What is Search Engine Friendly URL, and how do I enable it?

Search Engine Friendly URL (SEF URL) or permalink or static URL or human readable URL is a simple to read URL address. A dynamic web site usually backed by a database, and to display an information (a page, a product, etc), it produces a dynamic URL, like: https://www.c97.net/page.php?pid=4. A SEF URL replaces the URL by more readable URL, eg: https://www.c97.net/knowledge-base.php.

Does it mean that search engine like google.com or bing.com can't crawl dynamic URLs?

Not really! Search engine can read dynamic URLs just fine. It's just a myth that search engine prefers SEF URL to dynamic URL (don't mix it with search engine optimized url). But SEF URL has another benefit, which is more readable by human.

qEngine has a built-in SEF URL support

To enable the SEF URL follow the following steps:

  1. By using your FTP or CPanel, find _htaccess file in your document root.
  2. Rename the file to .htaccess (it's dot-htaccess).
  3. Open your ACP, go to Tools > Site Configuration > Primary Settings
  4. Open the tab "Engine Settings", find the option "Enable Search Engine Friendly URLS".
  5. Set to "Yes"

You are done!

But I couldn't find _htaccess in my document root!

qEngine's installer should have created the file for you, but if you couldn't find one, you can create one easily!

  1. By using your FTP, find the installation folder, it should be in /install (you may have renamed it to something else).
  2. There, you should find _htaccess file.
  3. Copy it to document root, and edit the file using a text editor.
  4. Inside I have added some instruction to modify the file to match your server configuration.
  5. Modify the file, and follow the above instruction how to enable the SEF URL.

After I have renamed _htaccess to .htaccess, my web site doesn't work. It said, "Error 500, Server Error"

Most probably your server doesn't support mod_rewrite which is needed by SEF URL to work. Please rename or remove .htaccess, and disable SEF URL.

PS. SEF URL only works under Apache server.

Posted On: May-07-2013 @ 04:15am
Last Updated: Sep-20-2017 @ 10:58pm

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