Friendly URLs and the Zend Router

Creating custom friendly URLs using the Zend framework is really simple. The default routing setup for Zend is : ‘:module/:controller/:action/*’, (* will match any var/value) which is fine for most setups. However on some pages having the var/value might not look very good, for example this url is not very readable:

/popular/index/type/images/page/1/sortOrder/alltime (controller/action/var/value/var/value/var/value)

We would prefer something like this:

Luckily Zend provides a very flexible router that we can configure as we want. To start with, we create a new config file called routes.ini, and adds these lines:

routes.popular.route = popular/:type/:page/:sortOrder
routes.popular.defaults.controller = popular
routes.popular.defaults.action = index
routes.popular.defaults.type = images
routes.popular.defaults.sortOrder = alltime = 1
routes.popular.reqs.type = \w+ = \d+
routes.popular.reqs.sortOrder = \w+

routes.popular.route tells us what to match. routes.popular.defaults.* sets default values for the variables (if none are given in the url). routes.popular.reqs.* sets requirements on the variables, for example that page must be a number.

The last thing we need to do is add a few lines to our bootstrap.php:

$config = new Zend_Config_Ini(APPLICATION_PATH . '/config/routes.ini');
$router = $frontController->getRouter();

If you want to learn more about the Zend Framework:


8 thoughts on “Friendly URLs and the Zend Router

  1. Good tks. It would be good to tell people where does $frontController comes from (Zend_Controller_From::getinstance()). Some people don’t know that.

  2. I have made the changes as you have mentioned ..

    1>I created a routes.ini file and put in my config folder
    2>In my bootstrap file i have added the code as mentioned in your blog.

    Then when i try to run my code for that particular link…
    i am not getting the url friendly urls..

    For your help…

    —————–My routes.ini—————————–
    routes.popular.route = popular/:type
    routes.popular.defaults.controller = order
    routes.popular.defaults.action = index
    routes.popular.defaults.type = myorder
    routes.popular.reqs.type = \w+ = \d+
    routes.popular.reqs.sortOrder = \w+


    $config1 = new Zend_Config_Ini( APP_PATH .DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR . ‘/config/routes.ini’ );

    $router1 = $front->getRouter();

    Please help…

    Do i need to make changes in any other place as in the corresponding action…..


  3. @Vishal What version of Zend Framework are you using? The default way of bootstrapping an zend application has changed some since I wrote the post.

  4. I got in bootstrap this (insted of $frontController->getRouter()):

    $config = new Zend_Config_Ini(APPLICATION_PATH . ‘/configs/routes.ini’, ‘routes’);
    $router = Zend_Controller_Front::getInstance()->getRouter();
    $router->addConfig($config, ‘routes’);

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