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I have a WordPress website hosted on Bluehost which contains the following URL pattern:

http://www.example.com/2017/01/30/sample-post/

I wanted to permanent redirect it to use this:

http://www.example.com/sample-post/

So I opened .htaccess kept in the example.com folder and changed it to the following with the help of a suggestion by w3dk.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^\d{4}/\d\d/\d\d/(.+) /$1 [R=301,L]

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

# END WordPress

After I wrote this rewrite rule, everything of the URL format example.com/2017/01/30/sample-post works great. However, there are a few URLs in the website that have the format example.com/name-of-category/2008/10/20/sample-post and are throwing a 404 as the result of the above rewrite rule.

I want to permanently redirect www.example.com/name-of-category/2008/10/20/sample-post to www.example.com/name-of-category/sample-post.

What change do I need to make in my .htaccess file?

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To handle category posts of the form /name-of-category/2008/10/20/sample-post then include something like the following directive after the existing redirect.

RewriteRule ^([a-z-]+)/\d{4}/\d\d/\d\d/(.+) /$1/$2 [R=301,L]

This would redirect /name-of-category/2008/10/20/sample-post to /name-of-category/sample-post. Note that the category consists of just the lowercase a-z and the - (hyphen), as in your example.

If you needed to allow more characters in the category then changing [a-z-] to [\w-] in the above RewriteRule pattern would allow a-z, A-Z, 0-9, _ and -. But it is better to be as restrictive as possible.

So, in summary:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^\d{4}/\d\d/\d\d/(.+) /$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteRule ^([a-z-]+)/\d{4}/\d\d/\d\d/(.+) /$1/$2 [R=301,L]

:
  • I tried it..the 404 goes away. So thanks for that. But what's happening now is example.com/name-of-category/2008/10/20/sample-post gets redirected to example.com/name-of-category/sample-post which gets redirected to example.com/sample-post. – CuriousDev Mar 9 '17 at 17:09
  • What do your category URLs look like within WordPress? The /name-of-category/sample-post to /sample-post redirect would seem to be triggered by WordPress itself? – MrWhite Mar 9 '17 at 17:13
  • I don't seem to find anything that suggests that. When I open a category, there is no redirect. It just opens as-is. However when I open a post within a category like example.com/name-of-category/2008/10/20/sample-post, the redirection occurs and both the category and date are lost. i want to retain the category. – CuriousDev Mar 10 '17 at 3:18
  • To clarify, when you open a page within a category on your site, then URL is of the form: /name-of-category/sample-post? Try (temporarily) changing the status code of these two redirects to 307 (ie. R=307). Clear your browser cache and view the network traffic in the browser dev tools. What redirects/status do you see when requesting a URL of the form /name-of-category/2008/10/20/sample-post? – MrWhite Mar 10 '17 at 7:37

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