This is a bit of a weird one. I'm doing some work on a server, and I need rewrite rules for directories that actually exist (in some cases, they are more than one level deep)

At the moment my .htaccess looks like this:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^simfiles/([-\ a-zA-Z0-9:/]+)$ http://mydomain.com/?portal=simfiles&folder=$1 [L]

And this is working OK, for example, a url like:


Will get redirected to


Or in the case of a directory structure that is deeper than one level:


Will get redirected to


I wrote the regex so that it won't match things with a . in the path, because there are css and js files which reside in simfiles/somedirectory, and if I redirect everything then these cannot be loaded.

I tried a configuration like this:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^simfiles/([-\ a-zA-Z0-9:/\.]+)$ http://mydomain.com/?portal=simfiles&folder=$1 [L]

But that doesn't work, things still don't load properly.

So my first question is, how can I achieve this "properly"? I don't like my solution because it means redirects won't occur if the folder has a . in its name.

My second problem, is that while the redirection is happening properly, the url becomes:


I want the URL to remain clean, like:


How can I achieve this?

1 Answer 1


You're overthinking your regex. Since you're already checking whether the underlying file exists before the rewrite rule, you should be able to just match anything.

RewriteRule ^simfiles/(.+) /?portal=simfiles&folder=$1 [L,QSA]
  • This rule seems to do what I want. Except the issue with the 'nice url' not persisting remains. Using RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f and your rule, mydomain.com/simfiles/mydir1/mydir2 becomes: mydomain.com/simfiles/mydir1/mydir2/?portal=simfiles&folder=mydir1/mydir2 I would like the URL to remain as mydomain.com/simfiles/mydir1/mydir2 Oct 10, 2012 at 3:09
  • Turns out that the issue with urls not being rewritten lies elsewhere. This answer solved my other problem though. Oct 10, 2012 at 4:53

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