NEW: built in caching database layer, can speed up sh404SEF and Joomla database operation. Backed by memcache, APC, etc
NEW: Pinterest support. Including tracking in Google Analytics of Pinterest actions!
NEW: full support for Google rel="prev" and rel="next" header tags, to improve SEO of paginated content
New: sh404SEF goes social!
- Create and insert Open Graph data
- Insert Facebook, Tweeter, Pintrest, G+ and G+ pages icons
- track all likes, shares, tweets, pinnings, pluses clicks in Analytics dashboard in your site backend.
And still with:
- Built-in Google Analytics support, including reporting right in your site backend
- your own tiny urls: shUrls
- Full urls and meta data management
- QR codes
- canonical headers for pdf, etc
Easily redirect 404s to suggested SEF URLS
Use Joomsef or AceSEF extensions for increased compatibility
sh404SEF rewrites Joomla URL to user-friendly format (SEF URL or URL rewriting): mysite.com/index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=69&id=34... becomes mysite.com/en/sh404SEF-and-url-rewriting/list-of-available-plugins.html).
It is also a security component. Page title and meta tags manager for every page. With or without .htaccess file. Joomfish compatible. Caching system for high speed and very small DB queries overhead.
Support many components natively: VirtueMart, K2, FlexiContent, Kunena, Jomsocial, Community Builder, mosetsTree, Sobi2, myBlog and more. SSL switch, automatic 301 redirection from non-sef to sef, insert Google news style numerical ID,.. Many backend parameters to control URL construction behavior.
Since 2.1: mobile visitor detection and template switcher
The good: The extension is updated continuously and very well-maintained by the developer. I love the fact that SEF URLs are generated automatically and efficiently. In essence, you can activate this extension with little to no configuration and let it take care of the rest. It is great at finding URLs you didn't even know existed, and most of the time generates truly SEF URLs. I also love how easy it is to manage META tags.
The bad: The interface is not the most intuitive and has a bit of a learning curve to it, but overall is not too difficult to get used to. It desperately needs a 'Quick Edit' URLs feature as well, similar to their META tag management feature.
I think the worst part of this extension is the customer support. I lurked a lot more on the forums than asked questions myself, mainly because most of my questions had already been asked. What I saw was a lot of pointing the finger at other extensions for issues that sh404SEF should be responsible for. Sure, you could contact the other developers and ask them to help you change how URLs are generated for that extension, but isn't URL management the entire purpose of sh404SEF? It often seemed like the developer just wanted to wipe their hands clean with multiple issues and mark each of their threads as 'Solved' without really caring whether or not the issue was really solved -- sometimes with issues that were 100% a result of sh404SEF. To me, that's totally unacceptable when you are technically paying for the support.
The extension is a little primitive in the sense that there is no way to control how individual components generate URLs or META tags, other than the standard extensions it comes integrated with. Your only option is to use the extension's own router, which most of the time has limited versatility. You can also manually edit each SEF URL created by that component, which is way too much work.
Conclusively, I do wish sh404SEF were more versatile and straightforward, but if you do not need completely custom SEF URLs and META tags that vary according to extension, sh404SEF is a great value and should more than satisfy your SEF needs.
Thanks for your taking the time to put an extensive review of sh404SEF. It's an interesting one, because you seem to be looking at sh404SEF from a specific angle, as a "SEF url manager".
sh404SEF is not anymore only focused on creating nice urls. You can and you will always manually customize any url on your site, and for the most common extensions, there's strong capability to tailor the SEF url build up. But we've been focusing much more on SEO. For instance, automatic management of duplicate urls created by Joomla is in my mind far more important than anything else, in these times of Panda and Penguin Google updates. That focus on SEO directed the introduction of features such as Analytics, "social SEO" and so much more.
As for interface, it's always a matter of workflow and probably a bit of taste, but as the first sh404SEF for Joomla! 3 version is nearing release, now is probably a good time to review. I'd be happy to hear what you found less intuitive and requiring a learning curve, please feel free to contact me.
Please note that many users performing customization on many urls usually prefer to export urls into a spreadsheet, make changes and import them back.
Now again, the introduction of Bootstrap in Joomla 3 will facilitate the introduction of nice UI features.
As you have seen in the reviews here on JED, support is usually a rather positive side for sh404SEF. It struck me in your comment that you didn't had any bad experience, but only commented on a "general feeling", looking up the forum.
sh404SEF is interacting with a lot of extensions, and it is indeed very often happens that source and solution of issues are in other extensions. I can't recall how many relative urls I've seen used for instance, making images or styles disappear when sh404sef is activated, thus making it look as if sh404SEF is causing the issue when it's not.
