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Wordpress Pretty-URL Rewriting in IIS

The quickest, and in my opinion the safest1, way to get pretty-URLs working in IIS is to create a custom 404 handler. This wp-404-handler.php file is here:

$pos = strrpos($qs, '://');
$pos = strpos($qs, '/', $pos + 4);
$_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] = substr($qs, $pos);

It’s a simple thing, but it works pretty well. Just add this file to your wp root directory and point IIS’s 404 handler to that file (URL, not File). A free, 2 minute fix to a problem that shouldn’t exist2.

  1. My own experience has been that installing any third-party extension for IIS is time-consuming, costly, and breaks IIS in very unexpected ways which — even after an uninstall — is a nightmare to fix. YMMV. 

  2. IIS should’ve had rewrites bundled as-of IIS4. AFAIK they’re still not available even in IIS7! 

Originally posted: Sep 11 2012