Common problems with SEO URLs in Joomla!

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an essential practice for ensuring your store is ranked highly by major search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and others.

In Joomla!, search engine friendly URLs (also known as SEF URLs) are structured so they are easily read by search engine crawlers as well as humans. Find out more about SEO URLs in the following HostPapa knowledge base article: How to optimize your Joomla! website for search engines.

SEO URLs rely on accurate server configuration to operate correctly. You should not experience issues with SEO URLs on HostPapa servers, but if you encounter a problem, follow these troubleshooting steps.

Clear your browser cache

If you encounter issues with SEO/SEF URLs, as a first step, be sure to clear your browser cache.

Apache server configuration

When your SEF URLs are configured in the Joomla! administration dashboard, you’ll see an option to re-write the URLs without /index.php/ which requires mod_rewrite. If your server configuration does not allow mod_rewrite, you’ll get error messages when this option is enabled. Switch this option to ‘no’ and re-test URL rewriting.

Be sure that you have a ‘Directory’ section in your Apache config file that allows .htaccess overrides. The directive required is:

AllowOverride all

Note that all HostPapa shared and reseller plans have the Apache mod_rewrite enabled by default.

Domain changes

If you’ve recently changed domains, you may find that you have to amend your Joomla! configuration.php file to reflect the changes. The configuration file can be found in the root Joomla! folder, accessible in cPanel File Manager via your HostPapa Dashboard or using an FTP client.

Look for the following line in the code:

var $live_site = 'http://myolddomain.com';

Ensure this reflects the correct domain for your site, or simply leave the URL blank.

var $live_site = '';

If you notice any problems or if you need any help, please open a new support ticket from your HostPapa Dashboard. More details on how to open a support ticket can be found here.

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