URL rewriting with PHP

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I have a URL that looks like:


How would I go about converting that URL to:


I think WordPress does the same.

How do I go about making friendly URLs in PHP?

This Question Has 5 Answeres | Orginal Question | Jazerix

Although already answered, and author's intent is to create a front controller type app but I am posting literal rule for problem asked. if someone having the problem for same.

RewriteEngine On RewriteRule ^([^/]+)/([^/]+)/([\d]+)$ $1?id=$3 [L] 

Above should work for url picture.php/Some-text-goes-here/51. without using a index.php as a redirect app.

this is an .htaccess file that forward almost all to index.php

# if a directory or a file exists, use it directly RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-l RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !-l RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !\.(ico|css|png|jpg|gif|js)$ [NC] # otherwise forward it to index.php RewriteRule . index.php 

then is up to you parse $_SERVER["REQUEST_URI"] and route to picture.php or whatever

PHP is not what you are looking for, check out mod_rewrite

You can essentially do this 2 ways:

The .htaccess route with mod_rewrite

Add a file called .htaccess in your root folder, and add something like this:

RewriteEngine on RewriteRule ^/?Some-text-goes-here/([0-9]+)$ /picture.php?id=$1 

This will tell Apache to enable mod_rewrite for this folder, and if it gets asked a URL matching the regular expression it rewrites it internally to what you want, without the end user seeing it. Easy, but inflexible, so if you need more power:

The PHP route

Put the following in your .htaccess instead:

FallbackResource index.php 

This will tell it to run your index.php for all files it cannot normally find in your site. In there you can then for example:

$path = ltrim($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'], '/'); // Trim leading slash(es) $elements = explode('/', $path); // Split path on slashes if(empty($elements[0])) { // No path elements means home ShowHomepage(); } else switch(array_shift($elements)) // Pop off first item and switch { case 'Some-text-goes-here': ShowPicture($elements); // passes rest of parameters to internal function break; case 'more': ... default: header('HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found'); Show404Error(); } 

This is how big sites and CMS-systems do it, because it allows far more flexibility in parsing URLs, config and database dependent URLs etc. For sporadic usage the hardcoded rewrite rules in .htaccess will do fine though.

If you only want to change the route for picture.php then adding rewrite rule in .htaccess will serve your needs, but, if you want the URL rewriting as in Wordpress then PHP is the way. Here is simple example to begin with.

Folder structure

There are two files that are needed in the root folder, .htaccess and index.php, and it would be good to place the rest of the .php files in separate folder, like inc/.

root/ inc/ .htaccess index.php 


RewriteEngine On RewriteRule ^inc/.*$ index.php RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php [QSA,L] 

This file has four directives:

  1. RewriteEngine - enable the rewriting engine
  2. RewriteRule - deny access to all files in inc/ folder, redirect any call to that folder to index.php
  3. RewriteCond - allow direct access to all other files ( like images, css or scripts )
  4. RewriteRule - redirect anything else to index.php


Because everything is now redirected to index.php, there will be determined if the url is correct, all parameters are present, and if the type of parameters are correct.

To test the url we need to have a set of rules, and the best tool for that is a regular expression. By using regular expressions we will kill two flies with one blow. Url, to pass this test must have all the required parameters that are tested on allowed characters. Here are some examples of rules.

$rules = array( 'picture' => "/picture/(?'text'[^/]+)/(?'id'\d+)", // '/picture/some-text/51' 'album' => "/album/(?'album'[\w\-]+)", // '/album/album-slug' 'category' => "/category/(?'category'[\w\-]+)", // '/category/category-slug' 'page' => "/page/(?'page'about|contact)", // '/page/about', '/page/contact' 'post' => "/(?'post'[\w\-]+)", // '/post-slug' 'home' => "/" // '/' ); 

Next is to prepare the request uri.

$uri = rtrim( dirname($_SERVER["SCRIPT_NAME"]), '/' ); $uri = '/' . trim( str_replace( $uri, '', $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] ), '/' ); $uri = urldecode( $uri ); 

Now that we have the request uri, the final step is to test uri on regular expression rules.

foreach ( $rules as $action => $rule ) { if ( preg_match( '~^'.$rule.'$~i', $uri, $params ) ) { /* now you know the action and parameters so you can * include appropriate template file ( or proceed in some other way ) */ } } 

Successful match will, since we use named subpatterns in regex, fill the $params array almost the same as PHP fills the $_GET array. However, when using a dynamic url, $_GET array is populated without any checks of the parameters.

 /picture/some+text/51 Array ( [0] => /picture/some text/51 [text] => some text [1] => some text [id] => 51 [2] => 51 ) picture.php?text=some+text&id=51 Array ( [text] => some text [id] => 51 ) 

These few lines of code and a basic knowing of regular expressions is enough to start building a solid routing system.

Complete source

define( 'INCLUDE_DIR', dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/inc/' ); $rules = array( 'picture' => "/picture/(?'text'[^/]+)/(?'id'\d+)", // '/picture/some-text/51' 'album' => "/album/(?'album'[\w\-]+)", // '/album/album-slug' 'category' => "/category/(?'category'[\w\-]+)", // '/category/category-slug' 'page' => "/page/(?'page'about|contact)", // '/page/about', '/page/contact' 'post' => "/(?'post'[\w\-]+)", // '/post-slug' 'home' => "/" // '/' ); $uri = rtrim( dirname($_SERVER["SCRIPT_NAME"]), '/' ); $uri = '/' . trim( str_replace( $uri, '', $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] ), '/' ); $uri = urldecode( $uri ); foreach ( $rules as $action => $rule ) { if ( preg_match( '~^'.$rule.'$~i', $uri, $params ) ) { /* now you know the action and parameters so you can * include appropriate template file ( or proceed in some other way ) */ include( INCLUDE_DIR . $action . '.php' ); // exit to avoid the 404 message exit(); } } // nothing is found so handle the 404 error include( INCLUDE_DIR . '404.php' ); 

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Sajjad Hossain

I have five years of experience in web development sector. I love to do amazing projects and share my knowledge with all.

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