mod_rewrite is an Apache module that allows you to rewrite URLs on your website. It works by allowing you to define rules that determine how the URL should be rewritten. These rules can be based on the structure of the URL, the presence of certain keywords, or any other criteria that you specify.
Here's an example of how mod_rewrite might be used:
Suppose you have a website that displays information about different products, and you want to make the URL for each product page more descriptive. Without mod_rewrite, your URLs might look something like this:
This URL is not very descriptive and does not give users an idea of what the page is about. With mod_rewrite, you can rewrite the URL to be more descriptive, like this:
To do this, you would create a mod_rewrite rule that specifies that any URL that begins with /products/ should be redirected to product.php, with the remainder of the URL passed as a parameter.
mod_rewrite for SEO
Using mod_rewrite can be helpful for SEO in several ways:
- Descriptive URLs: As the example above illustrates, mod_rewrite can be used to create URLs that are more descriptive and informative for users. This can improve the usability of your site and make it easier for users to understand what the page is about.
- Keyword-rich URLs: By including relevant keywords in your URLs, you can signal to search engines what the page is about, which can help improve your search rankings.
- Canonical URLs: mod_rewrite can be used to create a "canonical" version of your URLs, which can help prevent duplicate content issues. For example, if your site can be accessed using both http and https or with and without "www," you can use mod_rewrite to redirect all traffic to a single, preferred version of the URL.
- Redirects: mod_rewrite can be used to create redirects from old URLs to new ones, which can be helpful if you have changed the structure of your site or if you have moved content to a new location. This can help prevent users from ending up on broken links and can also help preserve any search engine rankings that the old URLs had.
It's important to note that while mod_rewrite is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the usability and SEO of your website. However, it can also be complex to set up, so it's important to be familiar with regular expressions and Apache configuration before using it.