Simple php url routing controller 1

Posted by Dan Sosedoff on July 04, 2009

!!! CONSIDER THIS AS AN UPDATE:Rails-like PHP Url Router

Here is simple url parser, that produces output parameters lile: controller, action, parameters. Also, it support simple virtual key rules, “rails” style.

For example, url like “″ will produce parameters: controller = book, action = view, id = 12.

Here is php code:

/* ------------------------------------------------------------- */
/* URL Router class */
/* ------------------------------------------------------------- */
class Router {
  static protected $instance;
  static protected $controller;
  static protected $action;
  static protected $params;
  static protected $rules;
  public static function getInstance() {
    if (isset(self::$instance) and (self::$instance instanceof self)) {
      return self::$instance;
    } else {
      self::$instance = new self();
      return self::$instance;
  private static function arrayClean($array) {
    foreach($array as $key => $value) {
      if (strlen($value) == 0) unset($array[$key]);
  private static function ruleMatch($rule, $data) {    
    $ruleItems = explode('/',$rule); self::arrayClean(&$ruleItems);
    $dataItems = explode('/',$data); self::arrayClean(&$dataItems);
    if (count($ruleItems) == count($dataItems)) {
      $result = array();
      foreach($ruleItems as $ruleKey => $ruleValue) {
        if (preg_match('/^:[\w]{1,}$/',$ruleValue)) {
          $ruleValue = substr($ruleValue,1);
          $result[$ruleValue] = $dataItems[$ruleKey];
        else {
          if (strcmp($ruleValue,$dataItems[$ruleKey]) != 0) {
            return false;
      if (count($result) > 0) return $result;
    return false;
  private static function defaultRoutes($url) {
    // process default routes
    $items = explode('/',$url);
    // remove empty blocks
    foreach($items as $key => $value) {
      if (strlen($value) == 0) unset($items[$key]);
    // extract data
    if (count($items)) {
      self::$controller = array_shift($items);
      self::$action = array_shift($items);
      self::$params = $items;
  protected function __construct() {
    self::$rules = array();
  public static function init() {
    $url = $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];
    $isCustom = false;
    if (count(self::$rules)) {
      foreach(self::$rules as $ruleKey => $ruleData) {
        $params = self::ruleMatch($ruleKey,$url);
        if ($params) {          
          self::$controller = $ruleData['controller'];
          self::$action = $ruleData['action'];
          self::$params = $params;
          $isCustom = true;
    if (!$isCustom) self::defaultRoutes($url);
    if (!strlen(self::$controller)) self::$controller = 'home';
    if (!strlen(self::$action)) self::$action = 'index';
  public static function addRule($rule, $target) {
    self::$rules[$rule] = $target;
  public static function getController() { return self::$controller; }
  public static function getAction() { return self::$action; }
  public static function getParams() { return self::$params; }
  public static function getParam($id) { return self::$params[$id]; }

Basic usage:

$router = Router::getInstance(); // init router
$router->addRule('/books/:id/:keyname',array('controller' => 'books', 'action' => 'view')); // add simple rule
// add some more rules
$router->init(); // execute router

So, as you can see, the router class can be accessible from anywhere in your code. Just because the class has beed designed as one-instance object, you cannot call for new instance. To get instance of router you need to call Router::getInstance() instead.
We have added simple rule for url`s like this ‘/books/12345/this-is-a-book-keyname’. Default routing system will identify this url incorrectly (controller => books, action => 12345). So the action 12345 not exists. That`s why we need to add custom rule. It will parse this url correctly: controller => books, action => view. And the rest of parameters will be automatically added to parameteres array. To access this array you need to call $router->getParams(); If you need to get just one parameter, call directly: $var = $router->getParam(0).

This router is really simple and can be used in small web sites that not require complete framework. Also it is fast.

Download file Router.php
View paste


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  1. David Sun, 05 Jul 2009 20:51:00 CDT


    Thank you for posting this, I’ve been looking for some educational information about PHP URL Routing and have tried to look at frameworks but due to their sophistication I can’t grasp well what they are trying to do.

    yet, there is one landmine which I also stepped in while I tried to work on my own URL routing, that is, this simple route won’t work if its on a folder (e.x. )

    once again, thank you! really grasped the concept :)