I define a rewrite rule on an init hook like:

add_rewrite_rule( 'foobar/(abc|def|ghi)/(.+)(/(\d.+))', 'index.php?my_action=$matches[1]&my_name=$matches[2]&my_version=$matches[4]', 'top');

This works with following URL on a single WP installation:


However it doesn't on a multisite installation.

It seems there's problem with rewrite rules on multisite an there's ticket #19896 which describes a similar problem on "non WP rules"

I have no idea what I should add to the .htaccess file and I prefer a "proper" solution.


I have forget something important:

I'm using WordPress MU Domain Mapping to use different domains and while the network is on network.example.com the site I use add_rewrite_rule is sub.example.com

  • Since you rewrite to index.php it should work. Did you flush your rules?
    – Z. Zlatev
    Sep 20, 2014 at 14:36
  • about 10 times ;)
    – Xaver
    Sep 20, 2014 at 14:56
  • you don't have a non-wp rule, because you're pointing it to index.php. are you certain this works on a single installation? your query string doesn't contain any native query vars, so it can't generate a main query and will 404, the behavior you see is completely expected.
    – Milo
    Sep 20, 2014 at 16:07
  • Yes, that ticket definitely does not apply to you. Rewrite rules that start with index.php are WP rules and don't modify the .htaccess file.
    – Otto
    Sep 20, 2014 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


It seems the problem is not with add_rewrite_rule rather with the .htaccessfile for the multi site.

One of the test addresses was


Here's a part of the htaccess which causes the result (Line 2)

RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $2 [L]
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*\.php)$ $2 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

If I comment this line out it works as expected but it may break other thing. So you have to add your own rule above the latest block:

RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?foobar/(abc|def|ghi)/(.+)(/(\d.+))$ index.php?my_action=$2&my_name=$3&my_version=$5 [R=301,L]

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