Help - Virtuemart SEF Pro


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Before you enable the Virtuemart SEF component, you should verify a few settings in Joomla and Virtuemart.

Joomla SEF

Virtuemart SEF relies on Joomla SEF. This can be configured in Joomla Global Configuration (Super admin access needed) in the "SEO Settings" box.
seo settings
You need the first two options to be activated and the third one is up to you.
Warning: Before activating the mod_rewrite, you need to rename a file "htaccess.txt" to ".htaccess".
if not activated, some functions ay not work properly in VM Sef.
 
Verify the URLS are SEF and understood properly before continuing on the Settings. With Virtuemart. Check a menu item pointing to another component such as articles or contact. 
If you get 404 error, something is not configured properly in Joomla and you need to fix this before activating Virtuemart SEF. Please refer to Joomla help for further information.

Virtuemart Settings

First disable the Cookie check in Virtuemart. This does an unwanted redirection for first time visitors.
This setting is located in Virtuemart configuration, global page, core settings box.
vm check_cookie
Then go to the next "Security" tab and locate the following settings:
vm security
If you don't have https (SSL) configured on your server, you should unselect all values from the 'Shop areas witch must use https' and uncheck the 'Generally prevent https connections.
Make sure the extended classes are enabled as shown above.

Virtuemart Root menu item

In order to work properly, you need to have a menu item of type Virtuemart pointing to your Virtuemart root. 
This menu item should have no values set in the parameters (component) box.
Enter an alias that is relevant as the shop root (such as 'shop'). This will be the root url of your shop.
If you don't want this menu to be displayed in your menu module, simply create a new menu and create this menu item in the new menu.
If you experience urls such as http://www.mysite.com/component/virtuemart/ then you probably don't have this menu item created and published.
vm menu

Virtuemart SEF Settings

Now you've configured Joomla and Virtuemart correctly, you can proceed with the VM Sef settings.
vm sef_settings
Activate Virtuemart rewrite?: This will enable or disable the SEF urls for Virtuemart
Virtuemart root menu: Select the Virtuemart menu item you've created/configured above
Rewrite type: This will determine how urls should be rewrote.
  • Alias (recommended) : http://www.mysite.com/shop/category_alias/subcategory_alias/product_alias 
  • ID-alias: is the same as the free version : http://www.mysite.com/shop/xx-category_alias/yy-subcategory_alias/zz-product_alias (where xx, yy and zz are the actual id numbers of the items in database)
  • ID: http://www.mysite.com/shop/xx/yy/zz (where xx, yy and zz are the actual id numbers of the items in database)
Flypage to hide: Select the default flypage name to hide. This is only necessary for categories that don't have an alias set yet. Please refer to the Products tab help.
Disable rewrite for store administrators: When connected as a store admin on the front-end, urls will not be rewrote. This is necessary if you use front-end editing.
Transliterate search/replace: This is a powerfull fuction that will help you to generate aliases and extends Joomla native transliterate function. An alias is usually a transliterate of the product name where all special chars not allowed in a url are replaced by there ASCII equivalent. For example a "é" is replaced by a "e" with no accent. This 2 fields will allow you to extend the possibilities of this transliterate function as some chars (greek for example) are not handled by Joomla's native function. Enter the character to be replaced in the 'search' box and it's equivalent in the 'replace' box.
 
Now verify nothing is in RED in the info box below.
vm info
 

System Plugin Settings

Virtuemart SEF Pro comes with a System plugin
plugin settings
Parse content for non SEF urls: Some Virtuemart links may not be properly generated by some third parties components/modules. If they don't respect Virtuemart coding standards, they may push non sef links. By enabling this, the plugin will parse the generated content and try to parse them before rendering. This may slow down your response time.
Redirect to SEF urls: If user tries to access a page from it's non SEF url (index.php?option=com_virtuemart...) Should a redirection be made to it's sef URL ? This is very usefull if your site was previously indexed by search engines for example. 
Process meta keywords: Will add meta keywords to the relevent pages based on the keywords you've added for each product/category/manufacturer/vendor setting.
Joomla meta keywords: The default meta keywords of your site will be either prepended, appended or ignored to the aboce keywords.
 

Products, Categories, Manufacturers, Vendors

This pages work the same way. They permit to define aliases for your products, categories, Manufacturers and Vendors.
buttons
Publish/Unpublish: When an item is unpublished, it will be treated as if the alias was not present. Therefore the system will fall back in the ID-Alias mode where the alias is dynamically generated.
Delete: Delete item alias and associated keywords
Generate: Will dynamically generate an alias for the selected items. 
When you clik on the item name, a popup window will display it's settings:
alias
Alias: Enter the alias you want for this product. No special chars should be added there.
Generate: Will generate an alias based on the item name
Keywords: Enter keywords to be added to the meta keyword html tag. Separate them by commas. See also the System plugin settings
Once you've made some changes to the aliases, the system will invite you to purge the cache. Ignore this if you have ore settings to change and you wil proceed when done. 
 

Pages

This lists all pages used by Virtuemart and will let you define aliases for them. 
For example index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.cart can be rewrote to /shop/cart. You can change this to be more relevant with your language.
When unpublished, the page will not use SEF urls but the standard ones instead.
NOTE: By default, the checkout pages are not activated. Please consider that SEF is mainly for Search engines and these have basically nothing to index in these kind of pages. However you can enable it for a more user-friendly url but use it at your own risk. The last thing you want is to loose a customer because he was not able to check out.

Cache

Every time you make a change in VM Sef settings, you will be invided to purge the cache. 
Cache is generated to speedup the page execution by storing an URL with it's associated parameters so the router do not have to pase them all again for every link.
If you want to be replaicated to your site, you need to purche (delete all) this cache or at least delete the ones relevant to your change (not recommended as you may forget some).
cache
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