You may have long titles for your articles, but you really don't want to have the URL for the corresponding web page to be too long.

There is an easy fix for this. When you create the article, type a shorter version of the title in the alias text box.

When you create a new article, Joomla automatically fills in the alias box based on the title of the article when you save. If your title has uppercase letters, the alias will have lowercase letters. For spaces the alias puts in dashes.

Joomla uses the article alias for the URL of the corresponding page that contains the article if the SEO Friendly URL feature is enabled in Global Configuration.

If there is already text in the alias box, Joomla will not overwrite the text.

short alias example

When you create your own version of the alias, be sure to make it logical and have it contain important words that explain what is contained in the article.

What to do for existing articles

You want to be careful about changing the alias for articles that have been around for a while. The corresponding URLs have likely been indexed by the search engines. If you change the alias, you change the URL. This can lead to broken links. Broken links are bad for SEO and frustrate your visitors.

If you feel you really need to change an alias, then create a Redirect in your .htaccess file for each article where the alias changes. This Redirect will send the visitor directly to the correct page. A redirect looks like this in your .htaccess file:

Redirect 301 /myoldpage http://mywebsite.com/mynewpage

There are also 3rd Party extensions for creating redirect for old web page URLs.

Be careful when doing a Save as Copy

If you want to create a new article with a similar format to the old article, you might want to open up the existing article, do a Save as Copy and just edit it with the new information. Be very careful to erase everything in the alias text box before saving the new article. Joomla will simply copy the alias of the old article and add a number to the end. You want this new article to have a proper alias as this will be used in the URL for the new page if you enable SEO Friendly URLs for your Joomla site.