Examined: Is Joomla Good For website positioning In 2021?

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That is the fifth publish in our collection the place we check the on-page website positioning of the world’s hottest CMS methods.

We beforehand coated WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy.

And this week we’re turning our consideration to Joomla.

Disclaimer: The checks on this article are primarily based on Joomla 3. They have been carried out shortly earlier than the very latest launch of Joomla 4. The Joomla 4 changelog states, that it contains website positioning enhancements. Therefore, the outcomes may already be outdated. We’ll observe up with an replace.

That mentioned, learn on to find:

  • how nicely setup for on-page website positioning Joomla (Joomla 3) is out of the field,
  • how one can configure your Joomla web site to rank increased in Google

Let’s get began with a abstract.

In Abstract: Is Joomla good for website positioning?

Joomla is an open supply CMS. You’ve obtained full entry to the underlying code, and may create your individual plugins/extensions to change the system’s core performance.

joomla

So with some coding chops (and the luxurious of time) we’d wager that there’s nothing you can’t do to completely website positioning optimize your Joomla web site.

However with that being mentioned, on this collection, we’re specializing in the out-the-box website positioning performance of the key CMS methods. Give or take just a few plugins/extensions, we wish to maintain our palms (and web site) fairly clear.

The excellent news?

Joomla does tick a lot of the on-page website positioning packing containers. You’ll want not less than one extension. However that’s no completely different to WordPress, the place you’ll have to put in an website positioning plugin like YOAST to completely optimize your web site.

So what’s the unhealthy information?

Properly, Joomla’s website positioning extensions are simply not in the identical ballpark as their WordPress counterparts (though that will quickly change – see “Which Joomla website positioning extensions did we attempt?” under).

You can management a lot of the parts it’s essential to management. However the course of is relatively unintuitive and cumbersome. Every little thing is simply going to take you longer to optimize than it will on a WordPress web site.

And usually, that’s the sensation we have now with Joomla as a CMS. Whereas the entrance finish is ok, the again finish feels dated, drained — virtually like an deserted challenge (though it’s not).

Based on W3Techs, Joomla nonetheless has a 3% CMS market share. However we suspect that market share is principally made up of legacy websites, as a fast look at Google Developments reveals us Joomla’s recognition has been on a critical decline for not less than the previous 10 years.

google trends - joomla vs wordpress

However let’s circle again spherical to the query at hand:

Is Joomla good for website positioning? Sure.

Though you may lose slightly little bit of hair whereas optimizing your web site.

And once you’re achieved, you’ll in all probability ask your self why you didn’t simply select WordPress like everybody else has since 2010….

Earlier than shifting on with some element, right here’s a fast abstract of what you possibly can and might’t do with Joomla.

Joomla SEO Scoring

How we examined Joomla for website positioning optimization

Like WordPress, it’s troublesome to check Joomla in isolation as a lot of its website positioning efficiency might be right down to particular person configurations (i.e. host/server) and decisions (templates/extensions).

However as with our earlier checks, we tried to maintain extensions/plugins to a minimal, configuration to as near “out the field” as potential, and opted for standard templates.

Right here’s what we did:

  1. We arrange a small check web site on a Digital Ocean server with the identical specs because the server internet hosting our earlier WordPress check web site
  2. We added demo content material much like our different check websites
  3. We tried out 3 Joomla website positioning extensions (and settled on one)
  4. We examined 2 of the preferred Joomla themes (Helix Final, and the default Protostar)
  5. Assessments included guide overview, operating the positioning by our personal website positioning audit software, and testing utilizing third social gathering instruments similar to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix.

Which Joomla website positioning extensions did we attempt?

Selecting an website positioning extension for our Joomla check web site was harder than we anticipated. Why? As a result of there’s no actual neighborhood consensus on what the present finest extension really is.

Moreover, whereas our desire would have been to make use of a free website positioning extension, we discovered that it was solely premium extensions that gave us anyplace close to the extent of website positioning management we have been in search of.(and there was one other, very latest fly within the ointment that we’ll cowl under)

So ultimately, we bought and tried out the three extensions under:

  1. Joomla sh404sef
  2. Firecoders Route66
  3. 4SEO

Essentially the most promising was/is 4SEO, which is made by the identical individuals who make sh404sef.

It’s a comparatively new extension that’s as shut as you’ll get to a WordPress website positioning plugin like YOAST for Joomla. There’s first rate snippet previews and you may management most on-page website positioning parts:

4seo interface

However as promising because it appears, sadly we discovered it slightly buggy to advocate at this stage. We’ll be maintaining a tally of it although, and suspect it will likely be our Joomla website positioning extension of alternative once we come to replace this text.

Route66 from Firecoders additionally appears the half (with some good on-page evaluation studies), however was missing a number of the fundamentals.

So ultimately we settled on sh404sef, which has a lot of the performance we’re in search of and has lengthy been one of the vital standard Joomla website positioning extensions.

sh404sef

And it’s sh404SEF we’ll be utilizing in our examples under.

However there’s an issue:

Weeblr (the corporate behind sh404SEF) just lately introduced that the extension will not be suitable with Joomla 4 and can now not be up to date.

Which suggests if you wish to use it, you’ll in all probability want to stay to Joomla 3 for now.

We instructed you choosing a Joomla website positioning extension was robust!

Joomla website positioning: The great, the unhealthy, and the ugly

Earlier than reviewing Joomla’s management of on-page website positioning elements, let’s run by a number of the website positioning highlights (and lowlights) of the platform.

We’ll begin with a optimistic.

Good: Joomla is fairly quick out-the-box

Our Joomla check web site carried out nicely in Google’s PageSpeed Insights, scoring an admirable 95/100 when operating the Helix Final template with minimal configuration.

joomla pagespeed insights test

Observe: the format shift subject above was as a result of internet fonts and can be a comparatively straightforward repair.

In truth the one actual pace optimization we did was to activate Joomla’s inbuilt caching module — which is actually just a few clicks.

So with some tweaking (and the correct alternative of template) a web site operating on Joomla ought to be capable to move Google’s Core Net Vitals checks with flying colours.

Or in different phrases…

…in case your Joomla web site is gradual, it’s in all probability your fault, not Joomla’s!

Unhealthy:  Lack of an all-encompassing website positioning extension

In the mean time we don’t really feel there’s a single Joomla website positioning extension that features all of the performance we wish. Which leaves us having to put in a number of extensions to completely optimize our Joomla web site.

However we do have excessive hopes for 4SEO from Weeblr. And we’ll be maintaining a tally of it because it matures with Joomla 4.

Observe: in case you have any options for Joomla website positioning extensions that we would have missed, then please tell us within the feedback and we’ll have a look.

Ugly: Out-the-box many primary website positioning settings are buried

If you happen to’re not utilizing an website positioning extension like sh404SEF, it’s straightforward to overlook primary website positioning settings because of the approach Joomla’s customary management panel is organized.

For instance, on an article, the website positioning title is buried proper on the backside of the choices tab…

joomla seo title

…whereas the meta description is situated below the publishing tab.

articles meta description

Wouldn’t it make extra sense to have these in the identical place?

On-Web page website positioning Fundamentals: How does Joomla measure up?

Now let’s flip our consideration to regulate of a number of the elementary on-page website positioning elements.

Does Joomla cowl all of them?

For essentially the most half. Though visible suggestions (i.e. snippet previews) and templating choices are missing, not less than when utilizing sh404SEF as your website positioning extension of alternative.

Right here’s our abstract once more.

Joomla SEO Scoring

Observe: having management of an website positioning rating issue just isn’t equal to its optimization. website positioning audit instruments like Seobility provide recommendation on methods to correctly optimize every ingredient, and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your web site. See our website positioning audit information for extra data on methods to absolutely optimize your web site.

website positioning Titles and Meta Descriptions

Management in Joomla: sure

A web page’s title continues to be one of the vital necessary on-page rating elements. And a well-written meta description might help you get extra click-throughs (though Google gained’t at all times use it).

Natively, Joomla enables you to set customized website positioning titles (referred to as “Browser Web page Title”) and meta descriptions for pages within the “Menu merchandise” panel.

Menus > Your Menu > Choose Article > Web page Show > Browser Web page Title

browser page title

Menus > Your Menu > Choose Article > Web page Show > Metadata > Meta Description

meta description

Or when you’re utilizing sh404SEF, you possibly can set website positioning titles and descriptions (which is able to overwrite the native title) within the Titles and metas panel.

