I've changed with RewriteRules (no redirect) a typical PHP-like URL:


to more friendly one:


But I still can reach the same output using both the first and second URLs.

Problem to solve:

For security purposes and just because "I don't need one of them", I tried to block the first URL with a 403 response code using an [F] flag matching rule. The problem is that it also blocks the second URL.


Is there any possible way to accomplish this without blocking the second URL? Is my thinking correct - should I ban the first URL?

1 Answer 1


If you are changing an existing URL structure then you will need to redirect the old (ugly) URLs to the new (pretty) URLs, rather than reject them with a 403 response. If it's a brand new site then you could reject them with a 404 (R=404) - preferable to a 403 I think in this instance.

Something like the following (placed before your existing rewrites):

RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} \?parameter=([^\ ]*)\ HTTP/
RewriteRule ^script.php$ /script/%1? [R=301,L]

By comparing against THE_REQUEST we can make sure we only redirect HTTP requests (from the client) and not internal rewrites by Apache.

The %1 in the RewriteRule substitution refers to the parenthesised sub pattern in the RewriteCond pattern. Whilst a question mark (?) at the end of the RewriteRule substitution removes the original query string from the request.

  • Code works fine, but I ve changed redirect to 404. Thanks for this tip I see this more particulary useful. Marked as best answer.
    – Xarvalus
    Nov 19, 2013 at 13:22

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