The Apache Web server utilizes a per-directory access and configuration system under which users can modify and control various aspects of their particular web site's operation by creating .htaccess files.
A .htaccess file is simply a text file containing commands referred to as Apache directives. Those directives apply to and effect the files in the directory where the .htaccess file is located as well as to all subdirectories below it.
What can I do using .htaccess files?
.htaccess files can be a very powerful and versatile tool. The list of things one can accomplish using .htaccess includes:
password protect specific directories
set up custom error pages
disable directory listings
specify alternate index files
ban users by IP address
prevent bandwidth theft via 'hotlinking'
redirect to specific pages automatically
add MIME types
parse .html/.htm files for php code
Some of these features (password protection, custom error pages,MIME types) have been automated by controls integrated into the HostRocket control panel and one can take advantage of these options without manually creating and editing .htaccess files, however the others must be implemented on a DIY basis.
Things To Note
- While HostRocket permits customers to modify and use .htaccess as a general rule no technical support is provided for .htaccess customization. While all of the .htaccess information discussed in these FAQs has been tested and verified as working no guarantees are offered as far as every tip working at all times on every account. With a few possible exceptions questions concerning .htaccess modification would be more appropriate posted to our community forums and discussed with fellow customers rather than being submitted to the support team via trouble ticket.
- Users of Microsoft Frontpage who have Frontpage Extensions enabled on their accounts should exercise particular caution if they are considering performing any .htaccess modification as there is a risk of corrupting the Frontpage Extensions.