Can Web Server Do URL Rewriting?


Angela Bailey

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Can Web Server Do URL Rewriting?

URL rewriting is an essential technique used in web development to make URLs more user-friendly and search engine friendly. It helps in creating clean and meaningful URLs that are easy to understand and remember.

But can a web server handle URL rewriting? Let’s find out.

What is URL Rewriting?

URL rewriting is the process of modifying the URL of a webpage dynamically. It allows you to transform complex URLs into simpler ones that are descriptive and easier to read. This technique is commonly used for creating user-friendly URLs, improving search engine optimization (SEO), and enhancing website navigation.

Types of URL Rewriting

There are various methods of implementing URL rewriting:

  • Server-Side URL Rewriting:
  • This method involves modifying the URLs on the server before sending them to the client’s browser. The server intercepts the incoming requests, processes them according to predefined rules, and then serves the appropriate content with rewritten URLs.

  • Client-Side URL Rewriting:
  • In this approach, JavaScript is used to modify the URLs on the client-side after the page has been loaded. When a user clicks on a link or performs an action, JavaScript manipulates the URL without reloading the entire page.

  • .htaccess File Based Rewriting:
  • The .htaccess file is a configuration file used by Apache web servers.

    It allows you to define rules for rewriting URLs directly within your website’s directory structure. This method is powerful as it enables you to rewrite URLs without modifying your application’s code.

  • URL Rewriting Modules:
  • Many web servers have built-in URL rewriting modules that can be configured to rewrite URLs. For example, Apache HTTP Server has the mod_rewrite module, IIS has the URL Rewrite module, and Nginx has the ngx_http_rewrite_module.

Can a Web Server Handle URL Rewriting?

Yes, a web server can handle URL rewriting. Most modern web servers provide built-in functionality or modules specifically designed for URL rewriting. These modules allow you to define rules for rewriting URLs based on specific patterns or conditions.

The server-side URL rewriting method is widely used and supported by popular web servers like Apache, Nginx, and IIS. These servers offer powerful URL rewriting modules that provide extensive capabilities for modifying URLs.

The .htaccess file-based approach is commonly used with Apache web servers. It enables you to define rewrite rules within your website’s directory structure without modifying the server’s configuration files. This flexibility makes it easier to manage and update your rewrite rules without affecting other websites hosted on the same server.

Benefits of Web Server URL Rewriting

The ability of a web server to handle URL rewriting brings several benefits:

  • Improved SEO: By creating user-friendly and descriptive URLs, search engines can better understand your website’s content, leading to improved search engine rankings.
  • Better User Experience: Clean and readable URLs are easier for users to remember and share. They also provide a sense of trust and professionalism.
  • Easier Website Maintenance: With URL rewriting, you can make changes to your website’s structure without affecting existing external links or bookmarks.
  • Enhanced Security: URL rewriting can help protect sensitive information by hiding specific parameters or directories from the URL.


In conclusion, web servers are capable of handling URL rewriting. Whether it’s through built-in modules or .htaccess file-based configuration, modern web servers provide powerful tools to rewrite URLs. By utilizing URL rewriting techniques, you can create clean and user-friendly URLs that improve SEO, enhance the user experience, and simplify website maintenance.

So go ahead and leverage the power of URL rewriting to make your website’s URLs more appealing and meaningful!

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