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What is .htaccess?

by Matt

Htaccess stands for Hypertext Access. It’s a configuration file used by Apache web servers.

Configuration files set the initial parameters of a program, or in this case the server. This means that the .htacess file can be used to set up the operation of the server. Each function is a line of text or code that issues commands to the server. You can add or modify the functionality by adding or modifying the code in the .htaccess file.

How do I use .htaccess?

There are a number of ways to use .htaccess. For example, you can use it to :

Protect your site with a password.
Create a personalized error page.
Redirect visitors to another page.

.htaccess is a very powerful tool. To avoid breaking your site by mistake, we’ve disabled certain functions.

The .htaccess format

The .htaccess file is special in that it begins with a dot. This means that in some FTP programs, this file is hidden, and it is not possible to modify it on your computer without renaming it to htaccess.txt, for example.

The advantages of using an .htaccess file

The .htaccess file is essential on WordPress for enabling or disabling site functionalities at server level. By default, this file manages redirects and permalinks.

In addition, many WP plugins use the .htaccess file, including most caching and security plugins. These plugins rewrite and modify the .htaccess file to perform their functions.

.htaccess files can perform several configuration modifications at directory level.

Sophisticated modifications include:

Configuring redirects: Setting up a 301 or 302 redirect to redirect traffic.
URL rewriting: Create a SEO-friendly URL to increase SEO and facilitate indexing.
Enable hotlink protection: Prevent hotlinking from your site and protect your bandwidth usage.
Modify access restrictions: Create a whitelist or blacklist of specific IP addresses from your site, making certain files inaccessible or limiting access to the site.
Customize error pages: Customize the messages that appear on your various error pages.
Password-protect directories: Protect access to a directory by requiring a valid login and password and creating an .htpasswd file.

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