Welcome to my presentation on Search Engine Friendly URL’s in Joomla!
Firstly let’s explain what we mean by Search Engine Friendly URL’s. Joomla, being a dynamic Content Management System requires the URL of the content you’re viewing to be constructed “dynamically” – based on what you have clicked on. Static sites have predefined filenames – index.htm, contacts.htm and so forth. A dynamic database system cannot do this, as you’re pulling dynamic items from the database each time you view anything on the site. This is where the ugly URL’s come in – you can see on these examples that the URL is comprised of the “BASE URL”, followed by the “BASE FILE” (index.php) with a whole load of other bits and pieces depending on what you happen to be viewing. The first URL, for example, is for a content item #27 in category #12. The second URL is displaying the component Expose, and is showing item #26 The third URL is showing the front page of the website. So, it makes sense that if we know what the item title is, and what the category/component name is, we can replace the item ID’s generated by Joomla! with the actual item name, or component name, or whatever we please! You can see in these URL’s that there have been different approaches to using this concept.
What are SEF URL’s? http://www.myurl.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=27 http:// www.myurl.com/index.php?option=com_expose&Itemid=26 These are NOT search engine friendly URL’s http:// www.myurl.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1 http:// www.suffolkcomputerservices.co.uk/Website-Design-News/how-do-i-remove-the-joomla-generator-tag.html These ARE search engine friendly URL’s http://www.joomla.org/announcements/general-news/5236-10-million-thank-yous.html http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/communities-&-groupware/communities/210/details
Preparing for SEF URL’s? <ul><li>Do you have Apache? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you need a SEF component? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple components </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto-redirects old URL’s to new SEF’d URL’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows configuration on per-component basis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider current SEO & potential impact </li></ul>
Turning on SEF URL’s Joomla 1.5.x Global Configuration>Site Settings – Right hand side Joomla 1.0.x Global Configuration>SEO – note, no option to NOT use apache
Now what? <ul><li>Rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess (Apache) </li></ul><ul><li>Alter RewriteBase if you’re using a subdomain – RewriteBase /<subdomain> </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re not using a subdomain the .htaccess file should work as-is </li></ul>
Using SEF components <ul><li>Recommended components: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Artio (JoomSEF) www.artio.net </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sh404SEF extensions.siliana.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Invaluable when using lots of extensions </li></ul><ul><li>Huge control & flexibility over URL’s </li></ul>
Avoiding Complexity! <ul><li>If you’re new to SEF, use beginner mode (sh404SEF) </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly only need to use Configuration – don’t panic about all the other features! </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to purge URL’s when making changes </li></ul>
SH404SEF Beginner Mode Advanced Mode Has security system in-built to screen requests for common attacks Plugin installation a bit cumbersome & not user friendly Documentation wiki: http://doc.extensions.siliana.com
Artio (JoomSEF) Has a free & paid version [£22] (free version has “SEO by Artio” on pages) Lots of plugins, they will create custom plugins as required – some are chargeable, ~£10 each Very easy & user friendly plugin installation – looks & acts the same as extension installation Documentation: http://www.artio.net/en/joomsef/artio-joomsef-documentation