If you change the alias of an article or a menu item you may need to set up a Redirect to tell Search Engines and forward your visitors to the new URL (or address).
For example, if you have a menu item that links to www.yourdomainname.com/faqs and you decide to change the menu item alias from 'faqs' to 'frequently-asked-questions', the new URL will become www.yourdomainname.com/frequently-asked-questions.
If your article does not have its own menu item, say it links from a category list or blog layout using the 'Read More' link (usually on latest news, blog, recipies etc), then changing the article's alias will break the article's URL.
Either way, Search Engines will have the old URL '/faqs' stored (or indexed) and will continue to send people to that URL. When you set up the Redirect, Joomla tells the Search Engines "Hey there, the '/faqs' no longer exists, go to '/frequently-asked-questions' instead".
How to set up a Joomla Redirect
- Go to the article on your website that will be changed
- Copy its URL from the address bar, from the first forward slash, you do not need your domain name.
Do not close this tab.
- Open a new tab and login to your admin area and go to Components >> Redirects or 404 Redirects
Depending on the way your site is site up this could be different, so just get in touch and we can help.
- Click on 'New' to create a new Redirect
- Paste the old URL into the top 'Expired' field. It is important to keep this Redirect tab open, do not close or save it just yet.
- Open a new tab to your admin area
- If your article is reached by clicking on a menu item, go to Menus >> Choose Menu >> that menu item.
If your article is linked from a 'Read More' link in the page go to Content >> Articles >> that article.
- Change the alias of the menu item or article and click save. Joomla will automatically change any uppercase letters, spaces or sytmbols to hyphens.
- Go to the first tab we opened (which should be the page on the 'front end' of your website that we are changing) and go to your home page of your website.
This just refreshes the menus and links on the site.
- Click through you usually do to get to the page we are changing. It's URL should now be different; showing the new alias.
- Copy the URL, again from the first forward slash, you do not need your domain name.
- Go to the Redirects tab, paste in the new URL and Save.
You can enter a comment if you need a reminder of why you set this redirect up.
How to test the new Redirect
- In the Redirects tab, copy the Expired URL, here it is '/faqs'
- Go to the 'front end' of your website and after the domain name paste the old URL.
So in the address bar you should see your domainname.com/oldurl.
- Hit return or go
- The system should have redirected you to the new URL.