Clean URLs in Joomla 3 Using an Extension

Joomla is the second most popular content management system on the internet. If you are interested in Joomla, however, the learning curve is steep — steeper than that of learning WordPress. One of the challenges you will encounter after installing Joomla for your website is the default URL format: it includes numbers and keywords added by Joomla. In this tutorial, we will make the URLs of a Joomla website more friendly to the human eye.

Removing index.php from URLs

1. Go to your Joomla installation directory and look for the file htaccess.txt; rename it to .htaccess (with a dot before it).

2. In the dashboard of your Joomla site, go to System > Global Configuration.

3. The Global Configuration page will appear. Make sure you are on the Site tab; click on it if you are not.

Joomla 3 Global Config Site tab

4. Look for the SEO Settings section on the right of the page. Set Use URL Rewriting to Yes.

Jomla 3 SEO Settings

5. Click on the Save button at the top of the page.

Installing an extension for “clean” URLs

6. Open another browser tab and download the Route 66 extension.

7. Log in to your Joomla site.

8. Go to Extensions > Manage > Install in the dashboard.

9. The Extensions: Install page will appear. Check the links on the left of the page and make sure you are on the Install tab; click on it if you are not.

10. Go to the Upload & Install Joomla Extension section at the center of the page and upload the Route 66 extension using the drag-and-drop tool or the browse button.

Joomla 3 Extension Install

11. When the uploading is finished, a message with a green background will appear across the page (towards the top) confirming the installation was successful.

12. Go to Components > Route 66 > URLs.

13. The Route 66: URLs page will appear; it has two gear buttons in the Options column.

Route 66 URLs Pattern

14. Click on the gear button for Content and open it in a new browser tab.

15. The Route 66 – Content page will appear, with fields for Article URL pattern and Category URL pattern.

Joomla 3 Route 66 Content

16. Type in your preferred Article URL pattern in the given field. Check the examples below (include the opening and closing parentheses):

  • {articleId}
  • {articleAlias}
  • {articleYear}
  • {articleMonth}
  • {articleDay}
  • {articleDate}
  • {articleAuthor}
  • {categoryAlias}
  • {categoryPath}
  • blog/{articleYear}/{articleMonth}/{articleAlias}
  • {categoryAlias}/{articleAlias}
  • page-{articleId}

17. Type in your preferred Category URL pattern in the given field. Check the examples below (include the opening and closing parentheses):

  • {categoryId}
  • {categoryAlias}
  • {categoryPath}

18. Click on the Save button at the top of the page.

19. Go back to the Route 66: URLs page. Click on the gear button for Tags and open it in a new browser tab.

20. The Route 66 – Tags page will appear.

Joomla 3 Route 66 Tags

21. Type in your preferred Tag URL pattern in the given field. Check the examples below (include the opening and closing parentheses):

  • {tagId}
  • {tagAlias}
  • {tagTitle}

22. Click on the Save button at the top of the page.

It’s finished. Click here if you want to check out the documentation for the Route 66 extension.