Elements > sh404SEF > Titles and metas

You may both rapidly edit titles and meta descriptions from the listing display screen, which is helpful when you’ve got a number of article titles it’s essential to replace…

title tag bulk edit

…or click on on a selected article for extra choices.

title tag edit

Both approach, you gained’t get a preview of how your snippet will look in search. So that you may wish to use our free snippet preview software to check your titles and meta descriptions earlier than modifying in Joomla.

snippet generator

Relating to templating titles, sadly there’s no straightforward method to do it.

You may select to incorporate your web site title in your titles as a prefix or suffix in your web site’s world configuration.

System > International Configuration > website positioning Settings

name in title

However once more, this might be overwritten when you’re utilizing sh404SEF.

And naturally, if you wish to write some customized code, you’re free to create a customized title (or meta description) format in your template (directions right here).

Observe: natively you too can set titles/meta descriptions within the admin part of an article, which we already coated within the “good, unhealthy, and ugly” part.

Be taught extra about website positioning Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

Management in Joomla: sure

We advocate creating quick, descriptive, 2-3 phrase slugs, together with the first key phrase (or phrase) for every web page. Use hyphens to separate phrases.

Joomla helps search engine pleasant URLS natively (the method to activate them is detailed right here), however we’d advocate utilizing an extension (similar to sh404SEF) for simpler administration.

Be taught extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

Management in Joomla: sure

On smaller websites you in all probability gained’t want to fret about this.

However in case you have a collection of comparable pages in your web site — i.e. focusing on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be occasions once you’ll wish to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

If you happen to’re utilizing sh404SEF, you possibly can set a customized canonical URL within the web page’s website positioning panel.

Elements > sh404SEF > Titles and metas > Choose web page > Edit url document

canonical url

Be taught extra about canonical URLs

Index management (robots meta tag)

Management in Joomla: sure

The robots meta tag instructs Google to both index (1), or to not index (2) a web page:

  • <meta title=”robots” content material=”index, observe”> – index this web page please Google
  • <meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex, observe”> – ignore this web page please Google (however observe the hyperlinks on it)

You don’t really need the primary one as (assuming your web page meets their high quality requirements) indexing is Google’s default motion. But it surely doesn’t do any hurt to have it in place.

Joomla enables you to set this within the “Publishing” tab of an article’s edit display screen.

indexing options

Be taught extra about index management

Heading Tags (h1, h2, h3 and so forth)

Management in Joomla: sure

Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, and so forth) assist Google perceive the construction and subject(s) of your web page.

They need to be correctly nested.

For instance, an h1 tag would typically be the principle subject (stage 1), an h2 might be a subtopic (stage 2), and an h3 might be a sub-sub subject (stage 3) and so forth:

<h1>Pets</h1> (subject of the web page)

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring to your goldfish</h3> (subtopic of goldfish)

<h4>Clear your fish’s tank often</h4> (subtopic of caring to your goldfish)

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring to your cat</h3> (subtopic of cats)

Joomla helps a full vary of heading tags from H1-H6.

heading tags

Because it ought to!

Be taught extra about heading tags

Structured information (aka schema)

Management in Joomla: sure

Structured information (often known as schema) might help Google perceive:

  • the kind of content material on a web page (i.e. recipe, overview, product, article),
  • the entity behind the web site (i.e. group),
  • and will also be used to indicate extra search options (wealthy snippets)

If you happen to’re not accustomed to structured information and its impression on website positioning, we advocate studying our wealthy snippets information.

You’ve obtained a number of choices for together with customized schema in your Joomla web site and pages.

First up, there are a number of specialised extensions, similar to this one from tassos.gr (free and paid variations accessible).

structured data extension for joomla

However if you wish to reduce extensions, you too can generate web page particular schema markup, then use sh404SEF so as to add it to an article.

You need to use this free software to generate a variety of schema markup. For instance, under we’ve created schema markup for an FAQ web page.

schema faq

Then merely copy and paste the customized schema code into the “Backside of HEAD SECTION” field within the sh404SEF admin panel of the web page you wish to embrace it.

Elements > sh404SEF > Titles and metas > Choose web page > Uncooked content material

sh404sef head

Not the cleanest answer on the earth maybe, however it does the job.

