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How to turn on SEF URL’s in Joomla 1.6 June 20, 2011

Posted by Tournas Dimitrios in Joomla-1.6.

This article will show you how to turn on the basic SEF URL functionality built into Joomla!, and it will also provide a list of SEF URL extensions that you can use to gain further control over your URL’s. For this article, I am assuming that you are running your website on an Linux Apache web server , Windows servers until IIS7 will not support mod_rewrite  .SEF URL’s are just a way to make your URL’s look nice. The default SEF URL functionality in Joomla! takes URL’s that look like this: http://localhost:85/joomlanew/index.php/news  and makes them look like this: http://localhost:85/joomlanew/news

Step 1: mod_rewrite :

First make sure your hosting server has mod_rewrite support ( enabled ) . Explore your server’s configurations with an phpinfo() file :

If you are running IIS7 , rename web.config.txt to web.config and install IIS URL Rewrite module before activating this feature .

Step 2: The .htaccess file : 

The Joomla! distribution package comes with a file called “htaccess.txt” in the root folder of your installation. The first thing you need to do to enable SEF URL’s is to rename that file to “.htaccess” and in some cases to un-comment and modify the line with the RewriteBase directive ( this directive is on line 57) . The line should be set as RewriteBase /joomlanew  if your Joomla installation is inside a folder ” joomlanew ” in the root dir of your server .

Step 3: Modify the Global Configuration :

Goto Admin-Panel -> site -> Global-Configuration -> Seo-Settings tab and Set “Search Engine Friendly URLs:” and “Use URL rewriting ” toYes“,  finally click the “Save” button in the toolbar.

That’s all there is to it. You now have SEF URL’s enabled on your site.

SEF Extensions :

The SEF URL’s that are generated by Joomla! are not very descriptive of the content they are pointing to . Fortunately, there are hooks in the Joomla! framework that allow for the development of extensions to make more descriptive SEF URL’s. Even more fortunately, there are already several components available that extend Joomla!’s SEF URL functionality. There is a list in the extensions directory here. I will briefly mention the most popular ones .

  • OpenSEF: OpenSEF is free, and it is a great option with a user friendly administrator interface.
  • ARTIO JoomSEF: I’ve never used this one, but I’ve heard good things about it. It is also free.
  • SEF Advance: This is the only commercial SEF extension  . It is developed by one of the Joomla! core developers, and as far as I know it has been around longer than any other SEF extension.


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