Joomla Permalinks: Setting Article URLs

Unlike in WordPress, setting a custom url in Joomla is very cumbersome and non-intuitive. I’m running Joomla 2.5 but this may work in all versions of Joomla.

Step 1: New Article

Publish an article as you normally would. You can specify an “alias” but I’m not sure this actually translates to what your permalink will end up being.

Step 2: Add New Menu Item

Joomla relies heavily on its “menu” system. As a matter of fact, when describing Joomla to other people, I describe it as a “menu-based” CMS. Unlike WordPress which I think more of as an “article-based” CMS. For further contrast, Drupal is a “user-based” CMS.

Click “Add New Menu Item”

joomla permalinks menu

I don’t actually display the “Cusco Info” menu anywhere, I use it only to set permalinks for articles. Hidden menus like this are a side-effect of this menu-based CMS.

Step 3: Set Menu Item Type to “Single Article”

Since you are setting the URL for an article, set this menu item type to “Single Article.”



Step 4: Select the Article you wish to Permalink

In the previous step you told Joomla that you want to set a URL. Now you need to tell it which article you want to set a URL for.


A table of all your articles will pop up.

To find your most recent article, click twice on the “Date” column to order all your articles starting with the most recent.

Click the Article you wish to set a URL for.


Step 5: New Article

Now that we’ve told Joomla which article to permalink, we need to set the text of the link itself.

Fill in both the Menu Title and Alias boxes.

The Alias will end up being your URL, so make sure to not include any spaces or capital letters.


Once you are done, click Save and Close.


Step 6: Test your New URL

Navigate to YOURSITE.COM/new-url. As far as I know there is no easy way within Joomla to quickly navigate to this page. If the menu you added to is live, you can find your menu item there.


Next Step: Setting a Joomla Permalink more than 1 layer deep

The above techniques work great on a simple site without categories. But on a more complicated site you will want to nest URLs to keep things organized. These are a few examples of a fictional food site where nested URLs would be appropriate.


Nested URLs in Joomla – Step 1: Menu Items

As with setting single depth permalinks, nested permalinks are set in the Menu panel. Click the menu where you set your previous permalink. Do not click “add new menu item” this time, since you are editing an existing menu item.

Nested URLs in Joomla – Step 2: Find Permalink to Nest

Notice below you can see our parent permalink (cusco-guide) and child permalink (cusco-airport).


We want to nest our child permalink (cusco-airport) inside the parent (cusco-guide) so that our new permalink for cusco airport will look like this:

We do this by specifying a “parent” item within the child menu item.

Click the child menu item to edit it.

Nested URLs in Joomla – Step 3: Set Parent Item

Click the drop-down menu beside Parent Item, then click the appropriate parent item.



And click “save and close”



Nested URLs in Joomla – Step 4: Test

Navigate to your new nested URL as you did before. If you did everything correctly, your parent URL should be appended between your site URL and child URL.reorder-permalink-5


Escaping the Traffic Doldrums with an Upgraded Hosting Account

I noticed something was wrong when I clicked around on my site and noticed a lot of “Error 500 – internal server error” messages. Traffic had been pretty steady for the past few months, but as I later found out, my WordPress installation was gradually becoming more and more complex, using more server resources with every upgrade. So the humble little 8$ a month plan I’ve been using since 2012 was no longer enough to serve all the pageviews necessary for a site that over 100,000 people visit each month.

My host had subtly discouraged me in the past from upgrading to their “enterprise” plan, noting that tests comparing server response time between the basic and enterprise plans had not been done. I really appreciate how honest they were about that, but had I upgraded then I would have likely captured much more traffic in the months between then and now.

I never thought upgrading my hosting account would make such a terrific difference. This is what my Google Analytics account looks like for the period between last August and today, Feb 15 2015.


I hit a record for most visitors in a single hour the very next day. It was partly coincidence, but without the extra resources my traffic stats would probably have remained unchanged from the previous day, since they seem to have been maxed out as it was. My site traffic over the month and a half since has been up an average of about 50%.

The hosting account I switched to was “enterprise basic” from my host, StableHost. It costs 20$/mo instead of 8$/mo and gives me 8x the processing power. Processor power is extremely important for a PHP-based site, which includes WordPress, Joomla or Drupal CMS based websites. However, a web host will rarely advertise their processor power, instead focusing on irrelevant shit like “1000 email addresses!” Or “Unlimited file transfer!”