Advantages and Method of Creating Search Engine Friendly URLs for Joomla Content Management System

   Among the several customisations available a very important one is the creation of Search Engine Friendly URLs. Here I will describe how you can create URLs which are visitor as well as search engine friendly and the advantages of creating them.

Creating Search Engine Friendly URLs

   Joomla Content Management system can be customised to provide URLs which are not only Search Engine Friendly but also visitor friendly. By default the URLs provided by Joomla Content Management system are something like this in case of Content Items: http://<NameOfDomain>/ index.php?option=com_content&id=14&task=view&itemid=28. These URLs are very long and it is quite obvious that they have been created dynamically.
   Such URLs are not search engine friendly. Likewise they are not visitor friendly, as a site visitor will find it extremely difficult to remember such an URL. On the other hand building a very large static site manually (By creating HTML pages) involves a lot of work to maintain the website.
   It Would be very nice if we could find a solution to this problem. Well using an extension (Component) to Joomla solves all our problems. Our website can be maintained easily using Joomla and outwardly it will appear to site visitors as well as search engines as a Static Site (HTML site) with very friendly URLs. The additional benefit will be that these SEF URLs will also help to boost the placement of the site in the search results. In the screenshot below we can compare both the URLs - The SEF URL and the actual URL.
Joomla - URL Comparison

Generation of Search Engine Friendly URLs

   The full URL is generated by the SEF Component in Joomla by taking the Category Name and the page title by default. Since the title is usually long comprising of about 10 to 12 words and the maximum recommended length of a page filename should be no more than 3 words, we have to specify a Title Alias and configure the SEF Component to use the Title Alias instead of the Title when generating the HTML file name for the URL. Suppose that we are creating a dynamic site in Joomla for ABC Travels, Goa. The section is Goa Tourist Information and the category is Goa Tourist Guide. In this section we have created a page with a title Goa Dolphin Trips | Sightseeing Trip To View Dolphins In River with the Title alias as Goa Dolphin Trips. This is illustrated in the screenshot below.
Joomla - Generating the SEF URL

   On an actual site the URL will be of the form http://<NameOfDomain>/goa-tourist-guide/goa-dolphin-trips.html, which is clearly is a very friendly URL and much easier to remember than something like http://<NameOfDomain>/index.php?option=com_content &id=21&task=view&Itemid=35.

SEF And Non Search Engine Friendly URLs comparison

   Finally we shall compare SEF And Non Search Engine Friendly URLs .The screenshot of both the types of URLs is shown below. Joomla - SEF And Non Search Engine Friendly URLs Comparison

Other Customizations

   For more customisations please refer to Joomla Customising Page Title and Search.