This post is intended to answer the question, “Can I avoid using an SEF URL component such as sh404SEF or SEF Advance? Joomla 1.5 default SEF URLs should be enough, right?
Simply – yes. There are many sites and circumstances where Joomla 1.5 default SEF URLs are enough. They are great for most people – certainly are a big leap forward over 1.0. Adding an SEF URL component may simply be adding an extra, unneccessary layer of complexity.
However, for some sites and circumstances, an SEF URL component is a must. Here is a rundown of the ones I’ve encountered most often:
As many of you may know, Yannick is the developer of sh404SEF perhaps the most advanced SEO extension available to Joomla.
This weekend he went to Joomla! Day Switzerland and gave a very detailed presentation about sh404SEF. He talked about the project’s history, showed how to use it, explained some little used features and unvieled some future plans.
This how-to came from a question posed by an SEO Club member:
“How I do move from Joomla 1.0 to 1.5 yet still keep all my /content/view/24/32 URLs?”
I’ve talked with him before and explained that redirecting URLs to a new version is a disaster. My experience it brings a 30 to 50% drop in traffic, so keeping these old URLs was vital.
I did some digging around and found the Backlink plugin. This is a great little tool that is almost completely unknown. I found only around 10 Joomla forum posts and a single blog entry about it which has since disappeared from Joomla.org. Fortunately I was able to dig out the Google cache of Sam Moffatt’s post which helped me understand how it worked. It’s really pretty simple, once you’ve migrated the content to 1.5:
If you read this blog often, you’ll know I love building sites with sh404SEF. However, its such a powerful extension that it can be complex. There are several issues that people keep asking me about. So instead of giving the same answer every time, I’ve written up the answers in a single document.
This is a free article from the SEO Club’s guide to sh404SEF. Club members can look forward to the release of a full guide to Artio JoomSEF within the next couple of days. If you’re not a member, we’re still offering a free two week trial.
We use SEF Advance here on Alledia because it was the best option when we launched 2 years ago. It still does a good job but it does produce some strange URLs sometimes, particular when puncutuation is involved.
Heres a funny example of a URL seen in Firefox 3, caused by a hyphen and quotation mark. It looks like Space Invaders have taken over our URLs:
Joomla 1.5 is now two weeks old and more compatible components are being released every day. For those of you interested in SEO, I thought I might write a short post about the status of SEO components for 1.5: Continue reading “Joomla 1.5 and SEO Components”
Joomla 1.5 is definitely going to bring some SEO benefits in the core, including better URLs and no-follow on some key links such as PDFs.
However, the mantra of the Joomla core for 1.5 is simplicity. Those of you who have been testing the Release Candidates have seen that fewer options are available and in a much clearer, easier-to-understand layout.
This means that for more complex SEO efforts we’ll still be relying on extra components. The first one out of the block is likely to be from Richard of Joomlatwork.com, who developed the SEF Patch and who used to be on the OpenSEF team.
In the fine tradition of OpenSEF, Richard has revealed that the component won’t simply produce Search Engine Friendly URLs, but will be a multi-purpose SEO machine:
We’ve long talked about how important it is to use a Search Engine Friendly URL component with Joomla. The best ones don’t just create human-readable addresses but also help your site in many other areas of SEO.
Trouble is, the wealth of different components means that its easy to get confused. Which one should I use? Should I pay? Should I use a free component?
Hopefully, these two charts will provide a complete comparison guide for the main five SEF URL components.
Chart 1: What features does the component have?
Chart 2: What other extensions does the component work with?
all five are being actively developed and there may be some mistakes / omissions. Please post any that you find in the comments below
Open SEF and Remosef are not included because they are not actively supported
More features does not always equal better. For some people, simpler may well be better
Performance can be an issue. Some components run more quickly than others, especially on large sites. However, because of the difficulty of providing a fair comparison, it is not included as a factor here.
I had the pleasure of testing out the latest version of sh404SEF over the weekend. Yannick just keeps making his component better and better.
This latest version is 1.2.4x although the difference between Yannick really needs to get a new release numbering system. The improvements between 1.2.4a and 1.2.4x is greater than most developers manage between 0.1 and 10.0. It really is becoming the 800 pound gorilla of SEF tools.
The new version isn’t available yet, but here’s a sneak peak at the upcoming improvements:
I pointed out some holes I saw in their component and business model. They were kind enough to answer, replying several times in the comments section. Today they posted an extra long and detailed response including several juicy tidbits of news about their new component.
He was talking about SEO improvements to Joomla and mentioned that:
“You?ll see much of the discussion about SEO revolving around various SEF components. These components allow for advanced manipulation of URL?s and meta tags. Neither of these was identified as a major factor in … SEO analysis. Turn on the default Joomla SEF, but I am not sure there is much evidence that its very influential after that.”