RewriteRule redirect without the query stringRewriteRule redirect without the query string

Posted February 22nd, 2013 in Apache

When redirecting all requests from one domain name to another one when the URL structure has changed, you'll ideally want to craft redirects from the old scheme to the new one. Sometimes this is too complex or messy, and it's easiest to just redirect everything to the new domain's homepage. If they have query strings at the end of the URL then Apache's RedirectMatch and RewriteRule with automatically include the query string in the redirect location. This post shows how to solve this.

The problem

We wanted all requests from old.example.com to go to new.example.com. This can be achieved easily like this in Apache:

<virtualhost *:80>
    ServerName old.example.com
    RedirectMatch permanent (.*) http://new.example.com/
</virtualhost>

or like this with a rewrite rule:

<virtualhost *:80>
    ServerName old.example.com
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule .* http://new.example.com/ [R=301]
</virtualhost>

The only problem was that the old domain we were redirecting from had stuff like this (this is a nice example, there were some pretty nasty URLs on the old website):

http://old.example.com/afa.asp?idWebPage=50549

Using either of the above examples, this will redirect to:

http://new.example.com/?idWebPage=50549

While this may not cause any issues with the new domain/website, it's not really ideal. We don't want the ?idWebPage=50549 bit at the end.

The solution

The solution is rediculously easy. Simply add the ? after the rewrite rule target like so:

<virtualhost *:80>
    ServerName old.example.com
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule .* http://new.example.com/? [R=301]
</virtualhost>

http://old.example.com/afa.asp?idWebPage=50549 will now do a permanent redirect to http://new.example.com/ but it won't put ?idWebPage=50549 at the end, nor will it put ? at the end.

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