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Joomla SEO and htaccess files

Information on .htaccess and Joomla.

What is it, what does it do and why should I bother?

What is it?

The htaccess.txt file is part of the Joomla core download.
You should find it in the root of your Joomla installation.
Once uploaded and renamed to .htaccess it is a special Apache file.

What does it do?

The basic purpose of the .htaccess file here is to Rewrite the cryptic URL’s from a dynamic content management system to more readable URL’s

For Apache to be able to do that, it needs to know some things about the URL Joomla produces and how they should be handled

These information is stored in the .htaccess file.

Why you should use it

If you want your Joomla website to have clean and frendly URL's, then you got to know the .htacces file.

This means that your URLs are reading like normal pages that contain your keywords.

This will give them a better Search Engine index as well as easier for you visitors to remember.

So a Link like http://www.example.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=0&Itemid=9

Will not do as well as http://www.example.com/news/new-seo-build-page.html

Basic Technical Needs

Joomla Basic SEO on Apache and .htaccess
To be able to work with this it requires you to have a hosting platform based on Apache and with the MOD_Rewrite for Apache turned on.

You can check this in Joomla itself from the administrator backend.
Choose menu item “system” next “System Info” and then the Tab PHP Info.
If you scroll down you will find a section called Apache, Loaded Modules.

If in doubt, ask you Hosting Provider Support team, they can turn it on for Your hosting account as well.

Apache ready?
Lets us look at the htacces.txt file.
If you installed Joomla in a Subdirectory, you need to change one line

BaseRewrite

That has to reflect the real path to Joomla.
For example BaseRewrite/~user/htdocs/joomla

Then rename the file htaccess.txt to .htaccess via your FTP Program.

What happened? It disappeared from your screen!
That is because this file is very special to Unix, it is a hidden file and if you want to see it again, you have to change your view to show you the hidden files.
Filezilla FTP has this as an option.

Now you can turn on the SEO function of Joomla in the Global Configuration

Three things to look for if the file doesn’t work as expected

Nr one: Your Joomla installation is in a subdirectory.
Then un remark # RewriteBase / and change it to the right path like
RewriteBase /subdirectory or RewriteBase /~username/htdocs

Nr Two: Your web hosting does not support SymLinks.
In that is the case, place a remark # sing in front of
Options FollowSymLinks
so it then reads
# Options FollowSymLinks

Nr Three: Your web hosting doesn’t allow you to use your own .htaccess file
If that is the case, just ask them nicely if they could to active this option and explain them why you want it, they just might active it for you.

I have had such a problem before, and I did asked them and they were so nice to let me know that they would move my site to a server that supported these actions!!
The old one did not have that possibility.

There are three examples of Joomla htaccess files below.
Basic Joomla .htaccess
Basic Joomla .htaccess with less comments.
Third party SEF Joomla .htaccess

These three files are also on the website as txt files so you can copy them with a text editor

The three example files:

Basic Joomla htaccess.txt

Joomla Basic Htaccess.txt with less comments

Third Party htaccess.txt

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