Joomla URL Week Part 3 – Artio SEF Review

Artio SEFIn the third part of our series on optimizing Joomla’s URLs, we’re going to take a look at Artio SEF.


Artio is the new kid on the block, having been in the hands of its current developers for less than a year. It has quickly earned a strong following with nearly 50 reviews on making it among the most talked-about extensions around.


Artio SEF is also known as JoomSEF. It is a fork of 404 SEF, a project started back in 2004 on the Mambo platform. The lead developer of 404 SEF was Beat, better known now as one of the main driving forces behind Community Builder. Artio SEF has been developed since August 2006 by, a company located in Finland and the Czech Republic.

What Do the URLs Look Like?

  • /joomla-license-guidelines-2.html
  • /contact-us/index.php
  • /search.html

How Do I Set Up This Option?

You can find detailed instructions in a PDF file by clicking here.


Reasonable and certainly as much as can be expected from developers of a free component. There are a lot of unanswered posts on the support forums, but the extension seems to be becoming very popular, creating a large number of support requests.


Development has been active with a new version released every month on average. See the changelog here.

Supported Components 

14 free and 4 commercial.


  • Its free for the basic component, although you do need to buy extensions for certain 3rd party extension such as HotProperty, Sobi2, Virtuemart and the SMF Bridge.
  • Removing the section and category from the URL to make the page appear closer to the root is possible with Artio.
  • Some SEF scripts developed for Open-SEF and SEF Advance can be used with Artio.
  • Creates 404 error logs so you can see where you may have broken incoming links and possible errors on your site.
  • Allows custom redirects.
  • Works on Window servers!
  • Works well with Joomfish.
  • It comes with an excellent default set-up. It uses dashes instead of underscores and automatically maps all core components to short and sweet URLs such as /search.html.
  • Producing clean URLs without the odd characters such as % ` $ & that are produced by other SEF components.


  • Heavy server usage. This can become a serious problem on large sites and so Artio SEF maybe more appropriate for smaller websites. One test I ran produce the following results:
    • Default Joomla site : 36 database queries
    • Artio SEF :  164 queries
    • OpenSEF : 68 queries
    • 63 with SEF Advance.
  • No caching of URLs. This means longer load times and more queries.
  • No debugging function.
  • Upgrade difficulties. When upgrading, you need to export all your settings, delete the component, install the update and then reimport your settings again. That said, Artio promise that normal upgrade utility will be available soon.
  • The free version comes with an advertisement for Artio and its partners in the metadata. You can remove this have to pay to remove this. Find out more at the Artio site and on the forums.

Overall Impression

Out of the three SEF extensions we’ll be looking at this week, I was least familiar with Artio but I have to say I was impressed. It is a mature and stable extension that is very user-friendly. Artio was remarkably straightforward to install and the default setting showed a good understanding of SEO. I also really appreciate the fact that the Artio developers are trying to utilize SEF scripts designed for OpenSEF and SEF Advance. One of the restrictions with all three of Joomla’s SEF extensions is that they only work with a limited number of components. It is good to see Artio working towards more cross-fertilization of development.


Artio doesn’t have any features that are unavailable with Open-SEF or SEF Advance but it does a good job of being a solid, all-round SEF URL component.


There are two major drawbacks. One is the large number of database queries it needs to make. Because of this I would recommend Artio be used on relatively low-traffic sites until the problem is fixed. Given that development is active and the developers are well aware of this problem, its reasonable to assume that the number of queries will be reduced in future versions.


The other is the advertising links that will be added to your metadata. If you do use Artio SEF, be sure to download the SEF file here to remove any extra links hurting your SEO.

Further Information



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