How to use DJ-Canonical

How to use DJ-Canonical

Why do I need DJ-Canonical?

DJ-Canonical can help with SEO on your website by providing the canonical link (in the website's source code) that is read by the search engines and tells them which URL is the real source of the currently browsed page.
In other words - if your page is available from multiple URLs (addresses) - the canonical link will tell the search engine which one is preferred and which one should be indexed.

What is DJ-Canonical?

The plugin can help to show to the search engine the preferred URL (canonical URL) in such situations:
  1. your website is available from multiple domains (for example .com and .eu)
  2. your website is available both with www and without it
  3. your site is available both with HTTP and HTTPS
  4. you do not want URLs with parameters to be indexed in search engines
According to Wikipedia:
A canonical link element is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues in search engine optimization by specifying the "canonical" or "preferred" version of a web page.
A major problem for search engines is to determine the original source for documents that are available on multiple URLs.

How to download and install DJ-Canonical

  1. Download and install the plugin as any other extension,
  2. navigate to Extensions -> Plugins in your Joomla backend and find the DJ-Canonical plugin,
  3. set the status of the plugin to "Enabled.",
  4. set the ordering to be the last,
  5. set the default URL (should look like this:,
  6. Save and Close.

How to configure DJ-Canonical

This is how the DJ-Canonical plugin looks like when you edit in the backend: 
DJ-Canonical management
  1. Provide your best, default URL you want to be used in the canonical link tag link
  2. Start typing the component's name you want to be excluded from the plugin to interact with (some components handle the canonical URLs themselves and you may want to exclude those here)
  3. Enable this feature if you want the plugin to cut the parameters and do not include them in the canonical tag link 
  4. When you enable the "Cut parameters" feature, the new, repeatable field will appear where you can enter parameters you want to keep

"Cut parameters" feature explained

This feature is intended to remove the unneeded parameters from canonical links to tell the search engines that they should not index them.
By default, when you enable the "Cut parameters" feature, we already set the "start" parameter as an exception (hardcoded).
Joomla! uses this parameter to tag different pages in pagination (for example blog pages pagination).
This exception is intended as it is recommended SEO practice to keep the pagination parameters in the canonical link tag.
Once you enable it by choosing "Yes", the new set of fields appear below. These are repeatable fields where you may enter as many parameters you want to keep as an exception (meaning they will appear in canonical tag).
Note: Don't use "?" or "&" when providing the parameters in URL parameter when using Parameters exceptions.

How to check if DJ-Canonical works?

Once DJ-Canonical is enabled, go to your website frontend.
Now, reload your website and check its source (right-click -> "View page source"), there you will see:
<link href=" rel="canonical" />
and even if your website is available from addresses like:
the rel="canonical" will be there and always tell search engines that is the original document.
If you're using the feature "Cut parameters" you can also test it by adding any parameter to your URL or visiting it from a shared link on Facebook.
For example: 
Your url once visited from the Facebook link will look something like this:
but the canonical link in the source will still be: 
<link href="" rel="canonical" />

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