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Method 3 of SEF

Method 3: The ForceType Directive


You'll recall that the thing that trips up Google, and maybe even other search engines, when using the PATH_INFO method is the period in the middle of the URL. So what if there was a way to use that method without the period? Guess what? There is! Its achieved using Apache'’s ForceType directive.

The ForceType directive allows you to override any default MIME types you have set up. Usually it may be used to parse an HTML page as PHP or something similar, but in this case we will use it to parse a file with no extension as PHP.

So instead of using article.php, as we did in method 1, rename that file to just "article". You will then be able to access it like this:, utilizing Apache's look back feature and PATH_INFO variable as described in method 1. But now, Apache doesn’t know to that "article" needs to be parsed as php. To tell it that, you must add the following to your .htaccess file.

<Files article>
ForceType application/x-httpd-php

This is known as a "container". Instead of applying directives to all files, Apache allows you to limit them by filename, location, or directory. You need to create a container as above and place the directives inside it. In this case we use a file container, we identify “article” as the file we're concerned with, and then we list the directives we want applied to this file before closing off the container.

By placing the directive inside the container, we tell Apache to parse "article" as a PHP script even though it has no file extension. This allows us to get rid of the period in the URL that causes the problems, and yet still use the PATH_INFO method to manage our site.


The only drawback to this method as compared with method 2 is that your URLs will be slightly longer. For instance, if I were to use this method on my site, I'd have to use URLs like this: instead of However if you had a site like SitePoint and used this method it wouldn't be such a problem, as the URL ( ) would make more sense.


I have outlined 3 methods of making search engine friendly URLs - along with their drawbacks. Obviously, you should evaluate these drawbacks before deciding which method to implement. And if you have any questions about the implementation of these techniques, they are oft-discussed topics on the SitePoint Forums so just stop in and make a post.
taken from: )


Method 2 of SEF

Search Engine Friendly URLs

Method 1 of SEF

Search Engine Friendly