Articles Appearing Under the Wrong Category in Joomla – How to Solve

The main administrator of a very large Joomla website called us today and told us that they have the following problem: a few articles, while being listed under the right directory, have the wrong category selected (in the menu) when they are viewed individually.

For example, Article A belongs to Category C, and when you click on the menu item pointing to Category C, you will see Article A listed – however, when you click on Article A, you notice that Category D is selected on the right menu (instead of Category C). What was even weirder is that the article’s link had category-c in it (which is correct).

Now we have been working with Joomla for many years – and this is the first time that we see such a problem. So we started investigating, and our investigation lead us to our usual suspect – sh404SEF.

Here’s what happened:

  • An author working on the website created Article A under Category D.
  • The author published the article and sh404SEF indexed and cached the article’s link and it associated it with Category D (which is fully correct).

  • The author then changed the article’s category from Category D to Category C.

  • sh404SEF did not update its cache (note: sh404SEF‘s cache does not expire and must be deleted manually) – so the link was still pointing to Category D instead of Category C.

So, what did we do to fix the problem?

Well, it was quite easy, all that we did was the following:

  • We logged in to the backend of the Joomla website.
  • We clicked on Components -> sh404SEF -> URL manager on the top menu.

  • We searched for the alias of that article in the URL (for example, if the article’s link is, then you should search for article-a).

  • We deleted (with duplicates) the entries that were returned from our search above.

  • That fixed the problem!

Unfortunately, as we mentioned before, sh404SEF can cause a lot of unnecessary work because of its quirks and instability – we always suggest that you don’t use it and use Joomla’s SEF instead. Yes – the links are not great with Joomla’s core SEF – but the website will be much more stable and you will have less problems.

If you have articles appearing under the wrong category, and if you have sh404SEF installed, then the above will solve your problem. But if it doesn’t, or if you don’t even have sh404SEF installed, then please contact us. Our fees are affordable, our work is fast and professional, and we really, really care about our clients’ websites! (as well as their businesses – for that matter!)

A couple of notes:

  • sh404SEF is a very sensitive extension – and doing the wrong thing there can cause serious problems to the website.
  • You will neeed to be a super administrator to do the above.

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