The .htaccess is a useful file when it comes to distributed server configuration. It stands for hypertext access and it was designed to help users configure different servers in the directory where it’s located. It’s normally found in the root of a website. You can see this when you log into the file manager in the cPanel or through the FTP manager (File Transfer Protocol).
This helped numerous webmasters set up several directory-related rules on the files of a specific platform. This level of controlling a platform’s files and who uses them is quite handy. Read on to learn more about working with the .htaccess file.
How to Easily Figure out How to Work with .htaccess
Finding the .htaccess File and Permalinks Usage
You need to learn how to find your .htaccess file before you can start working with it. Some beginners might feel lost or confused because they can’t find it on their file manager or WordPress site. You probably can’t find it because it is a hidden file.
The dot in its name means it’s hidden and you need to click your settings button and then click on the “show hidden files” part. If you can’t find it at all, you can create one from scratch by adding a new one and call it .htaccess to make it work. It will be blank but you can fill it up later. If you’re using WordPress, you can create one by setting the permalinks.
Permalinks are the most common ways to use .htaccess for your WordPress work. You need to learn how to create the permalink structure and then it will work properly. Permalinks are the design of the link that you’re using. Users that install WordPress will add words to the structure of the permalink, making it an actual word and not a coded link.
For example, some links would have the structure of “p= (ID of your platform)” and that isn’t pleasing to look at. You can change it to be any word you like. This means that you would use the .htaccess to change the URL of your platform to be anything you want instead of showing you numbers. This is one of the ways you can work this file with permalinks. This is a basic use of .htaccess but it’s very common.
Another use for a .htaccess file is to force redirects. Meaning that you can force www and https on a link. You just need to check the redirection settings of your directories and see which one isn’t properly set or which one you will like to change. Advice from this useful guide suggests that you install and activate your WordPress file manager to get into the code editor.
You will see a block of code that you can copy and then paste it in your .htaccess file. Save changes and then update the links using the “Search and Replace plugin” to search the link you want and then force it to the form you need for the redirect. Remember to untick the “Dry Run” option to make the process go faster. Clearing the cache for your CDN and the server will be the last step to finalize and save the redirect you need.
You can use .htaccess to password-protect your platforms. This is great for hiding a new version of your website from public users until it is ready or to protect private sections on your website so that only specific people can access it. This is the most secure method that you can use for password protection.
You just need to create a .htpasswd file and copy each username with the designated password next to each other inside it. You need to upload it to the directory of the platform’s hidden version that you’re working on. This means users on the public platform will not see it. Only the users you’ve included in the .htpasswd.
Utilizing the .htaccess method gives you complete control over numerous servers, whether it’s the Apache web server or any of its counterparts. Webmasters of any skill level can use it to set up redirect links, error pages, and password-protected directories. It’s an easy way for a webmaster to operate and respond to several requests.
Also, it’s one of the ways that a lot of companies use to boost their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) levels. It can be done with the trailing slash policy to help online platforms get a better rank. Not a lot of people can appreciate this method or the art of using it, but you will see why it’s so useful and necessary once you’ve understood how to work with it.