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I'm helping to move a WordPress site from one domain to another, which includes a change in permalink structure. I know I can use a .htaccess entry, but I'm not that well-versed (yet) in regular expressions.

I need to change this:


to this:


dropping the year, month, and .html from every URL.

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I’ve done this with Apache mod_rewrite and it works great. Just add these three lines to either the .htaccess or Apache2 configuration on the old server. This should work well/cover all .html files as well as other variations:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^(GET|HEAD)\ /([^\ ]+)\.html
RewriteRule ^([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{2})/([^\ ]+)\.html?$ http://www.newwebsite.com/$3 [L,R=301]
RewriteRule ^([0-9]{4})/([^\ ]+)\.html?$ http://www.newwebsite.com/$2 [L,R=301]
RewriteRule ^([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{2})/?$ http://www.newwebsite.com/ [NC,L,R=301]
RewriteRule ^([0-9]{4})/?$ http://www.newwebsite.com/ [NC,L,R=301]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newwebsite.com/$1 [NC,L,R=301]

So the first two RewriteRule entries handle requests to the following URLs:


And now send them to:


The next two RewriteRule entries handle requests to these directory level root URLs:


To this the base URL of your site:


And the last RewriteRule is set to grab any other URLs that don’t fit the above criteria and send them to the main URL while passing the full param.

I would suggest that you test these out using curl -I like so:

curl -I http://www.oldwebsite.com/2013/04/test.html

That will show you the Apache header output & tell you exactly where pages are being redirected without having to deal with a full web browser headaches when debugging stuff like this.

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It's great that you explained each part so users can learn from your answer! –  dan Nov 21 '13 at 0:43
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