How to enable SEF URLs in Joomla 1.6

In order to have your website rank higher in search engine results, it should be optimized so that search bots can easily crawl your pages and index your site. This process is also called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Having meaningful names for your pages, also known as Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs, will make sure your site is easier to navigate through by both visitors and search engines. Joomla 1.6 has a great SEF URL support and in this article we will show you how to enable it.

The first thing you need to do is log in to your Joomla installation directory with your favorite FTP client (e.g. FileZilla) and rename the file called htaccess.txt to .htaccess (the dot is very important, do not forget it). This file contains Joomla's rewrite rules used by Apache's mod_rewrite. These rewrite rules transform your Joomla links and make them search engine friendly.

Once you enable the rewrite rules by renaming the file, you need to tell Joomla to use these rewrites. This is done from the Joomla admin area > Global Configuration. On the right part of the page you will see a section called SEO Settings. Here you need to set these two options to Yes:

  • Search Engine Friendly URLs
  • Use Apache mod_rewrite

When you are ready, click Save at the top right of the screen to save the changes. This will change your Joomla URLs from the regular non-SEF links such as:

to SEF URLs like:

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