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Setting Up SEF URLs In Joomla Using .htaccess

When you first install Joomla, naturally it will display URLs for each of your pages in a non search engine friendly way, it will also be confusing to visitors. This is because Joomla starts by displaying links like www.yoursite.com/index.php?option=com_cont....etc, generally speaking it will display links by referencing article IDs. This is very bad for SEO as it has no relevant information to any of the pages within your website, luckily this is easy to fix.

What we want Joomla to do is display links using the category, section and article title, this will help have a more relevant URL as each of those should be related to the page being displayed. For a better understanding of how sections categories and article titles will affect the URL check out my tutorial “Structuring Content In Joomla

Joomla SEF Using .htaccess Video Tutorial:

How To Enable SEF URLs In Joomla

So now let’s look at exactly how to enable SEF URLs in Joomla, this will require you to know how to upload and edit files on your web server via FTP, if you don’t know how check out “Uploading/Managing Your Website with FileZilla”.

So first thing we need to do is rename and setup the htaccess file, this will give Joomla the ability to rewrite the URLs with more relevant URLs as mentioned above. To do this you need to login to your website hosting account using FileZilla or another FTP client. Once logged in access your root website location, in other words the main directory where Joomla is installed. If you are using Hostgator this will most likely be your “public_html” folder.

In the directory/folder Joomla is installed too there will be a file named htaccess.txt, what you need to do now is rename this file. If using FileZilla (or another FTP client) you should be able to right click on the file and select the “Rename” option. What you want to do is rename this file from “htaccess.txt” to “.htaccess”, so you want to remove the extension .txt and place a “.” (full stop) at the beginning of the filename.

Once the file has been renamed you can now enable the SEF URLs from within the administration side of Joomla. Simply login to Joomla Administrator, select “Site” from the top navigation menu and then click on “Global Configuration”. You should now see the “Site” settings, which you can tell because there should be 3 option just under the main title of the page called “Site, System and Sever” “Site” should be black and underlined, if not click it.

On the left of the page you should see “SEO Settings”, you can pretty much switch all these options to yes. Now check how the URL’s for different pages within your website are being displayed. If you are getting errors and the pages are not working anymore it is most likely because you did not rename the “htaccess.txt” file correctly, just confirm that.

If you are having any trouble at all please make sure that you watch the video at the top of this page.