I am practically new to Joomla and I need to get the SEF path of an article from an external php script. I feel like I'm close, but something is not working for me. The preliminary code I have as an example is:

require_once(JPATH_BASE . DS . 'includes' . DS . 'defines.php');
require_once(JPATH_BASE . DS . 'includes' . DS . 'framework.php');
$mainframe = JFactory::getApplication('site');

$articleId = 80;

$url = JRoute::_("index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=" . $articleId);

With this, JRoute returns the path /component/content/article?Id=80&Itemid=437. After doing some research, I read that I must include the "itemId" of the menu.

I'm not sure if it's the "437" that the JRoute returns to me, or if I should get it separately. Based on my reading, one way to get the menu item id is:

$link = 'index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=' . $articleId;
$menu = $mainframe->getMenu();
$menuItem = $menu->getItems('link', $link, true);
$Itemid = $menuItem->id;

However the $Itemid returns empty. I would appreciate if someone could guide me with this. What I need is to build the SEF path of the article, regardless of its menu structure. My final need is to create a link to that article based on its articleID from an external php script.

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1 Answer 1


This only works if the article you are attempting to get the menu item id for exists in a menu. i.e. if your menu only has a link to the category, but not the article, you will find your $Itemid = $menuItem->id; will throw a Trying to get property of non-object because $menuItem is not an object, rather an empty array.

$articleId = 10;
$link = 'index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=' . $articleId;
$menu = JFactory::getApplication()->getMenu('site');
$menuItem = $menu->getItems('link', $link, true);
$Itemid = $menuItem->id;
echo $Itemid; // will output the menu item ID only if a menu item exists for article id 10.

As I suspect, your Joomla site does not have a menu item for this article, therefore it is not possible to make a SEF url; so you are left with two options:

  1. Create a menu item for this article, set Display in Menu: Hidden, OR, create an entirely new menu and create a menu item for your article there.
  2. Just use JRoute as standard:
echo Route::_('index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10');

This will output as:


However, this still works, navigate to the URL and it will still display your article, albeit without a SEF friendly URL - for SEO purposes you should be using canonical URL's anyway.

  • Thank you very much Grant. You were absolutely right, I didn't have a menu assigment. I did that and now it works.
    – Andino
    Aug 31, 2020 at 13:24

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