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How to make custom search engine friendly URLs in Joomla

How to set Joomla Search Engine Friendly URLsThe Joomla CMS provides a neat little way to turn the standard ugly urls from their long, unfriendly format to a much more human readable 'Search Engine Friendly (SEF)" version.

Follow these two simple steps in order to make your Joomla system show friendly URLs!

Change this:

to the much more readable and search engine friendly: 

There are just two things you need to do to achieve this. In the Joomla administrator area, navigate to System > Global Configuration. On this screen the first tab is Site. On the right hand column, under the title SEO Settings set Search Engine Friendly URLs to Yes. A new field will appear 'Use URL Rewriting' which you can set to Yes also.

Next we need to make a change to a filename on the server. Using FTP or CPanel access, rename one of these files depending on whether your hosting is running an IIS server, or an Apache server. If you don't know it's safe to rename one and see if it works and undo the rename if it doesn't work. You're most likely to be running an Apache server.

  • For IIS servers rename web.config.txt to web.config
  • For Apache servers rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess

Renaming file to complete setting SEF URLs in Joomla

That's it! You may need to clear caches to see the results but you've successfully implemented SEF URLs on Joomla.

If neither of these options works for you. your host may not be running a Rewrite module on the server that is necessary for this to work. Contact your host to check their setup allows for URL rewriting.



Last modified onSunday, 04 December 2016 13:47
Joomla Expert

JoomlaExpert offers a full range of specialist Joomla website packages coupled with professional Joomla advice & long term support. With clients based in the UK, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United States, Canada and and Australia we work with a diverse range of businesses providing world-class Joomla solutions. With specialist partners in Marketing, Graphic Design, Video Production, Hosting & Development, we manage your Joomla projects from end-to-end. 

Dr. Ultan Sharkey (BBLS, MBS, Ph.D.) is an ecommerce consultant specializing in online shopping businesses. He holds a Masters degree in Ecommerce and a PhD in Online Shopping Experience from National University of Ireland Galway where he is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the business school. He also owns, a Joomla based online shop for top-brand fitness equipment. He is also a founding member of the eCommerce Association of Ireland (

Ultan and his team have over 10 years experience with Joomla having worked with it since it forked from the Mambo CMS back in 2005. 

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