Be taught extra about structured information and wealthy snippets

Picture website positioning

Management in Joomla: sure

The three most necessary parts of picture website positioning are:

  • Alt textual content (description of the picture for display screen readers and search engines like google)
  • File dimension (smaller = quicker = higher)
  • File title (we advocate utilizing descriptive file names)

Joomla’s customary WYSIWYG editor helps alt textual content (they name it “description”)…

joomla alt text

…and so they gained’t mess along with your filenames. So so long as you utilize a descriptive filename when saving earlier than importing to Joomla, that’s what you’ll get.

As regards to optimizing picture file sizes, you’ll need to deal with that otherwise.

Your choices are to both:

a) make certain your pictures are compressed earlier than importing, or

b) set up an extension to compress your pictures for you

If you happen to go for possibility b, then the Picture Recycle extension ought to do the trick.

image recycle extension

Be taught extra about picture website positioning

HTTPS

Do Joomla websites run over HTTPS? sure

HTTPS has been a confirmed Google rating sign since 2014.

And in 2021 there’s actually no excuse for any web site to nonetheless be operating over HTTP. However any website positioning advantages, it’s unsecure.

Ensuring your Joomla web site runs over HTTPS is your (or your hosts) accountability.

Be taught extra about HTTPS

Robots.txt file

Management in Joomla: sure

A robots.txt file permits you to cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your web site.

For instance, you may need a bit with user-generated content material that you just don’t need crawled or listed by Google.

Since Joomla is self hosted, you should utilize FTP to straight edit your robots.txt file.

Be taught extra about Robots.txt

XML Sitemaps

Generated by Joomla: sure

An XML sitemap helps Google discover (and index) all of the pages in your web site.

You gained’t get an XML sitemap natively in Joomla, however there are many extensions that may aid you create and handle your sitemap(s).

JSitemap (paid) is fairly complete.

jsitemap

Be taught extra about XML Sitemaps

Are Joomla websites cellular pleasant?

One phrase reply: sure

When designing your Joomla web site there’s a very good likelihood you’ll be specializing in the way it appears on desktop.

However cellular site visitors overtook desktop site visitors in 2017. And Google now prioritizes the cellular model of your web site for crawling and indexing.

Most Joomla templates are cellular pleasant. And if yours just isn’t…

…then it’s time to discover a new one!

If Google does discover any points with the cellular model of your web site, they’ll let you realize in Search Console.

mobile issues - google search console

So maintain a watch out.

In conclusion: Joomla is sweet for website positioning, however feels dated

Joomla has been round for a very long time, and has a comparatively massive neighborhood.

So it’s no actual shock that there might be an answer (be that with an extension or some code tinkering) for many technical website positioning duties that you just wish to full.

However whereas there’s nothing you possibly can’t do with a bit of data, time, and doubtless cash (most good extensions are paid) we do really feel that many duties are unnecessarily convoluted.

We don’t like having to put in a number of extensions to get what we’d like achieved, and we’d quite all the things was managed in a single space (i.e. you handle the metadata for an article in an article, quite than in a separate part).

And general — as we intimated in our introductory abstract — the platform simply feels drained and dated to us. Joomla used to have the sting on WordPress when it got here to managing a number of content material sorts, part particular templating, and managing consumer privileges. However we expect WordPress has now bridged that hole. Which leaves us questioning what Joomla’s present raison d’être really is?

However ruminations over the platform’s future apart, and getting again to our deal with Joomla’s website positioning capabilities, it’s undoubtedly going to be potential to get your Joomla web site absolutely optimized and rating increased in Google.

So when you’re operating a Joomla web site, our advice is to:

  • run a full website positioning audit (you possibly can observe this website positioning audit information),
  • allocate time to fixing points and optimizing your web site (the place potential),
  • focus in on creating prime quality content material that helps your customers and absolutely solutions their search queries,
  • construct your web site’s authority by incomes prime quality backlinks (try our beneficial hyperlink constructing ways)

Subsequent up we’ll be evaluating the website positioning execs and cons of every CMS we’ve reviewed in our collection in a roundup publish, the place we’ll additionally reveal the perfect CMS for website positioning in 2021. Join our e mail listing under to observe this collection, and for masses extra recent website positioning ideas, tutorials, and guides straight to your inbox.

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

David is our chief editor for knowledgeable website positioning content material at Seobility. Unsurprisingly he loves website positioning and writing. He combines 20+ years of expertise in website positioning with the eagerness for educating you guys methods to optimize your web sites the correct approach.