I'm new to sh404SEF, but I understand it is widely used. I host with HostGator.

I'm using sh404SEF primarily to generate search engine friendly URL's.

sh404SEF advertises that I can do this without modifying the .htaccess file, but while this might be the easiest approach, is it the best approach?

Assuming that I have no issue with having to modify the .htaccess file

  1. Should I make any modifications to it?
  2. What modifications should I make?
  3. What are the impact of those modifications?

1 Answer 1


1) Not really.

2) From a configuration perspective you don't need to change anything in the .htaccess file for proper and optimal functionality of sh404sef.

From an "SEO" perspective, there are some things I would recommend. Mainly ensure that you are properly redirecting non www to www (or vise versa) using this:


Make sure you add it below the RewriteEngine On line.

3) Redirects non-www URLs to www URLs as a 301 redirect. Gives some improved SEO juice so Google doesn't give SEO authority to more than one URL.

  • 1
    I would not recommend to use .htaccess to redirect non-www to www in case if you use sh404SEF. You can redirect non-www to www by going to Components > sh404SEF > Configurations > Advanced > Advanced Component Configuration. Use the dropdown here to redirect non-www to www
    – Gev Balyan
    Apr 22, 2014 at 18:06
  • 2
    I knew sh404 did this, but my feeling has been if it can be done at the server level via .htaccess I figured its better than doing it at the php level with sh404. Not sure if it really matters, but I've tended to prefer going directly to .htaccess since I felt it's executed sooner. Apr 22, 2014 at 18:38
  • 1
    Quick note: I think you're assuming the user is using the Joomla htaccess.txt renamed to .htaccess. sh404SEF actually can run without using the Joomla router htaccess.txt . If the asker is saying they are using the root HostGator htaccess file that doesn't actually include the mod rewrite code, then we've made a critically incorrect assumption.
    – Toni Marie
    Apr 22, 2014 at 18:55
  • @ I believe your approach, going directly to the .htaccess level will provide better performance and answers part 3 of the question. My concerns are that although sh404SEF might make things easier by by-passing the .htaccess, it's not necessarily the 'best way go' - these are the types of answers I'm looking for - so thank you!
    – NivF007
    Apr 25, 2014 at 1:56
  • @ToniMarie - I will look into the specific configuration of HostGator to check about mod rewrite code and see if I can provide some clarification on this.
    – NivF007
    Apr 25, 2014 at 1:58

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