The Joomla CMS is an open source aplication that works best on Apache servers running current versions of PHP and MySQL. While there are other methods of configuring the CMS, I have found this deployment to be one of the best when weighing costs and compatibility with functionality and speed. Be certain to download the latest version of Joomla to your local PC. Configure the MySQL database to include a very strong password, and proceed with the Joomla CMS.
I strongly recommend doing a manual install over an automated one offered by many web hosts. By doing this, you are able to control aspects of the process including specifying the table prefix, which typically starts with an underscore followed by three or more letters. (eg: _joom3x
Likewise for security reasons, create a unique administrator user name, not something obvious like "admin", instead mix letters and numbers to reduce a hacker from guessing your login name. Then following it up with a super strong password that is at least 12 alphanumeric characters long. I strongly recommend passwords that contain special characters, upper and lower case, along with numbers, plus a minimum length of 24 characters!
Once the CMS is installed, login and imediately install these extensions. Some of these are paid, but are worth every penny paid due to their massive benefit to extending the core Joomla CMS.
Akeeba Backup - a must have backup component, which will allow for easy recovery of damaged sites due to failed upgrades or hacks.
Akeeba Admin Tools - essential security strengthening component that will lock down a variety of common vulnerable areas, including geo blocking.
JCE Editor - a much better WYSIWYG content editor extension that dramatically streamlines and improves the editting process.
Watchful Client - site monitoring and remote update service.
Shack Forms - a robust forms builder, which provides excellent customization
OCH Open Graph - a fabulously simply yet powerful social network open graph tag creator for both Facebook and Twitter.
Template - actually, there are many excellent template designers and each have their benefits. This becomes a very personal thing, and I happen to like Rocket Themes and their Gantry 5 Framework.
KL Admin Skin - for agencies who want to brand the Joomla CMS with their own name, this nifty plugin will do that extremely well.
ACYBA - newsletter subscription and email marketing, plus SMS text messaging
Now you know my installation improvements, these are the ways I immediately extend the Joomla CMS. Of course, when you work with Mediaversal and I deploy your website, you will find all of these added into the Joomla core. This is one of the many ways I build functional websites that are highly secure and feature rich.