SH404SEF and multiple domain names?

[For those of you looking for the quick fix, skip to SOLUTION]

When you’re building a website, you want to pick a good domain name.  What to do once you found that domain name?  Most of us are satisfied with just one domain name, e.g. .  But sometimes, you’ll want to play “safe” by preventing other people from buying related domain names.

A few days ago, I wrote a post titled “One Joomla! site, one domain” in which I explained how we bought every ‘alternative’ for to protect our ‘brand’.  From a SEO point of view, that’s a bad idea, so we wanted to “rewrite” the domain names to the main domain name,

I assumed that SH404SEF would do a great job handling this rewriting.  I soon learned that it isn’t.  SH404SEF goes berserk when multiple domain names point to one Joomla! website.  To illustrate what happens, I’ve added an image, which shows you what happened when you’d type in your browser.


SH404 has problems with the extra domain name
SH404SEF has problems with the extra domain name





Result?  All the additional domains are worthless.  I don’t write this post to complain, I’m writing this post to offer a solution!

The solution

The solution(s) I found are both workarounds.  you can’t solve this problem in the SH404SEF settings, and updating to the last version won’t do you any good.  So if you’ve got this problem, choose one of the solutions below – the really simple one or the more complicated one.

The simple fix (discovered by

We like simple fixes, because… well, because they’re simple.  Our proposed solution is pretty simple; and once again I refer you to the article I linked to.  Here’s what to do:

1)  Download the Canonicalization plug-in. For your ease of use, we’ve uploaded it to our Skydrive.

2) Install the plug-in.

3) Configure the plug-in.  This is pretty simple:  Choose the “main” domain name, e.g we chose to use

4)  Enable the plug-in

Once you’ve done this, the plug-in will help SH404SEF to “behave”.  We’d have rather solved this in SH404SEF, but halas.  There doesn’t seem to be a way.

CREDIT goes to Sam Moffatt for developing the Canonicalisation plugin.

The alternative

If you’re not afraid of some coding, you can try the fix you’ll find in this blog.  We haven’t tested this fix (we’re pretty happy with our own solution) but some of you might find it useful.


As always, we hope that this post fixes your problems!

3 thoughts on “SH404SEF and multiple domain names?”

  1. Thank you, you’re a life saver! After have a massive SEO campaign running and spending *alot* on Adwords SH404SEF suddenly stopped working!!

Comments are closed.

Discover more from PowerUser Guide

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading