Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hide .php extension with url rewriting using .htaccess

Using this technique you will see product.html in the address bar of the browser but the actual file name remains product.php and you don’t need to rename the file extension. Furthermore you can rewrite the URL like product.php?id=5 to product-5.html.

what is the benefits of rewriting URL?

When a search engine visits the dynamic url like product.php?id=5 it does not give much importance to that URL as search engine sees “?” sign treat it as a url which keeps on changing. so we’re converting the dynamic URL like the product.php?id=5 to static url format like product-5.html. We’ll rewrite the url in such a way that in browser’s address bar it will display as a product-5.html but it actually calls the file product.php?id=5. So that why these kind of URL also named as SEO friendly URL.

what is required for URL rewriting ??

To rewrite the URL you must have the mod_rewrite module must be loaded in apache server. And furthermore, FollowSymLinks options also need to be enabled otherwise you may encounter 500 Internal Sever Error. If you don’t know much about mod_rewrite module then please check this post to know how to check and enable mod_rewrite module in apache?
Examples of url rewriting for seo friendly URL

For rewriting the URL, you should create a .htaccess file in the root folder of your web directory. And have to put the following codes as your requirement.

1)Rewriting product.php?id=12 to product-12.html

It is a simple redirection in which .php extension is hidden from the browser’s address bar and dynamic url (containing “?” character) is converted into a static URL.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^product-([0-9]+)\.html$ product.php?id=$1

2) Rewriting product.php?id=12 to product/ipod-nano/12.html

SEO expert always suggest to display the main keyword in the URL. In the following URL rewriting technique you can display the name of the product in URL.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^product/([a-zA-Z0-9_-]+)/([0-9]+)\.html$ product.php?id=$2

3) Redirecting non www URL to www URL

If you type in browser it will be redirected to If you want to do same with your website then put the following code to .htaccess file. What is benefit of this kind of redirection?? Please check the post about SEO friendly redirect (301) redirect in php and .htaccess.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^optimaxwebsolutions\.com$
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

4) Rewriting to

Have you checked you type in browser you can see my profile over there. If you want to do the same kind of redirection i.e to then you can add the following code to the .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9_-]+)$ user.php?username=$1
RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9_-]+)/$ user.php?username=$1

5) Redirecting the domain to a new subfolder of inside public_html.

Suppose the you’ve redeveloped your site and all the new development reside inside the “new” folder of inside root folder.Then the new development of the website can be accessed like “”. Now moving these files to the root folder can be a hectic process so you can create the following code inside the .htaccess file and place it under the root folder of the website. In result, point out to the files inside “new” folder.

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