Is your Joomla website getting indexed harder by Google? You are not the only one who has this issue. Many new users who start their website with Joomla forget or do not even know how important search engine friendly urls are. Because the Joomla is not created to be SEF out of the box, you will have to make some adjustment to it.
In this quick tutorial I will show you how to enable search engine friendly links and how to remove index.php tag from the url. This small change can have a huge impact: search engines will crawl your website easier and can give you a good boost in rankings as well. This tutorial was created on Apache server and Joomla 3.4 version. It may be compatible with older versions as well, because the process is very similar for all Joomla versions.
Non-SEF urls, are long, dynamic urls, that usually contain numbers, text, different characters and does not provide a clear view on what the content is about, while SEF urls usually contain keywords. Here is a nice illustration of how dynamic url turns into static url:
To achieve this in Joomla, you will have to login to the administration panel and access the “System > Global Configuration” page.
Change the settings of “Search Engine Friendly URLs” to “YES”; this will change the dynamic into static links, however the index.php will still be in the URL. You probably don’t want this, so the “Use URL rewriting” should also be changed to “YES” status.
The URL rewriting only works, if you have a “.htaccess” file in the Joomla root folder. Change the “htaccess.txt” (which has already been uploaded along with other Joomla files) to “.htaccess”.
Once you did this, edit the “.htaccess” files and find the following line:
# RewriteBase /
Remove the # sign from the beginning of the line and save the file.
This will work perfectly if you have installed Joomla to your domain and not into a subfolder, such as http://joomlartwork.com/joomla
If your joomla installation is in a sub-folder you will have to add the subfolder name to this line, for instance:
Now you have learned how to turn dynamic URLs to nice looking static URLs in Joomla 3.x as well how to enable the URL rewriting. Next time when you create a new Joomla project, don’t forget to repeat these steps again.