH PLUGINS. Most contain code that should not be changed. Changing it could compromise your site. If you see any code in brackets anywhere within your text, please leave it where it is. It is probably displaying a video or gallery and needs to be there. Removing it will kill the video or gallery display. You do it at your own risk! If you kill any part of your site, please contact us ASAP. We will be happy to repair it. There will be a fee for this though:(
ALSO: If you are going to get this deep into the Website editing, that you will be editing components, modules or plugins, I strongly suggest that you teach yourself HTML. No authoring or editing software in the Internet is glitch proof. There will be about 10% of the time that you won't be able to get rid of code from Word, or other programs and you will have to go to the back end (to the html code) to manually remove the formatting. So, it pays to know what you are doing so you do not kill important code in your site.
I highly recommend Lynda.com for tutorials on anything digital that you would like to learn about. It is worth every cent.