Saturday, 29 November 2014 00:00

Search Engine Friendly URLs in Joomla

To create a SEF (Search Engine Friendly) URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or web address (www.YourWebsite.com/FolderName/PageName) is reatively easy within Joomla. However, you will require either FTP or cPanel access to edit the htaccess file.

There are two quite simple steps that can turn this:

www.YourWebsite.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30&Itemid=190

Into this:

www.YourWebsite.com/SomethingMoreSensible

There are two easy steps involved:

  1. Edit the Global Configuration SEO Settings in Joomla
  2. Edit the htaccess file

Editing the SEO settings within Joomla is quite straight forward. You login to the administration area and go to "Global Configuration". Once there edit the following settings under "SEO Settings":

  • Search Engine Friendly URLs: Yes
  • Use URL rewriting: Yes
Please note that the first option is sufficient for most websites but for a more professional look to the URL you will need to also have htaccess rewrite the URLs for you.

Before we explore this in detail let's first explore what a htaccess file is and what it does.

Editing the htaccess File

The htaccess file resides in the root folder of your website: "www.YourWebsite.com/.htaccess" and controls things such as access to areas of your website, what search engines can (and more importantly) cannot access. In addition, there are a series of commands held within this file (that is installed by default when you install Joomla) that control how the URL appears when you look at it in the address bar.

To edit it you will have to access your website through FTP and edit the file directly. Once logged in you simply rename the file "htaccess.txt" to ".htaccess". The full stop at the beginning is very important, it's not a mis spelling.

Once this is done your URLs will read much more easily and you will also be able to take advantage of other SEF URL Components available for Joomla.

Watch our short video on YouTube: Search Engine Friendly URLs in Joomla.

Last modified on Saturday, 29 November 2014 21:54

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