To enable url rewriting in Apache, the htacces.txt file needs to be renamed and there are several steps to follow. This tutorial will guide you through the correct procedure.
The ability to create search engine friendly urls has been available since the release of Joomla! 1.5. Search engine friendly urls do not depend on the Apache mod_rewrite being enabled - the url rewriting feature builds on SEF urls by removing the index.php from the url.
This tutorial only looks at using Apache. If you need further information about this process for IIS, take a look at the Joomla.org article entitled Enabling search engine friendly urls on IIS.
1. Open up your site files – in this example I'm using Filezilla on a pc to open up the site root directory.
2. Select the htacess.txt file and rename the file so it reads .htaccess
3. An optional step that may be required is to open the .htaccess file in a text editor and uncomment RewriteBase / (this means the removal of the # symbol).
4. Log into the site via the Joomla Administrator and navigate to the Global Configuration screen.
5. If not already selected, change Search Engine Friendly URL option to YES and save. Enabling this setting will convert urls from the native Joomla! format to search engine friendly urls.
6. Confirm the links are displaying correctly on the front end of the site – they will contain index.php at this stage.
7. In Global Configuration screen change the “Use URL rewriting” to YES and save – this is the feature that utilises the Use Apache mod_rewrite/URL rewriting and removes the index.php from the url.
8. Check a random page at the front end of the site (but not the home page) to confirm the links and site are working correctly.