I'm trying to create some pretty URLs for links querying multiple taxonomies. I'm using the "Taxonomy drill-down" plugin, although the main usage is now integrated @ the core it still has some helpful function for templating :)

An example URL querying multiple taxonomies ( working ) would be: domain.com/?tax1=foo&tax2=bar

My goal is to have links like - domain.com/tax1/foo/tax2/bar - translating to the above example

tax1/2 = taxonomy name

foo/bar = required term

I stumbled upon Examples of WP Rewrites but i think i suck with those patterns and something like:

$newrules['tax1/(.*)/tax2/(.*)/'] = 'index.php?tax1=$matches[1]&tax2=$matches[2]';

doesn't seem to work ( that's just a portion of the whole function based on the Wordpress example )

Any ideas? :)

1 Answer 1


(.*) matches everything, so it will "eat up" the extra characters (it is "greedy"). If the URL is /tax1/foo/tax2/bar/, the first (.*) will be foo/tax2/bar/, so nothing is left for the second match.

Instead of (.*) you can use the "non-greedy" version (.+?). This will match as much as possible, but still keep the rest in mind. You can also use the even stricter version ([^/]+): this will match everything up to the next / - but this will not work for nested categories, so /category/fruit/banana/tag/flies/ will not split up in fruit/banana and flies like you might expect.

If you are going to play with the rewrite rules I recommend you to install my Rewrite analyzer plugin. It allows you to see the current rewrite rules and play with URLs to see which rules will match.

  • Thanks for the answer Jan, i did try tweaking it up and based on Rewrite analyzer ( awesome plugin ) it should work, but i keep getting a 404 error. It must be an issue from the drill-down plugin side.
    – netfreak
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 15:56
  • @netfreak: add_rewrite_rule( 'category/(.+?)/tag/([^/]+)/?', 'index.php?category_name=$matches[1]&tag=$matches[2]', 'top' ); works for me. The Taxonomy drill-down widget does not generate links in that format, but if I go to a URL like /category/banana/tag/hello/ it does only display posts in the category banana and with tag hello.
    – Jan Fabry
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 16:13
  • You rock. i used your latest snippet and now the rewrite works, possible the "/?" at the end? ( i need to study on RegExp asap :) )
    – netfreak
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 16:58
  • @netfreak: Er, I see I missed a final $ too, so it might match too much. category/(.+?)/tag/([^/]+)/?$ should be a better match - and it could be even improved to allow paging. Then it would become add_rewrite_rule( 'category/(.+?)/tag/([^/]+)(/page/(\d+))?/?$', 'index.php?category_name=$matches[1]&tag=$matches[2]&paged=$matches[4]', 'top' );
    – Jan Fabry
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 17:01
  • 1
    @JanFabry you can use qmt_url filter for Taxonomy drill-down URLs: github.com/scribu/wp-query-multiple-taxonomies/wiki/… Commented Nov 3, 2011 at 13:36

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