Go to main content

FAQ: Clean URLs don’t work

This is usually a web server configuration issue.

These and similar problems happen when you use an Article URL pattern, as set in the Site section of the Preferences panel, as anything other than ‘?=messy’ on a web server that does not support rewriting of URLs. For Apache, this is typically mod_rewrite. The .htaccess file supplied with Textpattern is designed to work on most Apache servers, but there is no universal solution.

The Textpattern Diagnostics panel will attempt to warn you if it can determine that clean URLs are not supported on your system. However, it doesn’t detect all incompatible servers. The absence of a warning does not mean that your server supports clean URLs.

The simplest solution is to select ‘?=messy’ for the Article URL pattern preference, and remove or move aside the .htaccess file.

Some servers support mod_rewrite, but require some additional configuration in order to make it work properly.

If your Apache web server supports mod_rewrite in .htaccess, you can find some suggestions for specific web hosts in this forum thread.

On servers that support mod_rewrite, the most common solution is to uncomment (remove the leading # from) this line in the .htaccess file:

#RewriteBase /relative/web/path/

And change the path as appropriate. If Textpattern is installed in your website root (i.e. the front Textpattern page is at https://example.com/), you should use this:

RewriteBase /

If Textpattern is installed in a subdirectory (i.e the front Textpattern page is at https://example.com/mydir/), then use:

RewriteBase /mydir/

Other changes required on some hosts include:

DirectoryIndex index.php index.html


Options +FollowSymLinks

Both of these lines are included in the default .htaccess file, so you can simply uncomment them (remove the leading # from them).

If you are configuring your own Apache server, or using a hosting arrangement that lets you modify your own Apache configuration settings, you might need to add the following to the appropriate place in the httpd.conf file:

AllowOverride FileInfo

If none of those changes work, or if they cause a 500 server error, you will need to use ‘?=messy’ URLs as described earlier, or ask your hosting provider for help.

If you notice any kind of problem with this page's construction or content (outdated information, typos, broken links, or whatever), open an issue to have it sorted. Or have a go at it yourself. :)