Building a small business or non-profit website need not be an expensive venture, as there are generally high quality plugins available for most functions. This is a list of some common free plugins that members of the Dallas Ft. Worth Joomla User Group have used successfully. Listing a plugin here does not mean that it will work for your web sites needs and vendors may have dropped some of these from maintenance, so you should check before using a plugin or template.
If the Protostar template does not meet your needs, here are some free responsive templates that Joomla Dallas User Group members have used successfully. If you have lost access to a paid template that uses a particular framework, you can probably switch to another template based upon that framework with minimal work. This is by no means a complete list of good free templates.
- Gantry Framework (RocketTheme). RocketTheme was very good about updating the Gantry framework for changes in Joomla 3.7 and PHP 7, and has updated the framework (and templates) as necessary through Joomla 3.9.
- Vertex (Shape5). Shape5 was very good about updating the Vertex framework for changes in Joomla 3.7 and PHP 7 and has updated the framework (and templates) as necessary through Joomla 3.9.
- Design Control
There are many paid template clubs that provide high quality responsive templates.
Free Extensions (Most have paid versions too)
Joomla provides a great deal of function all by itself, but there are still a number of extensions that Joomla Dallas User Group members have used successfully.
- Akeeba Backup. This provides an easy backup and recovery manager. The free version is useful, but the paid version adds features that are worth the annual support charge.
- Akeeba Admin Tools. This provides web application firewall and other security services. The free version is useful, but the paid version adds features that are worth the annual support charge.
- OSMap. This provides a sitemap that you can register with Google and Bing. The free version is all that many sites will need.
- JCE Editor. JCE is a more powerful editor than the Tiny MCE that is standard. The free version is all that many sites will need.
- JEvents. This is a free or fee calendar/event tool. The free version will satisfy the needs of many sites.
- jsSocials. This is a free plugin that provides buttons and links to all of the major social media sites.