I have rewritten the search_base to suche (german) to get a url like this: http://mypage.com/suche/searchterm

Now when I submit the search form I get to the url /?s=searchterm.

The internetz gives me the same workaround from multiple sources, such as this one: Search results URL without query string variables

add_action("template_redirect", function() {
    if (is_search() && !empty( $_GET["s"] ) ) {
        if (wp_redirect( home_url('/suche/') . urlencode(get_query_var('s')) )) {

My problem with that solution:

  • the redirect results in a noticeably longer delay (even in my local environment)
  • I have to hardcode the suche again, whereas I would like to use the altered search-base

I tried creating my own custom search form with add_filter("get_search_form", ... with action="http://mypage.com/suche/ which still resulted in a get var /suche/?s=searchterm which obviously didn't work.

How can I tell the search form to go directly to /suche/searchterm


  • Use JavaScript to avoid the redirect, or mod_rewrite (also use it as a fallback). The delay stems from having to load WP for the redirect - if you used plain mod_rewrite, it would be much faster.
    – janh
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 9:33
  • I don't understand how a mod_rewrite can alter the url the search form sends to– Isn't the point behind mod_rewrite to leave urls as is and interpret stuff under the hood? – there must be a way to hook into the search send, where the url is generated, mustn't it? Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 9:54
  • mod_rewrite can do normal HTTP redirects (just use an absolute URL as the "to" part of the rule, or use the R flag), it just doesn't need to load WP (which is pricey) for that. The URL is generated by the browser, so WP (server-side) cannot influence it. You will have to use JavaScript if you don't want any redirects to happen and the request to go to the correct pretty URL directly.
    – janh
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 10:06
  • Could you please provide en example of your suggested solution in an answer post? Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


Assuming you make your form's action point to the correct URL, here are Two (and a half) Options:

With Javascript (jQuery)

jQuery(document).ready( function() {
    jQuery("#searchform").submit( function() {
        self.location.href = jQuery(this).attr("action") + jQuery("#s").val();
        return false;

You could also do it without jQuery (if you don't use jQuery on your site and don't want to load it just for this). Here's a simple version of that (probably not super cross browser, but I haven't tested it), which you can expand on:

<form action="/suche/" onsubmit="self.location.href=this.getAttribute('action') + document.getElementById('s').value; return false;">
<input type="text" name="s" id="s" />
<input type="submit"></form>

With a rewrite rule:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^s=(.*)
RewriteRule ^(.*?)/?$ $1/%1? [R=302,L]

This would work on any URL that gets ?s=... passed, you might want to limit that to your actual search, as in

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^s=(.*)
RewriteRule ^suche/$ /suche/%1? [R=302,L]

And if you pass multiple arguments in that form (say, a category and a string to search for), this would have to be adapted accordingly, right now it just assumes that there's only one parameter, and it's the query string.

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