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Adding Facebook capabilities to your Joomla website is a great way to socialize your website, connect with your users and promote your content all at the same time. ?At first glance many Joomla Facebook extensions seem to have the same features, but it really comes down to which one will give you the most bang for your buck. ?If you take a little time to look at the details, you will be able to understand the features and find the most cost-effective and suitable option for your website. Some key factors to look for when choosing a Joomla Facebook extension are:
Flexibility in Integration ? What you want to use Facebook for today might change as you continue to socialize and grow your Joomla site. That is why finding an extension that allows you to tailor components to suit your changing needs is a must. ?Many administrators will start by adding the comment feature of Facebook to their site, but once they begin seeing more users and site visits, they decide to add more functions. Look for extensions that offer you choices and flexibility in integration with registration forms, field selection, profile integration and single sign-on capabilities.
Multiple Modules ? Keep and eye out for extensions that include a bundle of modules and plugins to assist you with socializing your website through Facebook integration. Again, you never know what features you might want to change or add on down the road, so finding an extension with a variety of modules or plugins is going to be your best bet. ?Some examples to look for would be invite modules, which let your users invite their Facebook friends and link back to your site, or Like and Comment options to give users more ways to spread the word about your website. ?The best part of having a variety of modules or plugins to choose from is that you can test out which options work the best with your users. Then you can enhance features that users respond to, or take away the ones that aren?t working and try them again later.
Migration or Upgrade Tools ? Some developers might be hesitant to use a Joomla Facebook extension because they already have a number of registered users on their site. It is easy to assume that having too many users means integration would be time-consuming, but some extensions offer tools for this type of issue. If you take a look at the extension product description, you should be able to tell if the extension offers migration and upgrade tools for current users. For example, the extension would be able to link with existing email addresses or import previous user Facebook connections automatically upon integration or an upgrade.
Excellent Support & Reviews ? This factor is equally as important as finding an extension that offers you the right capabilities. You never know what might come up with an extension you purchase. Often times administrators want to do something specific with the extension and need to refer back to the developer for assistance. This is where great support comes in. Keep an eye out for companies that offer support for their products and make sure current and past users are satisfied with the support available from the developer. The best place to read user reviews and comments is on Joomla.org?s extension site. If you are still debating about purchasing an extension, keep in mind that some companies will offer customers a money back guarantee within a certain time frame as well.
As most Joomla administrators know, using the Joomla platform allows you to download and install a variety of social media extensions with ease. In many cases you can have your website integrated with new social media sites, like Facebook, in minutes. To ensure you get the most out of your Joomla Facebook integration, keep these key factors in mind when choosing your extension.
Alex Andreae is the owner and operator of SourceCoast Web Development. Alex has spoken at multiple Joomla conferences and is a vocal member of the Joomla Forums and Community sites. Learn more about using Facebook for Joomla or check out Joomla Facebook extensions online.
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