Htaccess Basics – 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.
Htacess to Redirect Pages
You can use 301 redirect for pages not found; be it for dead pages, indexed page errors or old pages or applied to folders changes.
Furthermore, you can with one line of code change the language extensions of pages, rewrite urls for better keyword ranking presence, password protect directories, Error 404 Document redirect and much much more.
In this htaccess guide I will show you some of the basic htaccess tricks and tips which will help you with your website problems. Updating and implementing better keyword redirects can further improve your sites SEO ranking and page position.
So 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, thru c-panel redirects or alternatively you can download the .htaccess file from your server’s home public_html folder, edit it and reupload it FTP using programs like FileZilla.
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. Before I go through some tutorials which show you how to use htaccess, I think it is necessary to show you how you edit the file.
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).
Example of htaccess File: Here is how a htacess file looks and is ready for editing in Dreamweaver CS ..
Note if creating a new htaccess file be sure the file has a dot in front of the file name .htaccess
Htaccess Power: Play it Safe than Sorry
The .htaccess gives you a lot of control over what happens on your site but accidents do happen. Just forgetting to start your redirect url with a forward slash “/” can crash your whole site, it can be some nerve racking panicked moments to just recover, let alone fix any redirect issues!
So make sure you keep a backup or best create a copy of the htacess file of the last working .htaccess file you used before attempting to modify it in anyway. This way you can recover quickly from a site crash!
Htaccess is also extremely sensitive. A missing semi colon, incorrect letter or an extra backslash can mess everything up so you need to make sure that what you enter is correct 100%.
Don’t let this scare you off though, as long as you take your time and make sure everything is input correctly you can enter just a few lines to your websites htaccess file to achieve things which most php scripts take a page to do.
To learn more about htaccess simply click on one of the articles at the right hand side. Good luck htaccess coding
Htaccess: Comments, Reference, Notes, Facts, Ideas, Tips
Htaccess 404 Error
Url request produces page “Not Found” reply. Means resource could not be found at the time. Permits future requests. Solution: Fix or redirect request to active resource or page.
Htaccess 301 Errors
SEO organizing, fine tuning, folder renaming and redirecting a large number of pictures, objects or pages can be time consuming. Consider using a htacess generator to help you simplify your redirect task.
Htaccess 404 Error Option
Don’t have 404 error handling system? Set up a .htaccess file with quick ErrorDocument 404 code link sending your visitor back to the index home page. When you have more time code a custom 404 error page with the information you want.
ErrorDocument 404 /index.html Adjust code to reflect your home page file name: / “to your index page” You can test if 404 error redirect is working by going to a page within your site, url other than home page, type in a few junk characters in the addresses file box name .. and if 404error working browser sends you or you visitor to the home page. Good quick temporary fix!
No Htaccess 404 Errors: Google
Page Errors Adsense: If your operating your sites with Google(R) Adsense, you probably seen a large focus on crawler page errors in your account listing “pages not found 404 errors” and other crawler errors of bad site page(s). visitor’s don’t like 404 page errors as it decreases the user experience. Do a little revenue optimization and site health by solving page errors one by one … best use a 301 redirect for each page error in your htaccess file
Htaccess 404 And 410 Errors
A 404 error is classified page as “Not found” or non existent url. A 410 error is a “Gone” response code.
HTTP response code 404 tells both browsers and search engines that your page doesn’t exist. Page content and ranking position will be lost, neither the page be crawled or indexed, by your top Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines.
Htaccess (Hypertext Access) Errors
Htaccess (Hypertext Access) typing error: Copy and paste the file name where possible: Hypertext Access file name is shortened to HTaccess … some refer to it as a “hta access” file which will generate the wrong spelling with 2 “a’s”.
Htaccess (Hypertext Access) Power
The power of Htaccess is that you can rename long file names or folders urls’s into shorter urls, get creative, choose better keyword based names for improved seo and traffic ranking. Htaccess (Hypertext Access) good for transforming dynamic ?generated=page&URL’s into htmllinks, 301 and 404 redirect changed or missing pages, prevent those hot-linkers and doing automatic language translation.
Htaccess (Hypertext Access) Web Page Clean Up by Renaming
Using the Htaccess file with 301 Redirect is a great powerful tool that allows one to clean up old website file names. A little htacess housekeeping can eliminate the previous use of any uppercase letters, reduce use of blank spaces in file names or any funky characters you don’t want. Old web sites urls once cleaned up will benefit by being up to-date and better readable which can result in improved seo and traffic ranking.
When to Fix Htaccess (Hypertext Access) Errors
Fixing HTacess website 404 errors is in the urgent status but not necessarily an emergency! Your website does not die but it feels the pain of missed traffic. Best start with the largest redirect errors and work down the list.