Yes – The Frontend of a Joomla Website Can Work Without the Plugins Folder

Do you have time for a simple experiment? If yes, then try the following:

  • Download Joomla.
  • Install it on a local or a remote server.

  • Once the website is working, rename the plugins folder to plugins_old.

  • Visit the website, and you will notice that the website still works.

  • Now rename the modules folder to modules_old, and you will notice that although all the modules disappeared, the website still works.

The above demonstrates the power and resilience of a Joomla instance: Joomla websites can work without the plugins (and the modules) folder(s). But, why is this worth mentioning?

It is worth mentioning because this discovery can help you in quickly debugging problems on a Joomla website without taking it offline. For example, if your website is suffering from performance issues all of a sudden, then you can rename your plugins folder to plugins_old and see if the issue persists. If it does, then the problem is not caused by one of your plugins, if it doesn’t, then the problem is definitely caused by one of your plugins. The same can be done with the modules folder.

Will the website “fully” work?

Of course, although the frontend of the Joomla website will work, it will miss all the functionalities provided by the plugins including frontend login and SEF URLs. So, you shouldn’t really do this unless you are debugging a website.

Can this be done on all Joomla websites?

No – some Joomla websites use components that explicitly require files from the plugins folders. Such websites will crash if the plugins folder is renamed.

Will the backend still work?

If you delete/rename the plugins folder, then you won’t be able to login to the backend, because you will need the authentication plugin to be able to login.

We hope that you found this post educational – if you have been reading it with the purpose of minimizing the filesystem of your Joomla website, then please note that such an endeavor is not straightforward and does not simply consist of renaming folders. Just contact us and we’ll devise a clean and sustainable solution for your needs for a very affordable price.

No comments yet.

Leave a comment