How to activate SEF URLs in Joomla 3.x and remove index.php

Joomla is a powerful and easy to use system, however when it comes to search engine friendly websites, it is a bit tricky to get it going. In this tutorial I will show you how to enable search engine friendly urls and how to remove the index.php and other unwanted codes from the url with no need of installing any plugin or component.

You should know that it is important to consider activating sef urls on your Joomla site not only because it looks a lot better, but it also helps in search engine rankings. This was Google can read your site easier and categorize it better in different search term results. Please not that the following tutorial works on Apache servers only and the screenshots have been taken from Joomla 3.x version. In older Joomla versions the steps are similar but minor differences.

Let’s start and see how to turn an ugly url into search and user friendly url.

convert joomla ugly url to user friendly url

First login to the administration panel and go to

[alert-success]System > Global Configuration[/alert-success]

joomla 3 global configuration

In the “Site tab” you will have to do some changes for the SEO Settings. Use the “Yes” option for Search Engine Friendly URLs and URL rewriting. If the URL rewriting is not working, probably your web host did not activate the mod_rewrite module on the Apache server. Contact them to make these changes for you.

url rewriting in joomla 3

Now find the htaccess.txt file in the main folder where your site is installed and rename it to .htaccess

joomla htaccess

You are almost done, but there is one more little thing to do, to remove the index.php from the urls. You will have to edit the .htaccess file and find the following line:

# RewriteBase /

Remove the “#” from the line and if you have installed your joomla site in a sub-folder (ie: ), insert the sub-folder name after the “/”

RewriteBase /joomla

If joomla is installed in the root folder, you don’t need to add any sub directory to the code, just use it like this:

RewriteBase /

Now check your site and see the effects of the changes.

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