Another factor to keep in mind while looking through the support forum is that several major extensions have built in support for sh404SEF. In such cases, URL settings and even suport is to be found directly inside those extension themselves. The first that come to my mind are K2, Flexicontent or redShop for instance.
It works out of the box. Support is quick and efficient.
I experienced a few minor problems but it turned out that SH404SEF had nothing to do with them. It was about general system configuration.
Actually anyone involved with Joomla needs to have a piece of mind to be able to troubleshoot possible issues using available resources, and that comes with experience. Support forum, documentation etc are excellent. Many extensions for 3-rd party components are included in the package so you don't have to pay for them.
I am totally happy with SH404SEF. Recommend.
I love its performance and how easy is to edit and modify a bunch of URL's.
The only minus is that there is not yet support for DocMan.
However this is recommend extensions.
Thank You and keep up the good work.
Thanks a lot for your continued support and positive comment!
Docman is supported as sh404SEF transparently use any plugin available, so it will use Docman router.php file, if any.
If this is not working as expected, please contact us again, we'll sort it out.
The support is non-existing, they only blame you for all of the component issues. It is never the case the are wrong or there is a bug. This is the first developer I see that claims that his extension has no bugs at all.
You will simply waste your time and money with sh404.
It causes a lot of errors, breaks the work of other extensions (i.e. those dealing with Facebook) and doesn't solve any of the issues it claims. It slows the web site significantly and has a horrible user interface.
My advice is: STAY AWAY FROM SH404.
Let me clear this first: I am the one and only developer of sh404SEF, and I never claimed there was no bug in it. Aside from being a stupid thing to say, as every programmer knows, it would be pretty difficult to claim: if you just look at the changelog of each new version, we usually fix a bunch of them ;)
What we claim though is that when an actual bug is reported, we fix it, as quickly as we can.
I have searched this morning our support forum for threads dealing with "breaking other Facebook extensions", and couldn't find any that were not solved. And even the most recent one is from May 30 (more than 2 months ago). Haven't found any user name similar to what you are using here either.
If you feel like so, please contact me directly by email and provide me with a link to the support forum thread, so that I can review it personnally.
Now the only thing I can think of is if you are trying to use both sh404SEF Facebook (and other Social features) at the same time that you want to use another extension providing social buttons. You cannot do that: it's one or the other. The fix is simple: disable either the other extension or sh404SEF social feature.
Of course, if you disable sh404SEF social feature, you will loose its ability to hook up social buttons with analytics and provide usage data right in the admin panel of your site. Including for Pinterest buttons, which is something you can't even do with Google Analytics itself.
I won't comment on "causing a lot of errors", "doesn't solve any of the issues it claims", "horrible user interface" as you don't describe what you dislike. I do think that over the last 6 years quite a few Joomla! users have been of the opposite opinion, and some of them have said so right here fortunately.
Anyhow, after tearing my hair out for a few hours I managed to work out what was causing the problem, switched editors temporarily and viola, fixed!
1. I am also a Dummie, but I can read! Is to say that this extension is documented really well. And: It is not always the developers fault if something does not work!
2. I test (from experience) ANY extension for my website extensively on a local server first until I know that I can safely install it on my online website. Then nothing bad and no unpleasant surprise can happen.
What I like most about this extension:
At first you will be struck down of the configuration options in this extension. But on a local server (eg xampp) it's really easy and relaxed work to get to know this extension. Took with me about 1 hour (ok, maybe a little bit more ).
Plenty of presets with a very articulate tooltips (in German).
Automatically generated SEF urls can be changed effortlessly. Example: "ü" is by default changed to "u". In the editor, I have changed "u" in "ue"... klick on save - that's it ... just awesome!
The 404 management is a charm! sh404sef lists all the URLs, which triggered a 404 error. Here, you can redirect these URLs with two mouse clicks to a SEF URL. It is so easy I could hardly believe it, but it works (I have tested it).
With a little good will I have worked in quickly and now I love this extension! This is really worth every penny. Well documented, understandable Tooltips everywhere. Thats why after a short time this extension is very easy to use. For those who are too lazy to read the documantation before: do not give bad rating ;-).
