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As a Joomla users, you might have encountered situations in which you have no control over some URLs: You see some unwanted ID in your articles or categories links, and you do not know how to get rid of them.

This issue is quite annoying and also hurts your site’s SEO performance. Fortunately, the modern router in Joomla 3.8 has arrived. It gives us a brand new interface to control how URLs are displayed, including the ability to remove content item IDs from the URL, creating more friendly URLs.

Comparing URLs generated by Joomla 3.8 with previous Joomla 3 versions

Firstly, we can compare the following URLs to see how Joomla 3.8 has improved the routing issues compared to previous versions of Joomla.

Animals Photo Gallery Category Page:

Existing router: /article-categories/72-park-site/photo-gallery/animals

New router with IDs: /article-categories/26-park-site/28-photo-gallery/72-animals

New router without IDs: /article-categories/park-site/photo-gallery/animals

Koala Article Page:

Existing router: /article-categories/72-park-site/photo-gallery/animals/25-koala

New router with IDs: /article-categories/26-park-site/28-photo-gallery/72-animals/25-koala

New router without IDs: /article-categories/park-site/photo-gallery/animals/koala

 

It is quite clear that the new router in Joomla 3.8 looks more human-friendly. Also, it is very flexible for us to control how URLs should be displayed.

How to enable new routing in Joomla 3.8

For Joomla core articles, this can be set inside the article-options. You can also enable this feature for Contacts, News Feeds, and Users in a similar way.

Below is an example of how you can switch your article’s URLs to the new router.

  • Step 1: Login your administrator area
  • Step 2: Go to Articles Manager → Click on "Options" button on the top right.
  • Step 3: Go to Integration tab. In URL routing section → select Experimental and choose “Yes” for the option of removing IDs from URLs or choose “No" if you want to keep the IDs there.

Impact on your sites

By default, the Stable mode is used when you upgrade to Joomla 3.8, meaning that nothing will change your URLs until you turn on Experimental routing.

There are cases where changing the routing system can change a page’s URL and cause an existing page to give 404 responses. Therefore, before activating this new router, we strongly suggest that you should crawl your site and generate a list of active and valid URLs, and do this once again after enabling the router to make sure that things are running smoothly.

If your sites are new ones, just go ahead with the Experimental mode.

Summary

Though having some minor issues, the long-awaited modern router in Joomla 3.8 remains an attractive feature.

Have you tried Joomla 3.8 and its new router? Please share with us if you encountered any issues or have any comments pertaining to this feature.

On a final note, our team is testing Joomla 3.8 to make sure that our templates, particularly the ones based on Sun Framework, will soon be fully compatible with Joomla 3.8.

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