Drupal Friendly URL Setup: A Step-by-Step Guide for Optimizing Your Site URLs

Update: This article covers details on how to enable and configure the Pathauto module for the Drupal 7 site. For Drupal 8, please see: How To Setup Pretty URLs For Drupal 8

Setting up Drupal-friendly URLs is one of the most essential tasks for Drupal users, as these URLs play a critical role in both human readability and search engine optimization (SEO). In the latest versions of Drupal, some of the friendly URL features are enabled by default, but there may still be instances where you need to configure them further.

The default Drupal URL format is structured like node/21, which is functional but not ideal for human readability or SEO. To convert this URL to something like /my-awesome-title, you will need to download and enable two modules: Pathauto and Token.

Once you have installed both modules, navigate to the URL patterns settings at admin/config/search/path/patterns. From here, you can start customizing your Drupal-friendly URLs to match the desired format.

By properly configuring Drupal-friendly URLs, you can improve the overall user experience on your website and enhance its visibility to search engines.

In most cases, the following Default path patterns will suffice:

  • [node:title] for your content pages
  • topics/[term:name] for your tags
  • users/[user:name] for your users

Additionally, you can enhance your URL structure by incorporating date or node ID with the help of Replacement Patterns.

Once you're satisfied with your path pattern configuration, save it and head to admin/config/search/path/update_bulk. Select the content types you want to update, click update, and let the magic happen. It's that simple!


Hi! My name is Reinis Fischer (38), a proud dad and devoted husband. CEO and Founder of Terramatris crypto hedge fund, drone enthusiast, world traveler, photographer, and passionate lover of Georgian cuisine (vegetarian).

An ex-pat living in Georgia since 2011, I trade stocks, take photographs, work out at the gym, and many more. Here I write about travel, finance, and other things that might interest me.