3. What does this extension
Here are some figures: Before the installation I had an Alexa traffic rank global/de 480.000/21.000. After only 36 hours I'm on 420.000/16.500. The hits on my site have increased during this period, according to Piwik (Version 1.8.2) by about 30%. This is too much to be a coincidence IMO. The length of stay has increased significantly during the bounce rate dropped significantly.
4. My future request
A way to integrate Piwik into sh404sef would be awesome.
Even so, you get 5 stars from a happy, dummi user :-D. Please Keep it up. BTW, how much would you pay for an expert who makes all these optimization for your site by hand.
When I purchased this component, I thought it was going to be great and releave some issues I was having with sefs on my site. However, what I found was it presented a lot problems than what i originally had. One of the biggest issues is that it doesn't work properly with blogging tools such as K2. This component brakes the RSS feed all it does is reload the page or you get errors.
Don't try to contact support for help as you will get the following:
"Seams that there`s a plugin which is conflicting with sh404sef, you have go to Extensions > Plugin manager > disable your website plugins one by one ( ATTENTION!: Do NOT disable sh404sef plugins ) and see which of them is conflicting with sh404sef."
They do not hold themselves accountable for their product even though you are paying for it, rather, they blame everyone else. That is odd since everything works fine when you turn off sh404sef. wow I guess buyer be ware is you use K2 don't buy this.
I'm sorry to hear you're having so much trouble with sh404SEF and support, but I believe I have some answers for you.
When we said "It seems there's a plugin conflicting...", the correct phrase is not "It seems". It is: "We know".
This issue is a known issue, but not a sh404SEF one. Andrew Eddie, one of the main developer of Joomla! has described it here: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/joomla-dev-general/S0GYKhLm92A
We tried to explain that to you, but we were not clear enough and the message didn't get through.
Yes, that post by Andrew does not mention K2. That's because the issue can happen with ANY extension. It only requires one or more poorly written system plugin installed on your site. And Yes, the issue will ONLY happen if you use sh404SEF, because sh404SEF creates fully SEF urls for your RSS feeds, and this problem won't happen if your rss feeds urls are not SEF, as is the case with Joomla! SEF for instance.
And yes, we have a setting to solve this, simply leaving the RSS feeds urls non-sef. USe this setting if you accept non-sef urls for your feeds, and don't want or can't get rid of the faulty system plugin.
K2 is extremely well supported in sh404SEF. So much that K2 plugin is actually not provided by the sh404SEF team, but directly by the K2 development team itself, with all sh404SEF params directly set in the K2 control panel.
Let's just say that sh404SEF likes K2 very much, to the point that our own web site is a K2 web site. And it has fully working rss feeds. I don't think I can link to our own web site here, but I'll let you check that by yourself.
Also, you have to recognize at least that support is reacting quickly. You posted for the first time on our forum less than 24 hours ago. And now we already have a review published from you here on JED! Maybe spending a couple more hours would have solved the problem!
I have checked with the support team, to be sure we were talking about the same problem. The particular issue you are facing is an identified issue in the language switcher module. We already have contacted Joomlart (maker of the T3 template framework) and provided them with the fix. We solely advised you to contact Joomlart to help in speeding up the process of a new fixed release from them.
Yes. sh404SEF may have different behavior from Joomla! SEF or Artio, especially when it comes to multilingual sites. That's because I'm focused on SEO and for instance, sh404SEF will not accept things such as the same URL sometimes returning one language and sometimes another one.
Other extensions may be more tolerant to bugs in some modules, but that comes at the expense of SEO results and that I won't accept.
In other words, your assumption that the problem is coming from sh404SEF because it "worked" with other extensions is not really correct. What happens is that it doesn't work with other extensions either. Simply you don't see the negative consequence now. I have always found that fixing the real, original probem is the way to go.
Support is very good and quick. they are ready to answer any quistion. I found some difficulties while using Arabic in my site, but they guide me quickly and now it is perfect.
I am using xmap for generating my site map, I found it much better than jcrawler which is generating a lot of errors with this extension.
It has nice feature where you can change the title and meta tags and keywords for each page of your site very easly in one location.
Finally, I highly recommend this extension for all joomla site especially if you are suffering from duplicate contents in joomla.
sh404 does an excellent job, with a very easy interface. Of course, everyone wants urls their way, and it's fairly easy to configure it properly.
Url management is really nice and easy to use. Plus some extra features like suggestions on 404 and social buttons.
On top of this, support is effective and fast even on the fourth enquiry. Couldn't ask for more.
I have to add that I live in Thailand and have to pay for this service in baht and it is still very cheap in comparison with other products.