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Article Index
Anna's Joomla tips
1-How to think about content management
2-How to organize your site
3-Designing the look of your site
4-Modules and pages
5-Adding text and images
7-Blogs and Your front page
8-Modules, Components, and Mambots
9-Where is it?

Joomla is designed to be expanded. Though it has a lot of built-in features, there are hundreds of others that you can download and incorporate into your Joomla admin.

What is the difference between Modules, Components, and Mambots?

Modules are simple plug-ins that present information on your site. Menus are modules. Polls are modules. The user sign-in is a module. Modules can be added to Positions, and will appear on your web site.

Components are applications. They add functionality to your Joomla admin. So when you want to add newsletter functionality to your Mambo site, you will probably install both a Component and a Module. When you add a component, you'll see it under the Components menu, and when you go there, you'll see a whole new set of admin pages designed to help you set the features of that component.

Mambots are small, task-oriented functions that intercept content before it is displayed and manipulate it in some way. Joomla provides a number of Mambots in the core distribution. For example, mosimage converts tags to html img tags; mospagebreak provides pagination and table of contents functionality. You're less likely to need a mambot than a component/module set.

Add-on is a non-technical term for cool stuff that doesn’t come with the Joomla installation. Add-ons usually consist of both a component and a module, but are sometimes just modules, or might include a mambot.

Where can I get add-ons? Joomla has a whole site dedicated to them: Unfortunately, the descriptions of them are generally poor, and it's hard to find the right one or compare different add-ons. If only they would require all add-ons to include a good description and a features list...and how about a rating system? (Hint, hint.)

I was reading one of the forums and came across a great list of of “must have” add-ons. This list is taken from this thread written by beat, with a few additions of my own:

• Clean URLs: 404sef
• Nice user registration and management: Community Builder (written by mambojoe)
• Downloads management: DOCMan (Remository seems also good)
• Newsletters: YaNC (although simpler ones exist also)
• Automatic site-mapping: SiteMap
• Nice forms: easy forms: Art*Forms, complex forms: FacileForms
• bulletin board: easy and best integrated: SimpleBoard (for more heavy duty traffic: Simple Machines Forum and phpBB are becoming better integrated with Mambo currently. vBulletin seems not easy to configure and integrate but powerful, it runs also this site).
• E-commerce: phpShop or mosCommerce : integration of later moves fast now, making it soon a good choice
• Events management and sheduling on calendars: Events Calendar.
• Drop-down menus with images & more: SWMenu.
• Insert multimedia objects like video, audio & more: MosMedia.
• Private messaging:MyPMS open-source
• MultiLingual support: MambelFish and future Mambo 4.5.3.
• Photos galleries: good question... candidates are: RSgallery, Menalto Gallery 2 (seems best, mambo integration on its way), zOOm (nice integration, but no news on dev.&debugging?).

Thanks beat!

Also see: Resources: Joomla Components, Modules, and Mambots

Now, if you have gotten this far and are still frustrated with Joomla's peculiarities, I’m hoping the next chapter will answer some of your questions.
Next tip: Where is it?

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