I have a directory in my web root (let's call it microsite) that is not managed by my main ExpressionEngine site, but people still need to access it. So, naturally, I just navigate to http://mysite.com/microsite and I'm good to go.

What I'm wondering is what is ExpressionEngine's process when it encounters a URL segment that isn't a template, but isn't a 404 either? What are the steps it/the server takes for me to ultimately arrive at my non-EE destination?

2 Answers 2


This will depend entirely on how you have your server set up. ExpressionEngine is only aware of things that go through the index.php file (or if you have by chance renamed this file, then whatever you renamed it). On Linux servers, often .htaccess will be used to remove index.php from the URL but still send all requests through index.php. So for instance, here is the htaccess configuration I typically use:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /index.php/$1 [L]

To keep things short, what that essentially does is have the server check if the file or folder the URL is requesting exists. If it does, then that file or folder is served. If not, then the request goes through index.php, and therefore through ExpressionEngine. EE of course then decides whether to serve a template or to throw a 404. How EE handles all that will depend on your EE configuration, whether you have strict URLs turned on, whether the template group exists, etc.

As I said, you could have a different configuration and that will affect this information, but I hope this helps.


Is this URL failing?

EE shouldn't do anything. Since the directory exists on the server it should load just fine.

There will only be an issue if you have a template group with the same name. In that case, EE will load the template group if I remember correctly.

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