How to Enable Search Engine Friendly URLs on a Joomla Site


How to Enable Search Engine Friendly URLs on a Joomla Site
Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs are shorten the URLs for your Joomla site. For example a menu item you have named Video may appear as or as However enabling SEF URLs will shorten it to

Please note: It is important to follow the order of these instructions. Going out of order may make your site inaccessible. 


  1. Log in to the back end of your Joomla site. If you need help logging into your back end you can go here: How to Access the Back End of a Joomla site.
  2. Click on Global Configuration.
  3. Verify that the Search Engine Friendly URLs is set to Yes. This is the default setting so it should already be set this way.
  4. Log into your Control Panel.
  5. Go to Websites & Domains and then File Manager.
  6. Click on the httpdocs folder.
  7. Locate web.config.txt and click on the icon to rename it to web.config.
  8. Return to the back-end of your Joomla site. Click on Global Configuration. Change Use URL Rewriting to Yes.
  9. Click Save and Close.

You have now enabled SEF URLs. You may need to clear your browser's cache if you are still seeing the longer URLS on your site. SEF will not work when accessing your site through a temporary domain, IP address or a site preview.

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