Internet / SEO · August 19, 2007 1

How to get Search Engine Optimized URLs for Simple Machines Forum

Search Engine OptimizationA couple of days back I’d made an announcement regarding the launch of the Chaos Laboratory Forums in order to provide technical support for the WordPress plug-ins I’ve written. Now a normal installation of SMF (Simple Machines Forum) is well known for the ugly & non-search-engine-friendly URLs it generates. On the other hand, WordPress comes totally optimised for Search Engines and the crawler bots simply love the URLs generated by WordPress. So I had to figure out a way of making SMF generate the same for proper indexing.

After searching far & wide I came upon this plug-in (or Package, as it’s referred to as in SMF terms) called SEO4SMF. It’s not listed under any easily accessible page in the Simple Machines site. You’ve to dig quite deep to discover it. I’d hunt for quite a while to get at it – more so because simple SEO and SMF related queries in Google somehow failed to get me this page. Finally by a stroke of luck I keyed in “SEO for SMF” and bingo !!

Installation is as painless as it is with most other SMF packages. Only configuration on your part involves editing a line in the htaccess.txt file and then renaming the file to .htaccess. If your forum is hosted at the root of your domain (for e.g. then no modifications are required. In case, it’s under a sub-folder (like my own forum,, then you’ll have to edit the htaccess file and change the RewriteBase directive to point to the correct folder. That’s about it.

Really feel happy with the board now – it felt kind of incomplete till I could get this done. As soon I had it up and running, I decided to write a small post about it with a title that’ll hopefully come up on search engines with more common keywords. Just trying to make it easier for the newcomers 🙂

In case you don’t want to visit the download page, here’s a direct download link to the package. And for any other problem(s) you face, you can always drop by at the official discussion zone at the WebmasterTalks forum.