URL Changes in Joomla 1.5

Joomla 1.5 has really taken hold in recent months, overtaking 1.0 to become the more popular system. The aim of this post is to compare the URLs in 1.0 and 1.5 so that you know what to expect in the new version.

Some Background

Joomla has always shipped with two different URL possibilites, the “Default” setting and the “Search Engine Friendly” setting. In Joomla 1.0 the phrase “Search Engine Friendly URLs” probably wasn’t accurate. Google and Yahoo never found much to love about them. It would be fairer to just call them “Shorter URLs”. Joomla 1.5 offers the promise of better URLs. Lets see if thats true:

Joomla’s Default URLs

These are the URLs you get when you first install Joomla. I’ve highlighted the small differences between 1.0 and 1.5:

  • 1.0: index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5&Itemid=6
  • 1.5: index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=6
  • 1.0: index.php?option=com_weblinks&Itemid=6
  • 1.5: index.php?option=com_weblinks&view=categories&Itemid=6

Joomla’s Search Engine Friendly URLs

You’ll have to actively make changes if you want these URLs. If you go to Site >> Global Configuration, you’ll see that the SEO panel now has more options. Lets compare 1.0 and 1.5:

Joomla 1.0
  • Using these settings: content/view/5/6/
Joomla 1.5
  • Using these settings: index.php/joomla-license/3-newsflash/41-newsflash
  • If you set “Use Apache mod_rewrite” to “Yes”: joomla-license/3-newsflash/41-newsflash
  • If you set “Add suffix to URL” to “Yes”: joomla-license/3-newsflash/41-newsflash.html

You’ll see that these URLs are much better than 1.0 because they contain relevant keywords from the article’s name. For a detailed rundown of why keywords matter, click here. However, they also contain numbers:

  • Why use numbers? To avoid the problem of having more than one article with the same name. If you have two articles called “Newsflash”, how will Joomla know which is correct?
  • Where do the numbers come from? Its the ID number of the category or article. You can find this in the right-hand column of the Category Manager and Article Manage.


  • The changes in 1.5 mean you won’t be able to upgrade and keep the same URLs.
  • The URLs in 1.5 are an improvement over 1.0.
  • You don’t need to install an extra component.
  • You can get these URLs on almost any webserver, so long as you don’t mind the index.php in the URLs.

Find Out More

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