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What is the best way to make internal links in Joomla 1.5?

Posted on 2011-03-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Linkr is installed, so I can use the editor to link to an internal page, but I was told that linking to the menu item rather than the article itself was a more robust way to manage the site going forward. Which is better within an article, linking to the internal article itself in Content or linking to the menu item?
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Question by:shinmaikeru
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by:austega
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This is primarily a question of:
Whether you will maintain a one to one relationship between menu items and articles - many sites would end up with a one to many relationship with menus referring categories of articles rather than just articles
Which is the more stable target for the link over time - this might often be the menu as you may wish to add other related articles (or even replace the articles) accessed by the menu item (using a category menu type), but will of course depend on how you are setting up categories and the nature of the link
The brevity of the resultant URL when the link is clicked - often menu items will result in shorter more user friendly URLs
There is possibly a SEO benefit for links to category based menu items if the category shows new or revised articles.
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by:Rowby Goren
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Linkr is one of the first components I add to a site.

I also enable user friendly urls in Joomla's configuration panel.

It is natural to use both menu linking and links within articles.  That's how most sites are set up and tht is how the internet was "set up" -- with natural links in articles linking to each other or to external sites/pages.

I would think you would not want to add a menu button for every article -- too many buttons for visitors to navigate.

Linking to another article in context of the text in an article is a very comfortable way for visitors to explore your site.  Menu items are important too, but in my opinion they should be used for overall categories.

Rowby

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by:shinmaikeru
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I think I should clarify. This is more of a "best practices" question for design in general. It seems that a link to a menu item gives you a stable breadcrumb where a link to the "content" article does not always provide the breadcrumb.

I am referring here not to article types that become series, like blog posts or Press Releases. I wouldn't make a menu item for those. I am referring to more permanent pages like Contact Us, Company Profile, Services, etc.

If you link to the menu item, you break all your links when you modify navigation, but if you link to the articles themselves, the breadcrumb function does not always work.
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Rowby Goren earned 125 total points
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Hi. Please clarify about links to a menu item breaking when they are modified. It's been my experience when menu items are modified joomla adjusts the links automatically, usually preventing broken vb links.
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by:shinmaikeru
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Ahh, that's why the documentation didn't come through on this. The Joomla I have to maintain is version-frozen because the vendors that set it up modified the core instead of using template overrides and extensions, so the version is old, and it is multilang, and Joomfish is old, too. This might be a bug that has already been fixed. This site will be replaced in a few months, but I am doing what I can until then.

So I suppose that the menu changes will not affect the links if you just modify the menu without creating a new one and deleting the old, right?

But putting that aside, which do you think is the best practice to follow in future sites (since I am really looking forward to replacing this one)?

Now that I have been using Joomla for a couple of months, I see the issue more clearly. If you use menu links, then be sure to modify and not replace menu items, and if you use direct links to articles (pages), be sure to develop new content in a test article and copy-paste into the pre-existing article to preserve the underlying ID that Joomla uses.

It should probably be considered best practice to do both to prevent broken links regardless of where you are putting your links:
1: Replace content of articles by auditioning the new content in a test article that is not visible to the outside and then copying in the html code into the pre-existing article.
2: Modify pre-existing menu items instead of removing and replacing them.

What do you think?
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by:austega
austega earned 125 total points
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Yes I think you have it. Both work well when you understand what you are doing and the choice comes down largely to the nature of the link. Personally I think a Terms and Conditions link is better done to the article for example as many more sites change their menu structure with this article moving from About Us to some other menu item than change the name and structure of this Terms and Conditions article. On the other hand a link to a FAQ would for me shout for a link to a menu item as FAQs tend to evolve.
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