In the first part of this series, I explained how to use the Joomla Extension Directory to find extensions to expand your Joomla website's functionality. Here, I'll describe the top 14 free Joomla extensions—the ones I don't think any site should do without.
The first six tools are free site security tools.
1. Encrypt Configuration
The biggest drawback of all content management systems (CMSes) is that they don't encrypt the login page (unless you have added a tool such as Let's Encrypt to your website), so it's very easy for a hacker to uncover usernames and passwords. Below you'll find extensions that encrypt your entire site. But you still need to encrypt the login page while you are building your site. Encrypt Configuration is a simple tool that does exactly that.
2. Brute Force Stop
One of the most common ways to attack a website is by using tools that keep entering passwords until they find yours. Brute Force Stop not only prevents brute force attacks but also lets you know who is trying to attack you.
3. Marco's SQL Injection
Another common way attackers hack your site is by inserting code into your database. Marco's SQL Injection stops SQL injection attacks and identifies who is attacking you.
4. Spam Protect Factory
Many security tools allow you to block individual IP addresses that are attacking your site, but major hackers have thousands of IP addresses at their disposal. With Spam Protect Factory, you can block entire countries (such as those where many hackers hide) from attacking you or even reaching your login page.
Eyesite is a file monitor that will warn you about changes to any of the files on your website.
6. TJ Set Generator Tag
The TJ Set Generator Tag extension allows you to change the generator meta tag for your website from Joomla to whatever you want.
7. JCE Editor
JCE Editor is the most highly rated text editor in the Joomla Extension Directory. It comes with an excellent plugin for inserting and configuring images on your web pages.
8. Sparky Template Framework
While not technically a Joomla extension, Sparky Template Framework is a revolutionary template that can replace the default Joomla template with one that makes it quick and easy to set the appearance of nearly every aspect of your website.
DJ-ImageSlider is one of the best and easiest ways to combine text over images. Even better, it uses the very latest HTML5 plus CSS3 transitions so your slideshow pages load faster.
10. Phoca Open Graph System
Phoca Open Graph System generates Open Graph image tags for sharing images on Facebook.
11. Modules Anywhere
Modules are boxes used by Joomla to display functions such as slideshows and forms. Modules Anywhere allows you to place any module inside any article simply by clicking on a button.
12. SJ Video Box
SJ Video Box allows you to place a video in a module or feature box.
13. Phoca Download
As I wrote in my previous article, Phoca Download has a batch uploader for adding several documents to your website at once. And its extensive language support makes it an ideal download manager for an international website.
14. ReDJ URL Redirection Component
ReDJ allows you to manage URL redirection so you can redirect old web pages to new ones without creating any broken links.
If these extensions don't meet your needs, read the first part of this series to learn how to use the Joomla Extensions Directory to find the right extension for your site. To learn more about Joomla, visit the official Joomla.org site. Also, you can find more information about using Joomla, including how to use these and other Joomla extensions, on my Guide to Free Joomla Web Building Tools website.