Activate Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs in Joomla 5

In the realm of web development, Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs have emerged as a crucial factor in enhancing a website's search engine optimization (SEO) performance. These human-readable URLs, often referred to as clean URLs, replace lengthy and complex URL structures with clear and concise alternatives. By implementing SEF URLs, you can significantly improve your Joomla website's visibility and search engine rankings.

Why Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs Matter for Joomla Websites

SEF URLs offer a plethora of advantages for Joomla websites, making them an essential SEO tool. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Improved Search Engine Visibility: SEF URLs are more understandable to search engines, allowing them to better comprehend the content of your website and its relevance to specific search queries. This enhanced comprehension leads to improved search engine rankings and increased website visibility.
  • Enhanced User Experience: SEF URLs provide a more pleasant user experience compared to their cumbersome counterparts. Clear and concise URLs are easier for users to remember, share, and type, making it more likely they'll revisit your site.
  • Structured and Organized Site Architecture: SEF URLs reflect the structure and organization of your website, making it easier for both search engines and users to navigate your site's content.

Activating Search Engine Friendly

Enabling SEF URLs in Joomla 5 is a straightforward process that can be accomplished in just a few steps:

  1. Ensure Apache mod_rewrite is Enabled: Before proceeding, verify that Apache mod_rewrite is enabled on your web server. This module is essential for URL rewriting, a crucial aspect of implementing SEF URLs.
  2. Rename .htaccess.txt File: In the root directory of your Joomla installation, locate the file named "htaccess.txt". Rename this file to ".htaccess" to activate the mod_rewrite configuration.
  3. Enable SEF URLs in Global Configuration: Navigate to the Joomla administrator panel and access the Global Configuration settings. Under the "SEO" section, locate the option "Use Apache mod_rewrite/URL rewriting". Enable this option to activate SEF URLs on your Joomla site.Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs in Joomla
  4. Enable SEF Plugin: Locate the "System - SEF" plugin in the Plugin Manager and enable it. This plugin ensures that SEF URLs are applied to links within your Joomla content.
  5. Save Changes: Once you've enabled SEF URLs and the SEF plugin, save your changes.
  6. Clear Cache: Clear your Joomla cache to ensure that the new SEF URL settings are properly applied.

Additional Considerations for SEF URL Implementation

While activating SEF URLs is a straightforward process, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind:

  • If you're using a third-party SEF extension, follow the specific instructions provided by the extension developer.
  • If you encounter any issues after enabling SEF URLs, disable them and revert to the previous settings before troubleshooting.
  • Regularly check your website's SEO performance to monitor the impact of SEF URLs on your search engine rankings.


Implementing Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs is a crucial step in optimizing your Joomla website for search engine visibility and user experience. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can easily activate SEF URLs and reap the benefits they offer. Remember, SEF URLs are just one piece of the SEO puzzle. Combine them with other effective SEO strategies to elevate your Joomla site to new heights of success.