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Prepare your server for clean URLs

If for some reason clean URLs are not enabled in Backdrop out of the box, you may still be able to enable them, eliminating the ?q= in your site's URLs. This documentation section here explains how to do it, with the instructions being largely applicable only for the most common server setup. This usually is an Apache web server running on some flavor of Unix/Linux, with the mod_rewrite Apache module configured, and mod_rewrite enabled in the httpd.conf configuration file. If you are running Backdrop on a different type of server, check the Backdrop CMS forum to see if there might be a topic or comment that addresses your server configuration.

Before enabling clean URLs in the Backdrop configuration pages (next pages in the handbook), you may need to prepare your server for clean URLs to work. There are two ways to prepare your server for clean URLs to work in Backdrop:

  • If you have complete control of your server, for example: you run your own server; are installing a development site on your personal computer; or you have a dedicated server hosting account. Then you should enable clean URLs in the httpd.conf file for better performance and security.
  • If you have a shared hosting account (at DreamHost, BlueHost, HostGator, GoDaddy, 1and1, et al.), you will not be able to modify the httpd.conf file and should use the Backdrop .htaccess file instead.

Find more about the various officially-supported servers.