However, when adding content, I came across a situation where the url was containing both numbers and letters, which of course won't work with this pattern. I changed the [a-z] bit to a wildcard, which returned a 500 error, so I changed it back again and just get a 404 error.
I have been through all the forums and what feels like hundreds of different rewrites, but they all return 404 errors - even redirecting everything to the index.php file :S
Any ideas where I could be going wrong? It's so infuriating that it was working in what I think was the same code!!!
By the way, I have also tried altering whitespace as I know this can cause a problem in some languages.
I was searching the forums again and came accross a suggesstion to put random characters in the .htaccess file to see if it actualy loads, which I tried but the error log displays "unauthorised command" which implies everything should work.
Not sure if I can test if modrewrite is in the conf file as I don't have one on my shared hosting, but if I have used it before, I see no reason why it would suddenly turn off.