Too many extensions equals panic!

Written by | 06 June 2016 | Published in 2016 June
Joomla! is an incredibly powerful system out-of-the-box. Naturally, it can be extended through extensions (plugins, components, modules, templates, languages) to increase its functionality and make the site adapt to your needs. That brings us to one of the most common made mistakes in Joomla! site administration: installing too many extensions. Sure, that one might be handy, and hey - why not add that one too? It's common practice not to install too many extensions, and generally teached. However, from personal experience, this isn't followed too often....

Finding duplicate extensions or having too many of them can actually cause issues. This includes:

  • Vulnerability issues (less extensions = less security risks)
  • Harder to maintain site

I want to take a closer look at the last one: "Harder to maintain site". Why is it harder to maintain a site if more extensions are installed? This often relates to updates. All extensions need to be updated - and having lots of them installed means you have to update more extensions. As you can imagine, that means more chance to break things.

What you also shouldn't do is ignore update messages. You have to realize, at some point, you're gonna have to update. Ignoring updates is a temporary solution, however it's not acceptable for in the long run.

If you're a new administrator/webmaster, here's a list of things you can go through before installing an extension. This might seem simple, but I've seen it's actually really useful!

  • Do I really need this extension? Do I already have extensions installed that provide the same functionality as the one I'm about to install?
  • Is this plugin still maintained? Even if an extension works on a certain Joomla! version but is not maintained anymore, use another extension - at some point you're gonna have to update your Joomla! version and the extension will break. Picking a still maintained extension in the first place is the best option.
  • Is there any documentation? If there's no documentation, there's a reason to doubt if the extension is legitimate. Try to contact the author.
  • Where does the extension come from? If the extension does not come from the JED, be careful!

And last but not least, don't pick the first option because it's the first option. Try to see if there are even better alternatives once you've found an extension - after all, you want the best one and not the first extension you find.

Installed Plugins

Always make sure to test bigger extensions (such as those that feature a component) on a test site - don't do that on your live site, breaking things is not wanted of course.

Best of luck and always try to get extensisons from the JED!

Read 5156 times Tagged under Administrators, English
William David Edwards

William David Edwards

My name is William David Edwards. I have experience as a sysadmin and tech writer. I also like programming, design, WordPress, marketing, and design. I've been working with Joomla! since 2011.

I regularly write for knowledgebases and publications such as Vultr, Digital Ocean, Flywheel (The Layout) and TransIP.