Joomla User Manual

Manual Index

Search Engine Friendly URLs

Paths and Routes

SEF URLs make sense to both humans and search engines because they explain the path to the particular page they point to. A path is the location of a file in a directory tree or its simulation in code. Internally, the local part of a SEF URL (the part after the domain name) is called a route. Creating and processing SEF URLs is therefore referred to as routing, and the relevant code is called a router.

Search engine friendly URLs can be activated with the following steps:

  • In Global Configuration
    • set the Search Engine Friendly URLs option to Yes.
    • Set the Use URL Rewriting option to Yes
    • Optional: Set the Add Suffix to URL option to Yes.
  • In the site root, rename htaccess.txt to .htaccess if you are using an Apache server, or consult the external documentation for NginX or other servers.

An example of routing can be seen in the incremental effect these changes have on the URL of the Articles Category Blog page in the sample data.

  • With SEF URLs turned off in Global Configuration and .htaccess disabled, the URL is something like and the breadcrumbs shows:
    You are here: Home / Sample Layouts / Articles
  • With SEF URLs on but no URL rewriting, it becomes:
  • With both SEF URLs on, URL Rewriting on and .htaccess enabled it becomes (Add Suffix to URL set to Yes).

Numbers in non-SEF URLS

In the part of the URL that says id=16&Itemid=125 the numbers are the parameters needed to locate the internal URL and show the required page. In this case, the first numeral is the ID of a Category and the second numeral is the ID of the Category Blog menu item for that Category.