url rewriting examples using .htaccess

Do you want to hide your web site’s server script identity ? If you don’t want to reveal the programming language ( server side script ) of your website to visitors of website so that any hacker or spammer will not be able to intrude or inject any code in your website.
Here is a small technique for you, you can use .html or .asp file to work as a php file i.e. use .asp or .html extension instead of .php. You just need to create a .htaccess file and put the following code in the .htaccess file. Remember that the .htaccess file should be placed in the root folder of your website.

# Make PHP code look like asp or perl code
AddType application/x-httpd-php .asp .pl

if you place the the above code in the .htaccess file then you can use contact.asp as the name of the file. Now a visitor thought that it is a ASP file but this file contains the codes of PHP.
You can put the following code in .htaccess file to work .htm or .html file as PHP file.

# Make all PHP code look like HTML
AddType application/x-httpd-php .htm .html

Last time I’ve written an article about hiding php file extension where I’ve showed you how you can use .html or .asp extension of file instead of .php extension. But there was one flaw in that technique you have had to change the file extension explicitly but in this post I’m going to show you how to rewrite the URL instead of renaming the file extension 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.
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)\.htm$ $1.php [nc]
The following example will rewrite the test.php to test.html i.e when a URL like ‘localhost/test.htm’ is called in address bar it calls the file test.php. As you can see the regular expression in first part of the RewriteRule command and $1 represents the first regular expression of the part of the RewriteRule and [nc] means not case sensitive.
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^product-([0-9]+)\.html$ products.php?id=$1
The following example will rewrite the product.php?id=5 to porduct-5.html i.e when a URL like ‘localhost/product-5.html’ calls product.php?id=5 automatically.

If you are looking for the examples of URL rewriting then this post might be useful for you. In this post, I’ve given five useful examples of URL rewriting using .htacess. If you don’t know something about url rewriting then please check my older post about url rewriting using .htaccess.

Now let’s look at the examples

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 yahoo.com in browser it will be redirected to www.yahoo.com. 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 (.*) www.optimaxwebsolutions.com/$1 [R=301,L]

4) Rewriting yoursite.com/user.php?username=xyz to yoursite.com/xyz

Have you checked zorpia.com.If you type http://zorpia.com/roshanbh233 in browser you can see my profile over there. If you want to do the same kind of redirection i.e http://yoursite.com/xyz to http://yoursite.com/user.php?username=xyz 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 “test.com/new”. 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, www.test.com point out to the files inside “new” folder.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^test\.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.test\.com$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/new/
RewriteRule (.*) /new/$1

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