Why your business should use small, single-purpose extensions

Benni Mack

Get easier maintenance, precise functionality, and a safeguarded site.

Small, single-purpose extensions (or SSP) are a cornerstone of the TYPO3 ecosystem originated by TYPO3 founder Kasper Skårhøj. As their name suggests, SSP extensions are standalone pieces of code you can add to your application to execute a single function. SSP extensions allow for simpler, less labor-intensive upgrades and maintenance. You can also use SSP extensions to keep your site lighter and sleeker, minimizing unnecessary code and unused features as much as possible. Finally, SSP extensions protect your TYPO3 site by containing any issues within the extension itself.

Contact b13 to learn how SSP extensions can make site upgrades easier.

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Add the precise value you need

We opt for SSP extensions over large, multi-featured ones. The SSP extensions we create at b13 have a specific purpose—like our reverse-proxy cache management or cache flushing and purging extensions, for example. They make it far easier to zero in on the value they’re adding to your (or your client’s) system. SSP extensions are simple to plug in to your existing site, and this "pluggability” means you can try out new technologies or novel functionality more freely and rapidly. The extensions won’t get tangled in the core of your site, so experimentation has lower stakes. If you decide an SSP extension is not useful to you, its “pluggability” works in reverse, too; just remove the extension.

Ease the maintenance burden

Ongoing maintenance can be a big part of a developer's day-to-day; some developers spend as much as 50% of their time on maintenance alone! An extension with a single, defined purpose will naturally be smaller than one weighted down with features, and the smaller the extension, the less time and energy it takes for a developer to maintain it regularly.

The reduced size and complexity of SSP extensions also help with version compatibility. When a new version of a CMS is released (with TYPO3, that cycle happens every year and a half), the accompanying extensions need upgrades to be compatible. For a developer upgrading a large extension, this can be a long, difficult, work-intensive experience. But an SSP extension makes upgrading a much less painful experience. Additionally, b13 prefers two-version support, so an extension works with both the new and old versions of TYPO3, lightening the maintenance load even further. Easier, smaller upgrades make for more predictable timelines and expenses, which also benefits decision-makers.

Separation serves a protective function

Small, single-purpose extensions adhere to a core concept of software development, separation of concerns (SoC). SoC is a principle that separates code into components, giving each their own distinct functionality with little overlap.

SoC is fundamental to SSP extensions, and this separation helps them function as protective containers. If an extension malfunctions, experiences security vulnerabilities, or is misconfigured, any ripple effects are restricted to the extension itself and won’t affect other parts of your site. SoC also makes it easier for developers to do damage control; they don’t have to comb through the entire site’s code, but instead can pinpoint, isolate, and fix the issue swiftly.

Give your developers a helping hand with SSP extension

Using small, single-purpose extensions as a powerful part of your TYPO3 installation can hold many benefits for developers. SSP extensions make upgrades, maintenance, and updates less time-consuming and labor-intensive, you can easily plug in (or out) the exact functionality you need, and they isolate issues to keep your site healthy.

Contact us to boost your TYPO3 site with powerful, tested, standards-compliant b13 extensions.

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