WordPress is a popular blogging platform across the world. Considering the popularity and ease of use of the WordPress content management system, web developers are also likely to use this blogging platform for their work. If you are working with WordPress, you are also likely to work with the .htaccess file. Here is more information on what a WordPress .htaccess file is, what function does it perform and how to generate it.
What Is An .htaccess File?
There are possibilities that you wouldn’t know much about the .htaccess file in your WordPress installation unless you have to work with it and this is because by default, the .htaccess file is hidden in the root directory of your project if at all it exists. The .htaccess file is not a specific part of WordPress. In fact, any website that utilizes Apache’s web server can also use the .htaccess file. The .htaccess file itself is the main configuration file for the server. Whenever the server has to launch a website, it looks for the .htaccess file and executes it if the file is present in the root directory of the project.
.htaccess file’s objective is to reconfigure some specific settings of the Apache web server. Therefore, this file is useful if some features of the server have to be turned on or off.
For instance, a typical scenario of work for the .htaccess file is to create redirects from the non-www URLs to the www URLs and vice versa. Other utilizations of this file comprise of setting privileges for some files, blocking the bots or adding the MIME types. The .htaccess file is particularly useful for managing the security settings of your WordPress installation. All these features are significant during the process of WordPress development, as you will have to configure and tweak the settings according to your requirements.
How To Generate The Default WordPress .htaccess File?
When you download and install WordPress on the Apache web server, it should consist of the .htaccess file by default. As mentioned earlier, the .htaccess file is hidden, therefore in order to view it; you will have to enable the option – ‘Show Hidden Files’ in your file system. In some situations, your WordPress installation might not contain the .htaccess file or it might get deleted by mistake; in this case, you will have to generate the .htaccess file.
The process of generating the .htaccess file on cPanel is mentioned below; you also have the option of creating this file on your computer and then uploading it on the web server through FTP client.
- Login to WordPress and go to the root directory of your installation. Generally, the root directory is named ‘public_html’.
- Once you are inside this directory, create a new text file and name it .htaccess.
- Open this file in any text editor. The .htaccess file comprises of a few lines of code that show the default settings of the web server.
- Copy this code and paste it on the new .htaccess file that you created.
- Save the file and exit.
You have now successfully generated your own .htaccess file. Visit your WordPress website to check if the file is working perfectly. If the .htaccess file is configured incorrectly, it might result in 500 internal error.
The .htaccess file is significant for WordPress websites to function properly. It also provides an insight on the additional features of the web server, especially because they are related to the security settings.