What are htaccess files
Published: August 14, 2014

.htaccess files, also known as hypertext access, are configuration files run by directories, allowing decentralized management and control of a host company's web server. Many assume hypertext access is only associated with creating custom error pages or password protected directories, however there is much more to .htaccess than that. Hypertext access has many other benefits such as automatic gzipping, improving caching, creating more affective URLs and precluding hot linking.

To break it down, .htaccess files are just simple ASCII files. This file extension can be created on any text editor and uploaded to websites using ftp (File Transfer Protocol) client. To start, hypertext access makes configuration changes on a per-directory basis, so therefore, run by directives. Directives are typically short, one lined commands used to modify the web server's behaviour. The purpose of directives in hypertext access is the ability to execute multiple directives at a time without the access of Apache's global configuration file (httpd.conf.) Apache's global configuration file stores information on the various functions of a web server which can be edited by adding/removing a number sign. So, instead of giving direct access, .htaccess files allow partial access through directories / subdirectories, allowing various people to specify and access their own Apache directories. This method could be very helpful for hosting companies using shared hosting environments with their customers. Keep in mind that some editors use wordwrap, which could throw in unnecessary characters and damage the .htaccess coding; prevent this by disabling this feature on your editor.

Although most text editors save hypertext access files as .htaccess, the default file extension can change depending on specific editing programs. For instance, the program, Notepad, automatically saves hypertext access as .htaccess.txt. In this case, you must remove .txt in order to continue editing your .htaccess file.

Also, it is very important to remember that although anything that can be accomplished in .htaccess files can be done in httpd.conf files, it does not work the other way around. This is because .htaccess files must be enabled in the httpd.conf files in order to be carried out. Once the power is enabled, httpd.conf is also limited to certain contexts by the .htaccess files, so system hosts/administrators have more control over the access they give.

.htaccess files are extremely useful and have been known to improve web servers in many ways, however there are two things one should consider before implementing hypertext access. Although it may only be a subtle change for most, .htaccess files can slow down a server by the process of AllowOverride. This process scans the directory and any above it until reaching the highest directory. Because .htaccess files affect the pages in its directory, servers can becomes slower when a page loads and AllowOverride is enforced. Security is also influenced when implementing hypertext access because .htaccess files are much more accessible than standard Apache configurations. Allowing others to make alterations on your .htaccess files gives them much more control over the server itself, so these users can do anything they want within certain limitations.

Customer Reviews:

Published: January 24, 2018
Over the past 1 1/2 years I have been extremely pleased with your business operations. When I need something done on my website, the management team delivers promptly ALL THE TIME! Rich and Justin never miss a beat and the keep my "beat" pounding wh...[Read More]
William Velmer


Published: January 17, 2018
Several years back I was informed by a client that they couldn't access my website. After countless days I was able to get a call back from my hosting and web page design company. The company got it back up but the content of the site was messed up. ...[Read More]
Captain Dave Edwards


Published: September 7, 2017
Rich Agnew and his crew at Computer Geek are great to work with. We switched hosting companies a couple of weeks ago and contacted Rich about transferring all our files to the new hosting company. The transfer was successful and smooth. I thought i...[Read More]
Chad Pugh


Published: August 19, 2017
I had a band website that relied on an old media player that eventually became obsolete when support for it was dropped. I had designed it myself, and in doing so I had a very specific way I wanted our music page to look and work, and in searching ar...[Read More]
Donald Jefferes


Published: June 19, 2017
"The professionalism and expertise which I experienced from Rich Agnew at The Computer Geek is streets ahead of any other service provider. When we were hit with a virus we were at our wits end but within minutes they had sorted us out. We were ama...[Read More]
Toni Gomes


Published: June 13, 2017
"Excellent service, very professional to work with. My company's website had become infected with malware. The website is used to direct sales, but equally as import it is used as the portal for the support ticketing system. The site needed to be ...[Read More]
Jake Baker


Published: April 18, 2017
Geeks make it look easy. After hiring the Computer Geeks for a lot of minor site work, I decided to follow Rich's advice and start from scratch. Rich & Co. designed and built a new site for my business, quickly and efficiently, with sleek, profession...[Read More]
Alan Perlman


Published: April 17, 2017
Your alacrity and client service have been evident from the moment you popped up in a chat screen during my visit to your website. I also deeply appreciate your competence and kindness. Your services are a valuable asset to us and I am grateful for y...[Read More]
Judy Tashbook Safern


Published: March 16, 2017
Rich and his team at Computer Geek are awesome! They fixed my virus infected website extremely fast (just a day!) and everything turned out great. I will definitely use them again the next time I'm in need of tech help. Thanks guys!...[Read More]
Kate Marcin


Published: January 14, 2017
Searching for a competent English-speaking webmaster can be a daunting task, especially if searching the Internet without a personal recommendation from a friend. I discovered Computer Geek's website, liked what I read, and contacted Rich. He promptl...[Read More]
Rand Winburn


[Read More Testimonials Here]

Latest Website Related Articles

BadMash3 Exploit

Published: April 17, 2018
The BadMash3 Exploit is just a phrase that criminal hackers made up to make their bug poaching scam seem more legitimate. In reality this is just a SQL Injection hack and extortion attempt. These hackers are known by several names such as Bu...[Read More]


Beware of Bug Poachers

Published: April 16, 2018
Beware of Bug Poachers. There are criminal hackers out there working hard all day long to separate you from your hard earned money. These hackers are known by several names such as Bug Poachers, Cyber Extortionists, Website Hackers or Grey H...[Read More]


Here are some links to related topics:
 new webmaster,   this site may harm your computer,   web troubleshooting,   media temple hacked,   prestashop hacked,   godaddy hacked,  

Site Secured By The Website Guardian
What are htaccess files | Computer Geek 5 out of 5 based on 103 user ratings.
What are htaccess files | Computer Geek
What are htaccess files - .htaccess files, also known as hypertext access, are configuration files run by directories, allowing decentralized management an . . .
What are htaccess files | Computer Geek
Date Published: 10/09/2016
What are htaccess files - .htaccess files, also known as hypertext access, are configuration files run by directories, allowing decentralized management an . . .
5 / 5 stars