RewriteRule only works with numbers

I currently try to get the link


to act as a link with e.g. an additional website tag:


I set up a RewriteRule in the .htaccess that looks as following:

RewriteRule ^subdir/(.*)/$ subdir.php?website=$1 [L]

When I use numbers (example.com/subdir/123/), echo $_GET["website"] successfully echoes "123". As soon as I use alphabetical letters (example.com/subdir/abc/) it does not work.

How do I get this changed? Is this an issue with WordPress? I have set the permalink option in the WordPress Settings Dashboard to "Post name". I tried other methods, too, but nothing has changed.


Leave .htaccess alone. You can use WordPress rewrite API for this.

add_action( 'init', function(){
    return add_rewrite_rule(
        'subdir/([^/]+)/?$', // ([^/]+) takes alphanumeric, while ([0-9]+) accepts digits

add_filter('query_vars', function($v){ return array_merge(array('website'),$v); });

First make sure subdir is a valid page slug, in this example. After you save that code to your child theme's functions file or plugin, you can now use get_query_var('website') to get the website property rather than using $_GET global.

Hope that helps.

  • Hey Samuel, thanks for your answer. I tried to use your code, but I still receive 404s when using alphanumerics, while numbers are still working. I removed the rule from .htaccess, so that can't be the reason why it still occurs. It is also a valid page slug. These Rules are also within the .htaccess: RewriteEngine On RewriteBase / RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L,NS] RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d RewriteRule . /index.php [L,NS] Is one of them blocking it? For me, it does not seem like it. Thanks in Advance!
    – H. Grimm
    Nov 27 '16 at 22:09
  • After adding the code, did you go to Settings > Permalinks and hit the saving button (to flush the rules)? Just restore your .htaccess with a fresh copy from WordPress
    – Ismail
    Nov 27 '16 at 22:28
  • Flushing the rules did it finally! Thank you so much Samuel, you really ended my hours-long struggle! =)
    – H. Grimm
    Nov 27 '16 at 22:36
  • You're very welcome. Have a good day!
    – Ismail
    Nov 27 '16 at 22:38

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