Hypertext Access, commonly shortened to .htaccess, is a powerful configuration file which controls the directory it is placed in and all the subdirectories underneath it.

.htaccess is a useful feature allowing webmasters to control how many aspects of their website workings.

What is an .htaccess File?

The .htaccess file is a configuration file which is used on Apache based web servers to control many features of the server.

The file itself is just a small basic text file and can be edited, via notepad, or your hosts file manager, through cPanel redirects or alternatively you can download the .htaccess file from your server’s home public_html folder, edit it and re-upload it using programs like FileZilla or Adobe Dreamweaver.

If you have installed a script before then chances are you have had to edit the .htaccess file at one point or another. The .htaccess file gives you a lot of control and lets you easily redirect pages, password protect directories and much more.

Where is the .htaccess file Located?

The first thing you need to do is find out if your host actually lets you edit .htaccess files. Because of security problems which can arise, many hosts stop their customers from editing it the .htaccess file.

Therefore you should check the Frequently Asked Questions area of your host to see if you have permission to edit the file (failing that, email them).

Some operating systems may not show the .htaccess file on your computer so you may need to make sure settings show hidden files as well.
Likewise some FTP Clients will not show the .htaccess file when you connect to your host so you need to make sure that your FTP is set up to show hidden files too (I personally use FileZilla and that shows .htaccess by default).

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