Written by Peter Bui Follow on
Published: 01 September 2014

There are many search engine optimisation aspects of Joomla that people just don't understand and figuring out how to insert the title of your site into the browser title so that it appears in a Google search result is one of them.

It is one of the easiest things to do in Joomla, but if you don't know where the setting is you may never find it.

Inserting the Site Title in Browser Title

By default, Joomla will only have the menu title displaying in the browser title bar or the article title in the title bar. These are seen as concise titles describing what the actual page is, but if you want to insert the site name for branding or optimisation purposes then there are a few things you need to turn on.

Navigate to the administration area of your website and login. 

Hover over the System menu -> Global Configuration

Once you've opened the global configuration screen, the default tab you will see opened is the Site tab.

On the right hand side of the screen here you will see the Joomla SEO settings with the following options.

  1. Search Engine Friendly URLs
  2. Include Site Name in Page Titles After

Skip straight to the Insert Site Name options.

 

Search Engine Friendly URLs

This option allows you to turn on Joomla's search engine friendly URL writing system. It will convert the machine URLs that look like this (joomlabe.at/index.php?option=com_content&view=article) to something more like this (joomlabe.at/articles). Much cleaner, more friendly for your readers and site users compared to the longer URLs that only the coders understand. This option should always be on.

Use URL Rewriting

This is a little more technical but easy to understand and implement. Rewriting means that it will use the web servers capabilities to transfer Joomla's URLs into something more human friendly but you have to have a server that will support it and you will need to rename a file on your server.

Joomla will come with a file called htaccess.txt and this will need to be renamed to .htaccess to take advantage of the Rewriting. This is also for a Linux/Unix based web server too. If you are on a Windows server, then there is a web.config file that will need to be configured to get this working right too.

At this point you may want to get help from a friend to set this up right but you should be able to change the htaccess.txt file quite easily through the server's control panel or via FTP.

This will transform your URLs from: joomlabe.at/index.php/articles to joomlabe.at/articles

Nice and clean removing the extra index.php within the URL.

Adding Suffix to URL

The suffix of the bit of text that trails a URL these days isn't really important. This is why it is off by default. Having this on will add in the extra .html to the end of your URLs.

For example joomlabe.at/articles.html

 

This is another slightly more technical option but it is great if you're translating your Joomla website. This will code the URLs in a particular way that it can be interpreted by search engines and browsers to render correctly for script based languages.

For example: articles (english) -> บทความ (Thai) or -> مقالات (persian)

It will help your URLs be more readable in modern browsers in other languages. You can find out more at the core Joomla Documentation about Unicode URLs.

Insert Site Name Before or After

Now this is the option that you're after to insert the site name into the browser title.

Depending on how you want it to work, you can choose between the options of

  • Before
  • After
  • or No

Choosing anyone of these options will alter how the site name appears on browsers and in the search engines.

Best Practise of Setting the Site Name in the Title

I personally like to choose AFTER because usually the title of the article or the menu in the site has more relevance to what I want the users to read and look at compared to the actual name of the site itself.

If you do some reading around inserting site names and best practises for site titles and search engine optimisation, most people would recommend that you place the branding and site title at the end of the title, e.g. AFTER.

Some people even argue that the branding doesn't even need to be there. Since you're limited to ~70 characters in the title area in the search engine results, you have limited space and a title of the website repeated against every URL may seem like it is taking up valuable keyword and real estate in the results pages.

My personal recommendation is to have it AFTER or set to NO. If you do set it to NO you should though make sure that all the titles for your menus are more than just a short word. e.g HOME.

More Reading

Peter Bui

Peter Bui

An all round web specialist with years of experience in web design, development and open source solutions at PB Web Development

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