How to improve your AbanteCart store’s SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an essential practice for ensuring your store is ranked highly by major search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing and others.

There are some simple steps you should follow to ensure to optimize your store’s search engine ranking:

Use search engine friendly URLs in AbanteCart

As the name suggests, search engine friendly URLs can be parsed more easily by search engines, helping their algorithms understand the type of content held on each of your store’s web pages. Using AbanteCart’s search engine friendly URLs simplifies the store’s URLs so, for example, a URL like becomes

Important: there are certain server configuration requirements that must be enabled to ensure your store’s URLs can be rewritten. First, the Apache server’s mod_rewrite module must be installed and enabled. Second, the .htaccess.txt file must be renamed as .htaccess in cPanel’s File Manager.

Log in to the HostPapa Dashboard with your Client ID and Password.

HostPapa Dashboard

Using the top menu, navigate to My cPanel.

My cPanel Menu

In the cPanel dashboard, select the File Manager icon, which will be found in the Files section.

cPanel File Manager

In the left sidebar, find and click your AbanteCart folder. You should see the AbanteCart files and sub-folders appear in the right pane.

AbanteCart folder

Look for the file .htaccess.txt.

.htaccess file

Right click on the file and select Rename from the dropdown menu that appears.

Renaming the file

Rename the file .htaccess (removing the .txt extension), then click Rename File to save the change.

File renamed

Now right click the file once again, but this time, select Edit.

Edit menu

A panel may appear advising you to back up the original file. Click the Edit button to proceed to the cPanel file editor. You can read the guidance notes at the top of the file.

Guidance notes

Check the file to ensure the following command is included:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteEngine on command

If you don’t see the RewriteEngine command, type it into the file. Alternatively, if the command states RewriteEngine off, change it to the above.

If your AbanteCart store is installed in a subfolder of your domain root (for example, htttp://www.mystore/store) you have one more step to complete. This is not required for users that have installed AbanteCart in the root of their domain or subdomain ( or Look for the line:

RewriteBase /

RewriteBase / commandEdit this line to read:

RewriteBase /mysubfolder/ (changing mysubfolder to match the folder in which AbanteCart is installed). In the example above (htttp://www.mystore/store), this line would read RewriteBase /store/. Do not forget the trailing / at the end of the line.

Once these changes have been made, click the Save Changes button at the top of the page.

In the AbanteCart administration dashboard, head to System > Settings > System and select the On button next to Use SEO URLs.

Use SEO URLs setting

Save the setting using the check icon that appears. Now visit your storefront and select an item. Check the URL to ensure search engine friendly URLs are now enabled. If you receive a 404 Error message, you should re-check your .htaccess file in cPanel File Manager to ensure you have edited it correctly.

For further questions, or if you need help, please open a support ticket from your HostPapa Dashboard. Follow this link to learn how.

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