A while ago I already posted an article about problems getting SEF URL's work on 1&1-s servers and thought I know how to deal with the idiosyncrasies of 1&1's (very unprofessional) server settings. I was wrong...
What? Is not that simple as place a <href="index.php">Home</a> and you're done?
Yes and no... The Joomla routing engine is smart enough, to redirect all such above links to the default menu item in most cases. But using the core multi-language engine in Joomla 1.7+ has created a little-bit different situation. Let me explain!
If you search on Google for the term "joomla can't login after moving to new server" - or something similar, you will get more, than 1 million hits for most of the combinations.
So, you aren't alone. And there are plenty of suggestions, on what might gone wrong and how you might find that, and there are verious fixes. But what if you moved the site to another domain? From development server to it's final place? This is a subject wich is rarely touched by those advices.
In the world of dynamic sites generally, and, of course among the webmasters runing Joomla sites there is often a lot of worry about duplicate content penalties since so many different URLs can point to the same exact page.
Joomla, as a PHP/MySQL powered solution is inserting the content into a webpage by way of a script. This type of site is considered to be dynamic. The advantage is obvious - that's why you and me have been chosen Joomla Tongue out. But what's the drawback?
One of often overlooked security (and not only) resource for any Joomla site is under your fingertips! With each Joomla install (even from the old Mambo days) you have a file named htaccess.txt in your site's root directory. In most cases is never touched, and left as is - most weekend webmasters don't even know what is for. A few are using it to help Joomla or the specialized SEF URL builders to make those pretty SEF URL's for their site. And that's pretty easy - in most cases it's enough to rename it to .htaccess, and you are set. But there is much more power hidden there...
A while ago I wrote a tip about problems geting SEF URL's work on 1&1-s servers. Back then I didn't realized, that the problem is the same - or at least fairly similar - on GoDaddy's servers too. Not everywhere, I have a site running on GoDaddy with sh404SEF without any need of tweaking the .htaccess file, but recently I had issues with another site.
So, the trick above solves the problem, but what is the cause?
If you use Joom!Fish to create a multi-language Joomla site and use sh404SEF to manage your SEF URL's you might have seen this problem:
When you are in one non-default language and click on the Home menu item (the default menu item, which should lead you to the default site page on that language) you are arriving on the default home page - in the default language, and not the default page in your active language!
The sh404SEF component is a terrific tool for creating and maintaining SEF URL's for your Joomla site - and to make it more Google - and user - friendly, with one condition: to have a SEF plugin for your components already delivered to you with the sh404SEF or to find one ready-made on the web.
Luckily most of popular components are already covered by the component itself, or there are geeks on the net (like me) publishing the needed add-ons. One of notable exceptions is the popular form component, Chronoforms.
Even if hosting Joomla on GoDaddy can be challenging, and anybody ever built a site on their servers will tell you to turn to some better Joomla host, many people still choose them because of the excellent price/offering ratio. Here are a few tips that will help you get Joomla running on GoDaddy with minimum fuss.
You might think, that this is an easy job, you just set up sh404SEF, and you're done! Maybe... but sometimes this might be really wrong. Especially if you have a multilingual site, and a properly built Joomla 1.7+ template.
If you think, that is enough to build a nice site with a great content to have lots of visitors flowing to your site you're wrong. There are millions of webmasters trying to do the same. And Google and other search engines simply can't find, index and sort all of these sites, and show them to your potential visitors. So you need to do a little more to help these search engines - and to help yourself!
It is an error which drive me crazy couple of times. It's easy to fix - but hard to detect why happening. I didn't see any good explanation which fits to each single situation I needed to handle it. There are couple of popular theories on what causes the "jtablesession::Store Failed - DB function failed with error" type of errors, but sincerely I can not confirm any of them:
Did you had this experience? Couple of days ago I just turned on SEF and the inner pages began to act weird - images disappeared, modules misbehaved, scripts weren't loaded...
My first reaction was that I have set something wrong... or the SEF component I used have a flaw. After few days of digging I found that the issue has a much simpler cause.
In a previous article about useful PHP code snippets to conditionally add things to your template I allready listed couple of tricks, let's add a couple more to them!
GoDaddy is notoriously buggy when comes to Joomla hosting. But when you turn on SEF, you might have another nasty surprise, instead of your site's pages you might see this:
Your Joomla site is hosted on 1&1? Great!... Or not so great? Yea, I know the feeling, I had that experience too. All worked just fine (almost) until I decided to kick in the SEF engine, and use the .htaccess redirect, as I suggested elsewhere. And the disaster stroked...
Mastering the Web is a never ending learning process. You can learn from both good and bad examples. Unfortunately most of us are learning from their own mistakes. A well known situation is that you got a brand new Joomla site, latest tricks, stunning design, appealing content, but you miss a key ingredient of the success: the Visitor. And you've wondering, why they aren't coming, despite your SEO efforts as sending out marketing e-mails to your closest 10.000 "friends" and spending nice money in buying incoming links and lots of postings on every imaginable social marketing site, blog and forum. It's not obvious, but the problem may be in what you did, and not in what you missed. Anyway, here's a mix of things usually Joomla webmasters are doing wrong. Learn from, and try to avoid these most common mistakes!
Why don't have Joomla in the title of tis article? Simply because these are the basics, the cornerstone stuff any webmaster must learn and respect. If you want a successful site, you must follow these Ten Commandements.
I'm joking, of course, but this is a real issue - from SEO perspective is a "to be, or not to be" type of question. To have some humanly readable URL's is key for your SEO success these days. And if Google and/or Bing does not loves you.... you are on the "not to be" side.
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