Forum Topic: WordPress on Windows – index.php and URI issues

Forum: .htaccess Forum : WordPress • Posted by Melissa Raulston • Updated:

I found your book last night and am digging into it but after a quick flip through it was not sure I could figure out how to solve this problem without some guru assistance.

I own my server, W3K3 box that runs WordPress. I have ISAPI Rewrite 3 running to read .htaccess files. I just switched over afer using another rewrite DLL for a long time because I have been searching exhaustively for a solution to my one vexing problem with permalinks.

Here is the issue. Most of my sites are small. I use permalinks in the form of %category%/%postname% because I think they make the most sense in terms of one of my clients giving someone a link.I understand that WordPress says that is not efficient but my clients don’t want to have to tell someone a date-based URL or to include index.php before the category and postname – they need clean, friendly links with words in them.

So. The permalinks work just fine but I discvoered when I encountered a problem with the Gravity Forms return from paypal that though it does not show up in the URL, index.php is still present.

When I send a client to PayPal from Gravity, everything is groovy. Sale processes and all works just fine. When they return, they are not routed back to the confirmation page because the URL passed back includes index.php but that is now how the permalinks are set up.

For example, user goes here:

Does their thing. Paypay tries to return them to

Which fails with a 404.

Took me a while of puzzling and then digging through the logs to figure out that this is why the return trip is failing. Gravity has been no help on this – there stock answer is move to Linux but I have been a Windows person for 15 years and I am not strong enough in Lin to feel secure moving my whole operation to it. So Win it is and before I start trying this, that and the other from your book, thought I would reach out and ask you if you think this problem CAN be solved via .htaccess.

I have temp solved the problem by sending the user to a generic thankyou page but I lose the query string so no on-page confirmation when they return. They get an email with the info so it is not the end of the world but DAMMIT it annoys me!

It seems to be related to the fact that IIS cannot interpret URIs. I don’t know if it can be fixed via .htaccess but I plunked down the moola for your book in hopes that it can because I truly hate unsolved problems like this!

TIA for any help or insight you can provide.



4 Replies to “WordPress on Windows – index.php and URI …”

Posted by Jeff Starr

Hi Melissa,

It sounds like the crux of the issue is removing the index.php from the request. I’m not that familiar with Windows servers, but such a redirect certainly seems possible, perhaps with something like this:

		<rule name="Testing" stopProcessing="true">
			<match url="^/index.php/(.*)$" ignoreCase="false" />
			<action type="Redirect" redirectType="Permanent" url="{R:1}" />

This is attempting to remove the /index.php/ from the requested URL, which works in theory, but may need some fine-tuning to dial it in an actual Windows machine.

Let me know how it goes!

Posted by Melissa Raulston •

Hey Jeff,

THANK YOU! I will run this up the flagpole and report in!


Posted by Melissa Raulston •


Well, THE CLOUDS PARTED AND THE ANGELS SANG! Works PERFECTLY. I have been in the biz a lOOONGGG time and taught young webmasters at FSU for many years – which is to say I have a lot of people in my Friends list that will likely buy your book. I am going right from here to sing your PRAISES.


This problem has vexed me for MONTHS! If there is any Windows advice I can give that will help solve a problem in your forum, CALL ON ME!! I would be very happy to give back.

Kindly and BLESSINGS!


Posted by Jeff Starr

That is great news, Melissa! I’m glad to hear it worked to resolve the issue. Let me know if I may help again in the future, glad to do so. Cheers!