Last Updated: May 31, 2021
· anthonylevings

Super simple .htaccess rewrite to remove PHP file extensions and query strings from URLs

The first step is to create a .htaccess file, which should contain the following code and be saved in the same folder as you intend to save the index.php file

RewriteEngine on

RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9]+|)/?$ index.php?name=$1
# Handle requests for "index.php"

Now create the index.php file and insert the following

<?php echo $_GET['name']; ?>

Now it's time to test

You'll need to be running something like MAMP or have this code on your server. Type the first part of the URL so that you are pointing the web browser at the folder that contains the two files you created. Next type after the forward slash a word, e.g.


Note: Here my files were saved in a folder called rewrite (and I was using MAMP).

It's all very well having fixed positions in the URL relating to query terms, but sometimes we'll want the added flexibility of also accepting regular query strings, e.g.


If we tried processing this at present, the query string would be ignored. To stop this from happening we need to add [QSA], which appends any query string from the original request URL to any query string created in the rewrite target.

RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9]+|)/?$ index.php?name=$1 [QSA]
# Handle requests for "index.php"

Now replace the index.php code with the following:

if (isset($_GET['name'])) echo "Hello ".$_GET['name'].", ";
if (isset($_GET['age'])) echo "you look really young for ".$_GET['age'];

Another handy thing to know is that if we add [NC] to the end of the RewriteRule then it becomes case insensitive:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteRule ^([a-z0-9]+|)/?$ index.php?name=$1 [QSA,NC]
# Handles requests for "index.php"

For further discussion of ReWrite Rule flags (e.g. QSA, NC), see

I discuss at further length rewriting here:

11 Responses
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Thanks for this Anthony, I've been looking to do some rewriting for project at work and been stuck with it all day - just had a read through of your blog post and that's given me enough to do what I needed! Great stuff!

over 1 year ago ·

@harryfinn I'm glad that it helped you out, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

over 1 year ago ·

I'm new here and I got this htaccess code to redirect:
RewriteRule ^viewtopic.php [L,R=301]
for ex:
Output when redirected:
getting output link as I needed but the link is not working properly(not linking to respected page) please help me.

over 1 year ago ·

@prakash j you shouldn't need all the because you'll just be redirecting from either the base folder or a subfolder.

The first part - ^([a-zA-Z0-9]+|)/?$ - is the regex that captures the input text. We then reference the text captured by the regex with $1 and send it to index.php using the command index.php?name=$1.

In your example you've missed out various bits, it should look more like this:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9]+|)/?$ viewtopic.php?product_names=$1

and this should be saved in a .htaccess file in the base folder of your site:

You then will be able to capture the product name using:

<?php echo $_GET['product_names']; ?>

in the viewtopic.php file when the URL is something like this:

over 1 year ago ·

@anthonylevings : Thanks for your kind reply I am happy bit, the above code is not working, here is the original link I have to rewrite:
there is no any symbol("=") or nothing. I just need this link to redirect like:
fine with these both np and I don't like to edit any of my php files, please help me out

over 1 year ago ·

@prakash j: You seem to be talking about a redirect rather than a rewrite, I've not implemented any myself but I think you'd need to do something like this in your .htaccess file

## 301 Redirect Entire Directory
RedirectMatch 301*)$1
over 1 year ago ·

Thanks for helping Anthony, I iust tried to copy the above code and paste into htaccess, I do not see any changes in url:(

over 1 year ago ·

Try this instead:

## 301 Redirect Entire Directory
RedirectMatch 301 teamfront.php?(.*) /$1
over 1 year ago ·

YES, It is working fine but not linking to the respective page, linking to home page instead.

over 1 year ago ·

You might need to Redirect and Rewrite (and in the right order), the best thing to do is to look at the modrewrite documentation: and

over 1 year ago ·

Very good and minimal, thanks

over 1 year ago ·