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Freebie 0.2

Tell EE to ignore certain segments when routing. Put useful segments into your URI without getting 404s, bad templates, or messing up the routing Structure uses.

Requirements & Installation

Freebie is built to run in ExpressionEngine 2.0, and will 100% fail in anything lower. To install:

  • Copy freebie into your /system/expressionengine/third_party/ directory.
  • Go to Add-ons → Extensions and “Enable extension.”

Caveat: If you’re using Freebie to ignore segments at the root level (, you have to take special care when using the NSM htaccess generator, or any htaccess scheme that uses the “include” method of index.php removal.

Known Issues

“The URI you submitted has disallowed characters.”

This message can occur when using some modules, or during member account activation. The current known fix is to change your $config[‘permitted_uri_chars’] to include ?, =, and &.

$config[‘permitted_uri_chars’] = ‘a-z 0-9~%.:_\\-&?=’;

Template Tags

Freebie Segment Tags

Inside a template, you can access the original, un-effed-with URL segments using {freebie_1}, {freebie_2}, etc. These will return the segments you see in your browser’s location bar — however, if you use {segment_1} instead, you’ll get back the segments EE is actually parsing. For example, if you set “preview” and “comments” as Freebie segments, and visit…


…your template vars will return the following:

{segment_1} == blog
{segment_2} == my-favorite-post
{freebie_1} == blog
{freebie_2} == preview
{freebie_3} == my-favorite-post
{freebie_4} == comments
{freebie_original_uri} == /blog/preview/my-favorite-post/comments/
{freebie_stripped_uri} == /blog/my-favorite-post/


Use {exp:freebie:any name="segment_name"} to see if any segment matches the “name” string. Example:


{exp:freebie:any name="blog"} == "true"

{if "{exp:freebie:any name="comments"}" == "true"}<h2>Show comments</h2>{/if}


Use {exp:freebie:is_number segment="3"} to see if a segment is numeric or not. This is useful when you’re ignoring numeric segments, but want to test for their presence.

{exp:freebie:is_number segment="3"}

Freebie:category_id, _name, _description, _image

Use {exp:freebie:category_id segment="3"} to get the category_id of a segment. Useful in a number of ways. {exp:freebie:category_name segment="3"} will return the name of the category, and similar requests for category_description and category_image will do the same.

If you want to specify a group and/or site ID to pull the category from, use the following syntax: {exp:freebie:category_id segment=“3” group_id=“2” site_id="1"}

NOTE: You WILL NOT be able to use this tag directly in the category parameter of a channel:entries tag (I know, it sucks). Instead, try embedding the channel:entries loop and passing the category ID in.

A few more

{freebie_last} will get you the last segment from the original URI.

{freebie_break_1}, {freebie_break_2}, etc will return the segments after a break segment.


Basic settings


preview success error



The wildcard in ju* means that both june and july will be freebie segments.


You can set an option to automatically ignore all number-only segments – this is useful for using urls like blog/2010/20/ in Structure.

Break segments

Break segments are entered just like Freebie segments, but instead of being ignored, break segments tell EE to ignore all following segments. Example: You’re working in Structure, and want to use author urls and dates to control a blog, like so: /blog/lucille/2010/10. If you set “blog” as a break segment, you can throw whatever you want into the URI after this point without it affecting the template or page routing.

Break on category URL indicator

If you set this option, Freebie will automatically ignore your category URL indicator and any segments past it.

Always parse pagination

This will cause Freebie to always parse pagination.

Always parse

Freebie isn’t very subtle, so sometimes it can screw with existing EE functionality or plugins (especially when you set it to ignore numeric segments). That’s why there’s ‘Always Parse’, which acts like an override, telling Freebie to stop messing with this segment and any segments after it. This is especially useful with ‘search’ templates.

Where credit is due

I only made this extension after using Leevi Graham’s NSM Safe Segments for a loooong time and missing it dearly in EE 2.0. Once I got started, I just kept adding features that we’ve had a need for at Viget from time to time.

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