smileIf you’ve just downloaded IIRF – Ionic Shades friendly URL rewriter, but you can’t quite get get it running here’s a really easy to follow walkthrough to get your site up and running. There’s also a solution for WordPress to.

(Yes, I trawled the Internet to and none of the code I could find worked – This code will, first time Guaranteed!)

This is a complete walk-through/tutorial to get Ionic Shades IIRF clean and friendly URL rewriter up and running in just a few minutes (in fact the URL’s are so friendly I think they’re starting to interbreed – but that’s another story).

This post is specifically written for Windows 2003 Server and it has a complete and  working example of the code you need to use for your IsapiRewrite4.ini file. If you just need the IsapiRewrite4.ini code you can skip to the end and just copy n’ paste, but this post might make a useful check list.

I know I’m not talking to idiots, but after the number of websites I’ve visited that provide dis-information / wrong information / code that simply doesn’t work. I thought I’d cover absolutely every angle – leaving no stone unturned, so that this post can become a sensible benchmark for people wanting to get IIRF easily up and running. Once you’ve done this a few times you’ll be able to get a new IIS website up and running with IIRF in about 20 seconds – literally!

This tutorial will allow you to host multiple websites on IIS6, whether they be Drupal (any version) or WordPress (any version) or both. I’m hosting over 40 sites on my Windows 2003 server and IIRF is rock solid, completely free and had I been suckered into useing ISAPI_Rewrite3 it would of cost $3,960! (£2374)

Create a directory on your system and arbitrarily name it ‘ISAPI‘. Don’t place it within your websites folder, but either one directory lower, or on another partition.

Right click on the newly created ISAPI folder and select Properties > Security tab > Add.

Now click on the Advanced button. Like so…


You’ll now see the Advanced dialogue box. Select Object Types


And just tick the box that says Computers


And then click OK.

Next click on the Find Now button, scroll down the list until you find IIS_WPG and IUSR_YourComputerName


(Use CTRL to make multiple selections – I did say earlier that I know you’re not stupid, but this tutorial is not just for Drupal developers, it’s also for WordPress users – LOL! Remember this website is WordPress and it’s helping you out right now so R.E.S.P.E.C.T)

Now click OK. and then OK again to add those names you have just selected

You’re now back at the Security tab, select the computer user IIS_WPG and give it the following permissions – no more, no less, it’s a security thing… Read & Execute, List Folder Contents, Read.


And now select the user Internet Guest Account – IUSR_YourComputerName and give it the following permissions:

Modify, Read & Execute, List Folder Contents, Read, Write.


Oy, this tut is taking me forever. I do hope you leave me a comment when your site is up and running.
(or maybe click on a Google Ad banner – Eeek! I didn’t just say that…)

Now click OK.

Right, that’s your folder permissions all done. If you want to use IIRF with multiple websites, just create a folder inside your ISAPI folder and call it yourdomainname and place the files IsapiRewrite4.dll and IsapiRewrite4.ini in there.

Drupal (all versions) IsapiRewrite4.ini code. Yes this code really does work. It’s running right now on Windows 2003 server for my Astrophysics website in fact if you click on the link you’ll see the URL get re-written to


(all versions)

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.manonmars\.co\.uk).*$ [I]
RedirectRule ^/(.*)$$1 [I,R=301]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^/(?!favicon.ico$)([^?]*)(?:\?(.*))?$ /index.php?q=$1&$2 [L]

If you have a dot com, then it’s a simple modification to this:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.yourdomainname\.com).*$ [I]
RedirectRule ^/(.*)$$1 [I,R=301]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^/(?!favicon.ico$)([^?]*)(?:\?(.*))?$ /index.php?q=$1&$2 [L]


(all versions)

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(caspianit\.co\.uk).*$ [I]
RedirectRule ^/(.*)$$1 [I,R=301]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ /index.php/$1 [L]

Again, if you have a dot com, it’s a simple modification to this:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(yourdomainname\.com).*$ [I]
RedirectRule ^/(.*)$$1 [I,R=301]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ /index.php/$1 [L]

Just make sure you have your IsapiRewrite4.dll and IsapiRewrite4.ini in the same folder. You won’t have any trouble at all, this code will work first time. If there’s any chance you have a problem,  re-boot your server. There is probably another way of doing this without re-booting, but I don’t know what it is.

And now last, but by no means least:


Just run your Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager. Open your websites folder and select the website that you’d like clean / friendly URL working on.

Right click on your website and select Properties.


Now go to the ISAPI Filters tab and click the Add button.


Under Filter name: put some text in (this text is arbitrary, but it’s useful to put something appropriate in such as Ionic Shade’s IIRF). Then click on the Browse button and locate the file IsapiRewrite4.dll which is in your ISAPI folder.


And then click OK.

You know what? You’re done. That’s it, all finished. Will it work? YES IT WILL. Will you have any problems? NO YOU WON’T. If for any reason you don’t have immediate success, the only thing you will need to do is to re-boot your server.

I would like to thank the man who is so cool, even his own Mother knows him only as Ionic Shade… for writing IIRF, it’s absolutely great, it’s powerfull and it’s completely free. Though I’m sure he would appreciate a small donation – as might I (hint, hint). But if you’re poor and can’t afford it, no problem whatsoever. I’m glad to of helped!

Happy Web Designing!



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