Joomla 1.5…Link to Article Without a Visible Menu

There are two methods for linking to a Joomla! 1.5 article available, and depending if you are using Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs you should use one or the other.  As of the writing of this post, there is no built in method for inserting direct article links while typing in another article, although there are several extensions that will do this (GET JCE EDITOR).  However, if you know what you are doing, it is very easy to accomplish yourself without any extension usage or writing.

Method 1: Dynamic URL Direct Link

Each article in Joomla! 1.5 has a direct system identification number, which shows up in the article manager in the right side column in the list of articles.  It is labelled, of course, ‘ID’.  This number is a unique number and no two articles can have the same one, in technical terms it is a ‘primary key’.

Let us assume, for example, that you discover your article ID is ‘5′ and you want to link to this article from within another article or module, but you don’t want to create a menu item for it.  Well, you simply call up the com_content article display component in your URL and reference the ID of your article.  The end link should look like this, if your URL is ‘mysite.com’.

http://www.mysite.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=5

You can actually use this format for many different components and settings, also without creating a menu item.  The basic format is http://www.(URL).com/index.php?option=(COMPONENT FOLDER NAME)&(VARIABLE NAME)=(VARIABLE VALUE) with as many variables as you can handle.  The downside to this method is there is no module assignment for this page, so only the modules assigned to 'All Pages' will show up.

Method 2: Direct Link with Search Engine Friendly URL’s Enabled

This method is a bit trickier, and the above cannot be used if you want to use a nice friendly URL. The reason is because Joomla! 1.5 default SEF URL creates your search friendly URL based off of the menu items or links.  So, no menu item…no nice SEF friendly link.  There are exceptions to this rule if you use a component like SH40SEF or something similar which enables you to manually create re-directs.  In this case, just create a re-direct from the first method URL to your new SEF friendly url.

However, given Joomla! 1.5 default settings and no third party components, the way to create a direct link would be to create a new menu with any name for your reference.  I usually call it ‘direct links’ or something similar.  Go into your module manager and find the module that is automatically created for this menu and you can do two things. 1) Unpublish It, or 2)Publish it to a module position that isn’t actually on the page (put it in templateDetails.xml but not in the index.php).  Make it easier on yourself and just unpublish / delete it.

Now, go into the menu (the module you just deleted) in your Menu Manager and create a link to your article using the single article layout method.  Change the alias on this menu link to whatever you want to have for your SEF URL.

Once this is all complete, you can now link to this new article with http://www.yoursite.com/menu-link-alias-here.html GIVEN that .htaccess is enabled and all SEF URL options are working.

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