I have .htaccess containing RewriteCond and RewriteRule.

It used to work just fine (it's been a long time since I last checked), but now it has stopped working. I have narrowed it down to the following example.

Suppose I want to redirect www.mydomain.com/foo but not when foo occurs anywhere else; so, for example, don't redirect if the URI is /abc/foo, /abcfoo, or /foobar.

Here is my current .htaccess file:

Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks -Multiviews

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond  %{REQUEST_URI}  ^/foo$
RewriteRule  .  /redirect.html  [last,redirect=temp]

I have tried changing ^/foo$ in various ways, but I can't get this to work.

The following all work as expected:

foo         Redirects wherever foo appears, e.g. /abcfoobar
foo$        Redirects whenever foo appears at the end, e.g. /abc/defoo
/foo        Redirects whenever /foo appears, e.g. /abc/foobar
/foo$       Redirects whenever /foo appears at the end, e.g. /abc/foo

The following always return 404 Not found, no matter what I put as the URI.


I don't know what's going on.

Please help me fix this. In case it helps, I'm using GoDaddy hosting.

  • Just as a test to see what %{REQUEST_URI} actually contains, you could try something like: RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !test RewriteRule . /test%{REQUEST_URI} [R=302,L] - What does it (try to) redirect to? Specifically, what is after "/test"? – MrWhite Feb 9 '15 at 19:48
  • @w3d I've just spotted your suggestion. If I'd seen it earlier, it would have helped me. I shall remember this, thank you! See my answer for the explanation. – Paddy Landau Feb 9 '15 at 20:20

I’m not sure what the problem is in your case (I tested your snippet and it works as expected), but maybe this works for you:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^foo$ /redirect.html [redirect=temp,last]

I’m not an .htaccess expert, but I guess this would even be faster, because the RewriteRule pattern gets processed before RewriteCond.

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  • That works, thanks. The problem was that I wanted to use RewriteRul in conjunction with RewriteCond (for more complex conditions), but as a workaround, I shall use your suggestion, amended as required. As you can confirm that yours is working correctly, I shall get hold of GoDaddy to find out what's happening on their end. Thank you. – Paddy Landau Feb 9 '15 at 18:09
  • I have discovered the problem, which seems to apply specifically to GoDaddy. I've added an answer to explain it. – Paddy Landau Feb 9 '15 at 20:17

I have just discovered the solution! This seems to be a GoDaddy special.

Domains in GoDaddy are kept in subfolders; e.g. mydomain.com might be held in a subfolder called md.

Curiously, the start of %{REQUEST_URI} includes this string. Therefore, my RewriteCond should have read:

RewriteCond  %{REQUEST_URI}  ^/md/foo$

It is not needed if the string does not necessarily start at the beginning. This explains my strange results.

I have edited my title to show that this applies specifically to GoDaddy, in the hope that this helps someone else.

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  • 1
    Interesting! So /md doesn't actually appear in the URL you type in the address bar? It sounds like GoDaddy is doing an internal subrequest to this folder (is REDIRECT_STATUS set)!? Your .htaccess file is presumably in this subfolder? Just curious... what GoDaddy hosting package is this? – MrWhite Feb 9 '15 at 20:54
  • Apparently GoDaddy has updated its hosting package, and I'm still on the older one. I don't know how to check the value of REDIRECT_STATUS. To confirm, /md does not appear in the URL, only in the %{REQUEST_URI} within .htaccess. I wonder if I upgrade to the newer GoDaddy package (which is a lengthy process) if it would still happen. – Paddy Landau Feb 10 '15 at 13:22

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