Difference between Module, Component, Plugin

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Difference between Module, Component, Plugin

Postby Patchworks » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:38 am

I'm going to write some code to interact with Joomla.

Can someone take the time to explain what the difference is between a module, component, plugin?



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Re: Difference between Module, Component, Plugin

Postby dbhurley » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:32 am


When I'm working with clients here is how I typically explain the differences.

A Plugin will manipulate output already generated by the system. It typically does not run as a stand-alone piece but takes data from other sources (i.e. the content) and manipulates it before outputting to the user window. A plugin typically does not display directly to a user but does it's work behind the scenes.

A module is typically considered to be an add-on to the site that extends the functionality of another part of the system. It usually has fewer options that are configurable by the end user and most of the time does not handle any storing of information into the database. A module usually occupies a secondary portion of the web page and is not considered the primary focus of a page.

A component is the most extensive add-on. This typically adds completely new, or different, functionality to your site and extends the overall site possibilities. A component handles data manipulation as well as input and storage into the database. A component on most sites occupies the main area of the website layout and is the primary focus of the page.

Others feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on any point. Again, these are just generalizations and there are exceptions to every rule, but this should give you a good starting point.

Hope it helps!
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Re: Difference between Module, Component, Plugin

Postby gopal_sh3 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:04 am

Hi David Hurley, this is Gopal Sharma here. In your Reply, You have explained here the differences between Plugin, Component & Module. I'm really impressed with ur reply...............Really impressive that is !!!!

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Re: Difference between Module, Component, Plugin

Postby Ghonjez » Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:37 pm

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Re: Difference between Module, Component, Plugin

Postby barki » Wed May 16, 2012 7:58 am

Hello David Hurley ,

I am really new to joomla , and your answer helped me very much , Thank you alot

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Re: Difference between Module, Component, Plugin

Postby sebari » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:54 am

I see this explanation of the basic concepts was posted in 2008. It has helped me a lot. I am however still not clear on the difference between a 'module' and a 'component'. A module 'extends the functionality' of the system? But in my understanding, the function of a CMS is to store and retrieve data from a database, to layout the the data in a readable page of information and to pass the page of information to the webserver for transmission over the internet back to the browser. A module 'most of the time' doesn't handle storing data in the database (so some of the time it does) and it is less comprehensive than a component. But none of this explains the essential difference. Why not just call a 'module' a simple 'component'. What is the essential difference?

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Re: Difference between Module, Component, Plugin

Postby shaji » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:07 pm

It was a good description of the different components, modules and plugins
Do you have a newsletter, a component?
Usually newsletter has a subscription, the subscription page the module is installed?
Between the two (newsletter & subscription) How

Login, component or module or plugin?

Whether a module is meant to be a standard application?
If possible, please explain more about this article

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