TODO: Move relevant parts of this to Diagnostics under the section about clean URLs, then delete this FAQ.

FAQ: Clean URLs don’t work

These and similar problems happen when you use ‘clean’ URL mode on a server that doesn’t support mod_rewrite in .htaccess, or requires additional configuration in order to work. The .htaccess file supplied with Textpattern is designed to work on most Apache servers, but there is no universal solution.

The Textpattern Diagnostics administration panel will attempt to warn you if it can determine that clean URLs are not supported on your system. However, it doesn’t detect all incompatible servers - the absence of a warning does not mean that your server supports clean URLs.

The simplest solution is to use ‘messy’ URLs instead (see Article URL pattern, and remove or move aside the .htaccess file).

Some servers support mod_rewrite, but require some additional configuration in order to make it work properly.

If your web server is Apache, and supports mod_rewrite in .htaccess, you can find some suggestions for specific web hosts in this forum thread.

On servers that support mod_rewrite, the most common solution is to uncomment (remove the leading # from) this line in .htaccess:

#RewriteBase /relative/web/path/

..and change the path as appropriate. If Textpattern is installed in your website root (i.e. the front Textpattern page is at, you should use this:

RewriteBase /

If Textpattern is installed in a subdirectory (the front Textpattern page is at

RewriteBase /mydir/

Other changes required on some hosts include:

DirectoryIndex index.php index.html


Options +FollowSymLinks

Both of these lines are included in the default .htaccess file, so you can simply uncomment them (remove the leading # from them).

If you are configuring your own Apache server, or using a hosting arrangement that lets you modify your own Apache configuration settings, you might need to add the following to the appropriate place in httpd.conf:

AllowOverride FileInfo

If none of those changes work, or if they cause a 500 server error, you’ll need to use ‘messy’ URLs instead, or ask your hosting company for help.

See something wrong in this document? Outdated info, a broken link, faulty code example, or whatever? Please write an issue and we’ll fix it.