retrieve subdomain as a get variable

Hi guys I'm setting up mywebapplication to give unique urls for users such as, etc.

I want to be able to in a php script grab the subdomain part of the url. Would be nice if I can get it as a GET variable - I think it can be done with htaccess. Any ideas?


$subdomain = substr($_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'], 0, strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'], '.'));

To make sure there's a valid subdomain:

$urlExplode = explode('.', $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST']);

if (count($urlExplode) > 2 && $urlExplode[0] !== 'www') {

    $subdomain = $urlExplode[0];

else {
    // treat as or

I would try this (at the beginning of your PHP code):

$_GET['subdomain'] = substr($_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'], 0, strrpos($_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'], '.'));

Explanation: strrpos find the last occurance of '.' in the accessed domain, substr then returns the string up to this position. I assigned the return value to a $_GET var so you can use it as if it were a normal URL-parameter.

Put this in your bootstrap file:

$tmp = explode(".", $_SERVER["HTTP_HOST"], 2);
$_GET["subdomain"] = $tmp[0];

Ali - don't you mean a $_SERVER variable as $_GET would be related to the querystring ??

if so, then you could try:



[edit] - see for a few examples that may help

Do you want something along the lines of:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^[a-z0-9-]+\.yoursite\.com$
RewriteRule !^index\.php$ index.php [L]

you could then get the subdomain using


preg_match('/^http:\/\/([a-z0-9-]+)\$', $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'], $matches);

$_GET['username'] = $matches[1];


If you really want to use mod_rewrite in your .htaccess file, you could do something like this (assuming your script is index.php in this example):

RewriteEngine On

# Prevent people from going to to index.php directly and spoofing the
# subdomain value, since this may not be a desirable action
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]+\sindex\.php.*(\?|&)subdomain=
RewriteRule ^.*$ http://%{HTTP_HOST}/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}        !^www
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}         ^([^\.]+)\.([^\.]+)\.([^\.]+)$
RewriteRule ^.*$ index.php?subdomain=%1

This little function will simply get your " " or in your case " ", and then split it up in 3 parts ( 0=>"www", 1=>"website", 2=>"com" ), and then return value 1, which is either " www " or your subdomain name.

function isSubdomain()
    $host = $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'];
    $host = explode('.',$host);
    $host = (is_array($host)?$host[0]:$host);
    return $host;

Exaple: If your website is " ", you will receive "admin".

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