Setting up Search Engine Friendly URL’s in Joomla is an absolute must if you want to get the most out of your Joomla site. It’s one of the first things I do when setting up any new site and will help you get more visitors from search engines and improve the likelihood that people will link back to your articles – simply because the link looks a lot more attractive, is shorter and less cumbersome.
Most importantly search engines tend to rank content with a search engine friendly URL more highly due to the keywords that are contained in the URL. If you look at the URL of this very page you will see:
This URL tells Google, and other search engines, that the page is most likely about a number of things, such as; Search Engine Friendly URL’s, SEF and Joomla. This reinforces the other primary on-page factors Google looks at, the page title tag and content.
Another very nice side-effect of a SEF URL is that when somebody copies and pastes your link into a blog or forum they give you a link back with keywords in the URL. This is a big bonus, and something that will be explored again in a future blog post.
In this video I show you as quickly as possible how to setup basic SEF within Joomla (yeah I can’t help rambling about little details – It is a long video again, and I’ve got a slight cold, sorry!)
If you want to skip straight to the quick SEF URL checklist and resource list this is under the video.
Quick check list to get SEF URLS working in Joomla
- Access htaccess.txt in your root directory and rename it to .htaccess
- Visit your Joomla Global Configuration and in SEO settings set all options to ‘yes’ and save.
To access your root directory you can either use FTP or your web host’s file manager, as I have done in the video demonstration.
FTP access is something I consider essential for anyone serious about running a Joomla site, or any website for that matter – it still surprises me how many Joomla users I meet who have no idea what this is or how easy it is to setup. With FTP you can access your Joomla installation and manipulate files directly – you can upload and download files, rename, change permissions, etc.
If you want to access your site with FTP then here are a couple of quick tools I recommend:
- Firefox – A free web browser – from our web stats I know that more than 50% of people visiting Joomlabear already have Firefox – this message is for the other 50% – Get Firefox here!
- FireFTP is a free plugin for Firefox that lets you FTP into your website directory from within your web browser, as seen on TV in the video above. Get FireFTP here (Install Firefox first, then add this plugin).
To access your site with FTP you only need the following:
- your FTP address, usually ftp.your-domain-name.com
- A username, your hosting account login usually works
- A password, your hosting account password usually works.
If in doubt contact your web host for these details.
If you prefer the file manager option, Blue Host offer very affordable and reliable hosting and cPanel can save you a lot of time with many different admin tasks. You can also get a free Joomlabear template membership with any new Blue Host account – more details on this offer and Joomla hosting with Blue Host here.