Every website owner should be familiar with what .htaccess is and how to use it. htaccess stands for Hypertext Access, which is a directory-level configuration file used on Apache web servers.
In order for a user to see, modify or create an .htaccess file, youâ€™ve got to have the correct file permissions. Some cheaper, â€œsmall timeâ€ or free web hosts do not allow you to create or modify your own .htaccess file, but 99% of your typical shared hosting companies do.
These tutorials include helpful htaccess tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your websiteâ€™s functionality and even improve your search engine rankings through search engine optimization (SEO) by using your .htaccess file.
The first step is to login to your hosting account in order to access and modify your files. This can be done through your web based file manager if itâ€™s provided by your hosting company, but I strongly suggest using FTP (file transfer protocol) through an FTP client software such as those mentioned in our FTP software recommendations article.
You want to browse to the root of your publicly viewable folder. This is usually named â€œpublic_htmlâ€ or â€œwwwâ€. This is the folder where your homepage is located, for example when someone types in â€œwww.yourdomain.comâ€.
If you donâ€™t already have an .htaccess file in that folder, go ahead and create one. Please note that .htaccess is actually named as a file extension- there is no text before the period. The file name has to be exactly â€œ.htaccessâ€. At this point, it can be just a blank file.
It is extremely important that your .htaccess file have the correct permissions set in order to prevent other people from modifying the file and taking control over your entire website. The permissions should be set at â€œ644, rw-r-râ€. With most FTP software, you can check the permissions by right clicking on the file and choosing â€œpermissionsâ€ or â€œCHMODâ€.
Now that youâ€™re .htaccess file is created, youâ€™re ready to go! Just click on any of the tricks in the right hand column that interest you, and you will be shown exactly how to accomplish them by using your htaccess file.