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htaccess rewrite rule

I have a fashion site and want to create seo friendly urls for all the brand pages. I have a dynamically generated central brand page which pulls all the active brands out of the database. The brand listings then link to the product.php page as follows:
<li><a href="product.php?BrandName=<?php echo $row_rsDesigners['BrandName']; ?>" target="_self"><?php echo $row_rsDesigners['BrandName']; ?></a></li>

If the brand is james-jeans, I want the url for that page to be simply james-jeans.php. I realise I need to rewrite my html link, but can someone give me the corrent htaccess code for achieving this bearing in mind that the items on the product page are filtered by the BrandName passed by the URL.

I just can't seem to get my head around this!! Thanks in advance.

2 Solutions
Ludwig DiehlSystems ArchitectCommented:
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^.+BrandName=([A-Za-z0-9\-\_\.]+).*$ http://$1.php [R,NC]

This will, in case it matches, rewrite ur url to BrandNames' value-

Lets say you have this url:   "product.php?BrandName=james-jeans"
then it should be redirected (rewritten) to  "http://james-jeans.php"
Based on your sample, why even bother using rewrite?  Just have your product.php file force the redirect for you, and then you would have even more control, like using addition parameters, session variables, etc.

  if (isset($_GET['BrandName'])) {
    header("Location: /" . $_GET['BrandName'] . ".php");
  } else {
    header("Location: /default_location.php");
DallySPAuthor Commented:
Ok - thank you for both answers. Very helpful - although, I'm being terribly thick here - I still can't get either to work, probably because I'm writing the paths wrong. I like the idea of rewriting the headers as this site is already live and presumably this will save me having to rewrite all my html links? Although I would like to crack this htaccess thing too as its been a bit of a brick wall for a while now and would I be right in thinking its a bit more secure?
So to clarify the .htaccess method first. I want the link to direct to
Is this correct?
Rewrite my link as follows:
<li><a href="james-jeans.php" target="_self">James Jeans</a></li>

then in .htaccess - is this right?:
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^.+BrandName=([A-Za-z0-9\-\_\.]+).*$ http://www.sitename.com/$1.php [R,NC]

I had been trying this previously but this doesn't work either!:
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^([A-Za-z0-9-]+)\/([A-Za-z0-9-]+)\.php$ product.php?BrandName=$1 [NC,L]

Secondly (and I'm not that familiar with re-writing headers - so go easy) - should this script work as is? I've been testing it but can't seem to get it to work. on my local host it goes to:
http://localhost/james-jeans.php which doesn't exist and on my server to my custom404 page.
Do I need any more backslashes or can I put the full path in and if so what would be the correct syntax.

It would be really great if I could get both these to work, so thanks again for your help.

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Ludwig DiehlSystems ArchitectCommented:
Hey. Have u should first check the following:

1. is mod_rewrite installed?
2. is it activated?
3. RewriteEngine on must be included in order tu use it.

Your example may not work because your base directory is "/" which means it points to localhost.
I think you should put this:

RewriteBase http://www.sitename.com/

DallySPAuthor Commented:
thanks for this - yes def. got all the mod rewrite installed and activated will try the rewritebase
CWS (haripriya)Commented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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