Joomla URL Week Part 2 – Default SEF URLs

This week we’re trying to answer one of the most common questions in the Joomla world: “What is the best URL setup for Joomla and why?”

Yesterday I talked about default Joomla URLs and why they are a bad idea for your Joomla site. Today is Part 2 of the quest we’re going to look at the default Joomla Search Engine Friendly URLs.

Lets see whether this set up is any more useful….

What Do the URLs Look Like?

  • /content/view/5/6/
  • /component/option,com_contact/Itemid,3/
  • /component/option,com_newsfeeds/Itemid,7/

How Do I Set Up This Option?

There are two steps you need to take after installing Joomla.

  • Login to your FTP account and rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess.
  • After you’ve logged in to the administrator section, go to Site >> Global Configuration >> SEO >> Search Engine Friendly URLs = Yes


Understanding Joomla SEF URLs

If you’ve read through the first part of our series on Joomla URLs, you’ll be familiar with the building blocks used to create the URLs.

The Joomla SEF URL setup is an improvement over the basic URLs in two ways:

  • It produces URLs that are more compact
  • It removes many of odd characters such as ? and &.
Default URLs Default SEF URLs



/index.php?option=com_weblinks&Itemid=23 /component/option,com_weblinks/Itemid,23/
/index.php?option=com_contact&Itemid=3 /component/option,com_contact/Itemid,3/



  • They are an improvement over Joomla’s default URLs.


  • The SEF URLs are still meaningless for visitors and hard to remember.
  • The SEF URLs are often no shorter than the default URLs. The only real advantage can been seen with content items.
  • As with the regular URLs, Itemids are not hidden, making it possible to have an infinite number of URLs pointing to the same content. This is a nightmare when it comes to Duplicate Content. All of these URLs would be valid:
    • /content/view/5/1/
    • /content/view/5/2/
    • /content/view/5/3/
    • /content/view/5/4/
    • /content/view/5/5/ etc.
  • These URLs are really, really common. Lets do a quick Google search to find out how common some of these URLs are:

When Should You Use This Option?

Only if you are on a Windows Server.

There are too many disadvantages to this setup. Instead, keep reading over the next four days as we review the main Search Engine Friendly URL components for Joomla and help you choose one of them to improve your site.

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