The most crucial step to make your Joomla site SEO friendly - JoomShaper

The most crucial step to make your Joomla site SEO friendly

22 May 2018
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4 min read
The most crucial step to make your Joomla site SEO friendly

I don’t think you need an introduction to what a URL is. But still, I’m going to tell you anyway. The URL is the address of your website by which the search engines and the visitors find your website. So, it is important to make your website’s URL friendly for search engines and users so that they can find it easily.

The challenge with Joomla is, it doesn’t provide a user-friendly URL by default. So we need to work on that and that’s what we’ll be learning today in this tutorial. Our primary URL for this article is yoursite.com/index.php/about and our goal is to make it yoursite.com/about so that it will be easy to remember by humans and easily findable by search engines.

So let's get started.

Make your Joomla site SEO Friendly

Our goal is to drop the index.php part which will make the URL more visible to the eye, easier to remember and to share.

Step by step guide to a user-friendly Joomla URL

Step 1

We need to log into the Joomla admin area of our site then go to System > Global Configuration.

Make your Joomla site SEO Friendly

Step 2

You’ll find SEO Settings on the right side of your screen. There, you’ll see “Search Engine Friendly URLs” is already been set to “Yes”. In case it’s set to “No”, you’ll need to change it to “Yes”. Otherwise, the functions we are looking for won’t be visible.

Make your Joomla site SEO Friendly

Step 3

This is the most complicated step and the most important one. What we are going to do in this step is, we will rename a file. In order to do that you need to log into your Joomla file system. The file name is htaccess.txt which will be found in the main directory [Web Root (public_html/www)] along with configuration.php, index.php and other files.

Make your Joomla site SEO Friendly

We will change htaccess.txt to .htaccess

Make your Joomla site SEO Friendly

Note: You need to have Apache mod_rewrite enabled. If you can’t rename the htaccess.txt file to .htaccess then you’ll probably have it there. You can find it by enabling hidden files view. After that, open .htaccess file and uncomment RewriteBase / (just remove the #).

And, if after renaming htaccess.txt to .htaccess you see a "500 Internal Server Error" then open .htaccess file and comment lines Options +FollowSymlinks and Options -Indexes (add # at the beginning of the lines). Then reload your site in your browser. If this step does not resolve the issue, please contact your hosting support.

Step 4

Now let's go back to our Joomla admin area and find SEO Settings (System > Global Configuration). We’ll set the “Use URL Rewriting” to “Yes”. Our work is done here.

Make your Joomla site SEO Friendly

Optional

If you want to show .html after your URL you can enable “Add Suffix to URL” option. But to me, it's not necessary. The search engines do not care about .html extension. So you can leave it as it is.

Our reward

Now that we’ve worked really hard to make our website’s URL user-friendly. Let’s see if our work has paid off!

Make your Joomla site SEO Friendly

Yay, it has!

Caution: This procedure is a difficult one and it may cause broken links to your site. The fix is simple if you see anything going south just change the settings to the default and you’ll see your site is up and running smoothly.

One more thing you might want to recheck before going live with this method, you may have used /index.php/ in your internal links, I'd suggest you drop that. Joomla still can read both URLs (with and without /index.php/) but for search engines, those are two different pages with the same content. Sometimes this might impact search engine rankings because when duplicate content is present, Joomla site owners can suffer rankings and traffic losses.

Please note, for the purpose of this article we chose Apache webserver. If you’re running your website on other servers like Nginx, Hiawatha or Windows IIS please have a look at the official Joomla documentation.

Next Step: Making Joomla site SEO friendly by removing ID from URLs.

Comments (22)

RC
RJ Cole
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Hi!

I've follow this instructions. The index.php was indeed removed but a 404 - Category not found shows. How can I fix this?

Thanks!

RC
RJ Cole    RJ Cole
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Oh it's ok now. I commented the "RewriteBase /" and somehow it worked again.

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    RJ Cole
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That's the power of "RewriteBase /" I told you in Step 3

W
wuxiaworld
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Thanks for your article. My website has been running a lot smoother wuxiaworld

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    wuxiaworld
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You owe me a treat buddy

DH
dedi harshal
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Me also want to make my web dedi pak SEO friendly as in these days Google like seo friendly website the most. I am using wordpress yet but want to shift to Joomla as it has good designed themes available.

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    dedi harshal
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Happy to hear that. You can reach out to us if you need any suggestion. We're always here to help

AP
Ashish Patel
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Thanks for the Guide, my both blog running amazing now idevicehelp, Android jungles

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    Ashish Patel
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Glad we could help

S
simsonbuse
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Amazing guide for SEO of joomla blog.

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    simsonbuse
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Thank you

R
Robert
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5 SEO Tips for Joomla You Must Know :


Enable Search Engine Friendly URLs


Install a Good Sitemap and Submit to Webmaster Tools


Improve your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions


Use Good Alt Tags for Images, Optimize your Robots.txt File


Use Joomla SEO Plugin Extensions

Rob
Rob
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One also important setting is to unnumber articles.
When you use articles as blog items its better to unnumber the used articles. You can unnumber them by going to article settings and select tab-intergrations and select hide id’s

You can also create a hidden menu. So you can connect a article category to an hidden menu item.
Tis is used to make a more friendly link like /blog/animals/my-sweet-cat

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    Rob
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Hi Rob,
I guess I know what you are referring to. I have explained it in another article. Have a look

CG
Catalin Georgescu
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Great stuff!

I wish I could read it a few years ago - it would have saved a lot of time! Now I've learnt it the hard way (including the Error 500 thing!).

Catalin

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    Catalin Georgescu
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Ah, I feel sorry for you

SG
Sunil Ghosh
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I'm currently running my website on WordPress.org and man what an article on optimizing website on Joomla for SEO. I know feel to give it a try whenever I try out a new project.

Many thanks for this fantastic post.

W
Werner
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Hi there! Thank you for the article. I followed it and when I open my site, the home page lands on a blog article rather than the actual home page content. All the other menus are working fine. Please any idea how to resolve it?

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    Werner
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Hi, could you check if the home page is set properly? Like the following screenshot? http://prntscr.com/ni4ugj

Let me know if it worked.

W
Werner    Saifur Rahman
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hello ... it is properly set with Pages and then Home. Even when I change the home page to another page, it does the same, the content of that page isn't displayed, I get instead the article. It is as if the Home Page is set to automatically point to the article. Is there a way around it? Thank you!

W
Werner    Saifur Rahman
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Also, if I turn off SEO, it works fine, all the pages open fine. However, they have a long url with too much info about the site in it

Saifur Rahman
Saifur Rahman    Werner
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This seems a bit complex. Would you mind posting it on the forum so that we can have a closer look at it? You have forum access, right?

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