Creating NGINX Rewrite Rules

Comparing the returnrewrite, and try_filesDirectives

The two directives for general‑purpose NGINX rewrite are return and rewrite, and the try_files directive is a handy way to direct requests to application servers. Let’s review what the directives do and how they differ.

The return Directive

The return directive is the simpler of the two general‑purpose directives and for that reason we recommend using it instead of rewrite when possible (more later about the why and when). You enclose the return in a server or location context that specifies the URLs to be rewritten, and it defines the corrected (rewritten) URL for the client to use in future requests for the resource.

Here’s a very simple example that redirects clients to a new domain name: