Use nice permalinks in WordPress without the use of mod_rewrite

June 1st, 2004
Weblog Add-Ons

This is a little known feature that I believe should be documented well. If you are using IIS or do not have the mod_rewrite ability, it is possible to still have serach engine friendly URIs in WordPress. If someone was dissuaded from using WP because of this, be dissed no more! Here are the instruction from the admin page of WordPress 1.2 Mingus:

In general for this you must use mod_rewrite, however if you put a filename at the beginning WordPress will attempt to use that to pass the arguments, for example:
If you use this option you can ignore the mod_rewrite rules.




  1. andrew hall (1 comments.) says:

    I have been looking at this the last couple of days and I am not clear on why permalinks are considered so important. I know a fair bit about SEO and to my understanding my existing links such as:


    should not be a disadvantage with Google. If it had four long querystrings perhaps but a single one should be fine.

    If it had the post title in the link as well it might score a little better in the search relevance stakes – but then it would be longer.

    Be interested in other info / views on this.



  2. Troy says:

    Well, I have been interested in Permalinks because the Curioso PictPress plugin right now doesn’t work without them. Unfortunately my server runs of of IIS 6.0 so that is a bit of a problem (there are apps you can pay exorbinate amounts for, but the mod_rewrite code WP provides doesn’t work for them).

    I’ve tried the index.php replacement for Permalinks, and it hasn’t worked for me. Maybe it’s my IIS configuration?

  3. bruceyeah says:

    Think about it for a few minutes. The url you just quoted uses a database id column as the identifier for your post. If you upgrade your weblog backend to a different software, or do any sort of rearranging of your database, then the id number changes for that post and the url is broken or incorrect.

    The beauty of well designed permalinks is that your content will never change urls, no matter what CMS you happen to be using. Also, even from a purely SEO point of view, will be better ranked than

  4. Owen says:

    Unfortunately, IIS doesn’t seem to identify the “index.php” in the middle of the URL as the actual page it’s suposed to feed to, so this method of creating SEF URLs still doesn’t work on IIS. The best way to get mod_rewrite funcitonality on IIS is probably to use something like ISAPI_rewrite, which has been working well for me.

  5. eRRaTiK (1 comments.) says:

    nice. i was wondering the exact same thing as Andrew. I believe that question has now been answered. Now I need to work out how to use these things.


  1. Cellar Door says:

    Well hot damn…
    Though a lot of people do not think permalinks are all that important, I think it adds a certain aesthetic value when you don’t have query strings in your urls. So I have been on a quest since I started using wordpress to figure out mod_rewrite in orde…

  2. TiemenSchut says:

    WordPress, mod_rewrite and IIS

    That’s quite a contradictive title you must think. IIS and mod_rewrite? How is that possible?
    Very simple. It is NOT possible. Then, if this blog runs on IIS, how is it possible to have this nice permalink-thingie? Pretty simple as well.

  3. says:

    Search engine friendly urls without mod_rewrite

    When I set up my wordpress blog yesterday I wanted to use search engine friendly URLs which wordpress usually supports by the use of Apache’s mod_rewrite. Unfortunately my hoster doesn’t support .htaccess files in the small web package I cu…

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