With the new Joomla 3.x version, you get a completely different Administration panel with basic SEO Settings.
Once you are logged in, go to the Global Configuration. It will open with the Site tab on which you can manage the main site setting. You will also find the SEO settings and the Metadate settings on this Tab.
Joomla Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Settings
As you can see there are no checkboxes but slider buttons. This makes it clear to what option is active and what's not.
You should always use the Search Engine Friendly URLs, so set that to on.
If you want to use URL rewriting, make sure you are on a hosting server that supports .htaccess. With that option on, you get the best results.
If you are unclear about an option and need more information, hover over the text in front of the slider buttons and you will see direct help information.
With the add suffix option on your get a URL suffix .html as ending part of your URL.
The last option is for getting your site title into the Page HTML title. Either Use No or After. You want the article title as the first part of your HTML title for best results, use the after option for branding purposes.
Joomla! 3.x Metadata Settings
The Metadate settings are also on this Site Tab. Site Meta Description and Site Meta Keywords in a global setting has always been a point of discussion for me, I don't like it.
You are better off writing the Meta description on content items and not fill in the same date for every article from this setting. Clean it! Meta Keywords are no longer used by several Search Engines like Google.
The Author Meta Tag is good so set that to yes. Showing the Joomla! version will only help Hackers and Crackers, so set that option to No. As an administrator, you can see the version you are running once logged in.
Joomla 3.x Cache Settings
Using a Cache can really make a difference in your page load. For SEO you want your pages to load as fast as possible as it is a measurement that is used by Google.
It also gives a better visitor experience. Your page load time can determine if a visitor will open and stay on your site or not.
You can find the Cache Settings on the System Tab
You get to choose from
- OFF – Caching disabled
- ON – Conservative caching
- ON – Progressive caching
Check with your hosting provider if they have a caching component active on their server. If so you want to keep this caching off as it might interfere with the server caching component.
If you run into trouble with the Progressive caching try the Conservative option. Check your speed via http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/ and run some tests with different settings.
The Cache Handler is set to File, which is basic. There used to be a Database option, but that doesn't make sense.
Cache Time is something you need to think about. If you have a news based website where you post several times a day, keep it limited to your standard posting timeframe.
For me, a 24 hour period works just fine so time is set to 1440 / 60 = 24 Hours. After that, the cache is cleared and with a new visitor rebuild again.
So these are the basic SEO settings you need to get into place in Joomla 3.x. Next time: How to SEO your menu and content items.