How to turn on SEF URL's

SEF URL's are just a way to make your URL's look nice. The default SEF URL functionality in Joomla! takes URL's that look like this:

"index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40&itemid=29"

and makes them look like this:

"content/view/40/29/"

This article will show you how to turn on the basic SEF URL functionality built into Joomla!, and it will also provide a list of SEF URL extensions that you can use to gain further control over your URL's. For this article, I am assuming that you are running your website on an Apache web server.

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Joomla! Jargon

Dictionary.com defines jargon like this:

1. jargon: -noun, the language, esp. the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group: medical jargon.

It also defines jargon like this:

2. jargon: -noun, unintelligible or meaningless talk or writing; gibberish.

Joomla!'s roots go back a few years, and it definitely has a language all its own. Seasoned veterans are fluent in Joomla! jargon, but for "newbies", that second definition is probably the most appropriate definition for what Joomla! jargon really is. For that reason, I have decided to attempt to compile a list of the most commonly used words and/or phrases in Joomla!, and give them a definition that actually means something to a non-veteran Joomla! user.

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How to use the syndicate (RSS) component in Joomla!

Website content syndication has been around for a while in the form of RSS, or "Really Simple Syndication." If you want to know more about RSS, you can either ask the source of all knowledge (search for "RSS"), or read about it at Wikipedia. For the sake of brevity, I will only discuss how to use Joomla!'s Syndicate component and third-party RSS services, and I will try to provide a list of other RSS components for Joomla!

NOTE: This "How-to" only applies to Joomla! 1.0. It does not apply to Joomla! 1.5.

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How to find the right tool for the job

One of the most common questions I see in the forums is, "Is there a component/module/mambot/plugin that does (insert your function of choice here)?" Whenever I see a question like that, I head over to the Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED), perform a quick search, and find a list of components that either meet the person's need, or come really close to what the person wants. At the time I am writing this, the JED lists 947 Joomla! extensions.

My point is, if you ever find yourself needing a specific function, head over to the JED and do a quick search. Chances are, if you can't find it there, you can't find it anywhere.

How to view your site with a differnt template without changing templates

Here's a useful little trick if you want to try out and debug a new template on your site while your visitors still see the live template. Simply add "index.php?jos_change_template=new_template_name" to your domain name.

Examples:

How to display a component's output and nothing else

I know it sounds weird, but I came across a situation in which I needed to see a component's output and nothing else. That allowed me to better debug the HTML that was coming from the component.

Special thanks to Dean Marshall for showing me this nifty little trick.

It's pretty simple, just follow these steps:

  • Create a menu item that links to your component.
  • Once you have created your menu item, click on that menu item in your Menu Manager like you were going to edit the menu item.
  • Next to "URL", you should see something like "index.php?option=com_yourcomponent&...". Copy that URL.
  • In the browser address bar, type the domain name and path to your website along with the URL information you copied in the previous step.
  • Change "index.php" to "index2.php", and voila! You are now looking at just your component's output.

Joomla! 1.0.11 User Manual

Just in time for Joomla! 1.5, the documentation team has released the Joomla! 1.0.11 User Manual (link to large pdf file). Better late than never, right? I haven't had a chance to read through it yet, but it's 183 pages long, so I'm guessing it's pretty thorough.

How to Move your Joomla! Installation Between Directories

In How to Lose the Splash Page, I talk about how to move your Joomla! installation between directories on your server. Because the topic was buried in the "Read more..." section of the post, there may be some readers who ignored it or did not read it. If you want to know how to do this, click on over to How to Lose the Splash Page, and scroll down to "Option 1: How to Move Your Installation".

How to Lose the Splash Page

Splash pages (those annoying pages with some sort of fancy graphic or flash intro that say "Click to Enter" or "Skip Intro") are bad. I could spend a whole article trying to convince you of this fact, but I think this article does a better job of it than I could ever do.

One of the most common mistakes made by Joomla! designers is to assume that just because you loaded Joomla! in a directory called "http://www.yourdomain.com/joomla" or "http://www.yourdomain.com/cms" or "http://www.yourdomain.com/home" rather than your root web directory, you are stuck needing to create a splash or intro page in your root directory to point your users to the real site. Nothing could be futher from the truth. As a webmaster, you have a couple of options for pointing users to your content without the need for a splash page. I will try to cover those options in this tutorial.

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How to Display Your Page Title in Your Template

I recently worked on a project in which I needed to display the page's title outside of the bounds of the "mosMainBody" command in my template. Before this project, I never even thought about doing that, much less how to do it. Well, I'm happy to report that not only did I figure out how to do it, but I am going to pass it on to you. Here's how you do it.

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