Convert Apache .htaccess to IIS web.config

How to convert .htaccess to web.config

This post describes some of the IIS URL Rewrite equivalents of commonly used Apache/.htaccess settings. You may find this useful when you want to convert .htaccess to web.config for IIS 7.5 and 8.0 web.config. The second part of this series outlines how to use Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 Manager to import and convert a .htaccess file to web.config. You might also be interested in some .htaccess examples for IIS (to use with Helicon Ape).


Convert Apache .htaccess to IIS web.config

IIS 7.5 / 8.0 web.config equivalents for Apache’s .htaccess (modules like mod_dir, mod_headers, mod_mime mod_rewrite and mod_gzip). Most Apache .htaccess modules are supported in the IIS URL Rewrite module or as web.config directive. You just need to know where to find the correct IIS equivalent for Apache .htaccess.

mod_dir

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_dir.html
Provides for “trailing slash” redirects and serving directory index files

IIS web.config: trailing directory slash

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <rewrite>
      <rules>
        <rule name="Add trailing slash" stopProcessing="true">
          <match url="(.*[^/])$" />
          <conditions>
            <!-- if no file by that name exists -->
            <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true" />
            <!-- if a directory by that name does exist -->
            <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="false" />
          </conditions>
          <action type="Redirect" redirectType="Permanent" url="{R:1}/" />
        </rule>
      </rules>
    </rewrite>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

IIS web.config: default document -or directory index- files and their order

list of resources to look for when the client requests a directory

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <defaultDocument>
      <files>
        <!-- delete all currently configured index files -->
        <clear />
        <!-- add first index file -->
        <add value="index.php" />
        <!-- add second index file -->
        <add value="index.html" />
      </files>
    </defaultDocument>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

IIS web.config: enable and disable directory browsing

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <!-- set to false to disable -->
    <directoryBrowse enabled="true" />
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

mod_headers

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_headers.html
Customization of HTTP request and response headers

IIS web.config: some example response headers

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <httpProtocol>
      <customHeaders>
        <remove name="ETag"/>
        <!-- Set a Access-Control-Allow-Origin header -->
        <add name="Access-Control-Allow-Origin" value="*"/>
        <!-- Set a X-UA-Compatible header -->
        <add name="X-UA-Compatible" value="IE=Edge,chrome=1"/>
        <!-- remove the X-Powered-By header -->
        <remove name="X-Powered-By"/>
        <!-- Set a Cache-Control header with max-age=691200 value -->
        <add name="Cache-Control" value="max-age=691200" />
      </customHeaders>
    </httpProtocol>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

mod_mime

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_mime.html
Associates the requested filename’s extensions with the file’s behavior (handlers and filters) and content (mime-type, language, character set and encoding)

IIS web.config: set MIME-type and charset for file extensions

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <httpProtocol>
      <staticContent>
        <remove fileExtension=".html" />
        <mimeMap fileExtension=".html" mimeType="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
        <remove fileExtension=".htm" />
        <mimeMap fileExtension=".htm" mimeType="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
        <!-- DON'T set UTF-8 for .css, it breaks markup in Internet Explorer -->
        <!--
          <remove fileExtension=".css" />
          <mimeMap fileExtension=".css" mimeType="text/css; charset=UTF-8" />
        -->
        <remove fileExtension=".css" />
        <mimeMap fileExtension=".css" mimeType="text/css" />
        <remove fileExtension=".js" />
        <mimeMap fileExtension=".js" mimeType="text/javascript; charset=UTF-8" />
      </staticContent>
    </httpProtocol>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

mod_rewrite

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_rewrite.html
Provides a rule-based rewriting engine to rewrite requested URLs on the fly

 

IIS web.config: equivalent (most commenly used variant)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <rewrite>
      <rules>
        <rule name="wordpress" patternSyntax="Wildcard">
	  <match url="*" />
	    <conditions>
	      <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true" />
	      <add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="true" />
	    </conditions>
	    <action type="Rewrite" url="index.php" />
	</rule>
      </rules>
    </rewrite>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

mod_deflate

http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_deflate.html
Compress content before it is delivered to the client

IIS web.config: gzip compression (not deflate), for both static and dynamic file types

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <!-- set minFileSizeForComp to 256 kilobytes, the minimum size to allow compression -->
    <httpCompression minFileSizeForComp="256">
      <scheme name="gzip" dll="%Windir%\system32\inetsrv\gzip.dll" />
      <dynamicTypes>
        <clear />
        <add mimeType="text/*" enabled="true" />
        <add mimeType="message/*" enabled="true" />
        <!-- text/javascript MUST BE the same as in the mimeMap -->
        <add mimeType="text/javascript" enabled="true" />
        <add mimeType="*/*" enabled="false" />
      </dynamicTypes>
      <staticTypes>
        <clear />
        <add mimeType="text/*" enabled="true" />
        <add mimeType="message/*" enabled="true" />
        <!-- text/javascript MUST BE the same as in the mimeMap -->
        <add mimeType="text/javascript" enabled="true" />
        <add mimeType="*/*" enabled="false" />
      </staticTypes>
    </httpCompression>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

Compression with gzip is mostly configured at the webserver level

Freebies, web.config examples

You can configure a lot of other neat stuff in your web.config file. Three (3) examples.

freebie #1: Set Expire headers to 30 days for static content

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <httpProtocol>
      <staticContent>
        <!-- Set expire headers to 30 days for static content -->
        <clientCache cacheControlMode="UseMaxAge" cacheControlMaxAge="30.00:00:00" />
      </staticContent>
    </httpProtocol>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

freebie #2: remove/disable unused handlers

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <handlers>
      <!-- remove Perl (.cgi, .pl) if unused -->
      <remove name="PerlPLX" />
      <!-- remove PHP3 (.php3) if unused -->
      <remove name="PHP3" />
      <!-- remove PHP4 (.php4) if unused -->
      <remove name="PHP4" />
      <!-- remove ISAPI_RewriteProxy 64-bit if unused -->
      <remove name="ISAPI_RewriteProxy-64" />
      <!-- remove ISAPI_RewriteProxy if unused -->
      <remove name="ISAPI_RewriteProxy" />
      <!-- remove PHP (.php) if unused -->
      <remove name="PHP" />
    </handlers>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

freebie #3: remove/disable unused modules, or add them

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <modules>
      <!-- remove Helicontech APE -->
      <remove name="Helicon.Ape" />
      <!-- Add Uri- File- and Token cache modules -->
      <!-- for IIS Output Cache -->
      <add name="UriCacheModule" />
      <add name="FileCacheModule" />
      <add name="TokenCacheModule" />
    </modules>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

IIS 7.0 Manager import

Import .htaccess file with Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 Manager and convert to web.config

In the second part of this post series you can learn how to use Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 Manager to import and convert a .htaccess file to web.config:

IIS Outbound Rewrite Rules

Also see for more information on IIS Outbound Rules:

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