How to manage the preference options for SEO and URLs in PrestaShop 1.5-1.6

In PrestaShop there are some general options for search engine optimization and friendly URLs of default pages that come prepackaged with PrestaShop, for enabling and disabling friendly URLs for the whole store, for changing the patterns used for forming friendly URLs. To manage these settings, go to Preferences menu>SEO & URLs sub-menu in the admin panel of your PrestaShop.

In this tutorial we'll briefly review these options. For some more details and screenshots check out the tutorial on how to manage the preference options for SEO and URLs in PrestaShop 1.5-1.6.

SEO and URL options of Default Pages

After you go to Preferences menu>SEO & URLs sub-menu at the top of the page you'll see a table listing some default pages that come prepackaged with PrestaShop. These are not product, category or CMS pages, but prepackaged pages such as Contact us page, manufacturers page, suppliers page, etc. This is not a complete list of all the default pages, but of those that have their SEO and friendly URL options preconfigured (most of them have these options preconfigured).

Most likely you won't have to edit the options of a page, but if you want to do it just click on its Edit button in the table (in PrestaShop 1.5 the button is a pencil icon). There are several options available. The Page drop-down menu indicates the page to which the options will apply. The option Page title is for the meta title to be used by search engines. It's the title shown on result pages displayed by search engines, and it's also the title shown in the tabs of web-browsers when that page is opened.

In the fields for Meta description and Meta keywords you can respectively type a short description and some keywords related to the page. They will be used by search engines. The description is shown on result pages. In the field Rewritten URL type the friendly URL that you want to be used for the page. Don't type the full URL address but just the part corresponding to the name of the page; it will be automatically added to the main URL. Use lowercase letters and separate words with hyphens. For example, if you type contact-us, then the full URL of the page will be After you're ready with the options click on the Save button.

To remove a page from the list, in the table that lists the pages click on the arrow next to its Edit button and from the drop-down menu select Delete (in PrestaShop 1.5 the button is a trash can icon). Note that this will not delete the actual page; it will just remove all the SEO and URL options associated with the page.

If you want to add a page that you have removed, click on the button Add a new page that's above the table (in PrestaShop 1.5 it's labeled Add new). Then on the page that opens configure the options; they are the same as when editing a page.

Enable and Disable Friendly URL, Accented URL and Canonical URL

Below the table with the SEO options for default pages, there's a panel labeled Set up URLs. In that panel there are a few options. From the option Friendly URL you can enable friendly URLs for the whole store. The option Accented URL is disabled by default. It's recommended that you keep it disabled. If you want to include non-Latin letters in your URLs enable accented URLs.

With the option Redirect to the canonical URL you can avoid duplicate content. In some cases there may be more than one URL that points to the same page. If you enable this option, one of the URLs that point to the same page will be considered the canonical one, and the others will be redirected to it. You can select whether the redirection should be considered temporary or permanent (recommended). Note that in PrestaShop 1.5 you can only enable this option; you can't choose whether it should be temporary or permanent.

The setting Disable Apache's MultiViews option is set to No by default. When used with PrestaShop, MultiViews helps the server decide which language version of a page best matches the page requested by the customer. The option Disable Apache's mod_secuirty module is also set to No by default. It's recommended that you keep it like this. It improves the security of the server.

Shop URL

Another panel that's available on the page that opens when you go to Preferences menu>SEO & URLs sub-menu is Set Shop URL. It contains options that specify the domain name of your shop, the domain name with SSL and the path to the folder in which PrestaShop is installed on your hosting account. These fields are automatically filled after you install PrestaShop. We recommended that you don't touch these options unless you know exactly what you're doing. Otherwise, you can break your shop. These options are usually used when you transfer PrestaShop to another folder and/or to another hosting account. For more information check out the tutorial on how to transfer PrestaShop.

Schema of URLs

Another panel with options on the same page is labeled Schema of URLs. It's only available if friendly URLs are enabled. In that panel you'll see the default patterns used for the friendly URLs of products, categories, CMS pages, etc. A pattern consists of keywords enclosed in curly brackets. In the actual URLs they are replaced with the values for the particular product or category. For instance, the category pattern {id}-{rewrite} will be replaced in URLs with strings like these (they are just examples): 4-ipods, 6-digital-cameras, etc. Above the patterns there are instructions how they are formed and used, and below each field you'll see the keywords that can be used with the particular route and which keyword(s) is required.

Robots File Generation

Another panel on the page with the SEO and URL options is Robots File Generation. It contains the button Generate robots.txt file. If you click on it PrestaShop will automatically generate a robots.txt file in the root PrestaShop directory on your PrestaShop hosting account. The file will contain some default directives that instruct web crawlers not to index files and folders in your PrestaShop folder that are not intended to be public. Web crawlers are used by search engines to index pages, but they can also be used by others to get information, email addresses, etc.

For some more details and screenshots you can also check out our PrestaShop 1.5-1.6 SEO and URLs preference options tutorial.

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