The .htaccess file is a configuration file that is used by the Apache web server. It allows you to make configuration changes to your website on a per-directory basis, without having to make changes to the main server configuration. This allows for greater flexibility and control over the server settings for your website.
The .htaccess file is typically located in the root directory of your website, and it can be used to make changes to various settings such as:
- URL rewriting: Allows you to create „pretty“ URLs that are more user-friendly and easier to remember.
- Password protection: Allows you to protect certain directories or pages on your website with a password.
- Redirection: Allows you to redirect visitors to a different page or website.
- Error handling: Allows you to specify custom error pages for different types of errors.
- MIME types: Allows you to specify the MIME types for different file types, so that the browser can properly display them.
- Gzip compression : Allows you to enable gzip compression to reduce the size of the files that are sent from a web server to a browser.
- CORS headers : Allows you to set the headers needed to enable cross-origin resource sharing (CORS)
It’s important to note that changes made to the .htaccess file will only affect the directory in which the file is located and its subdirectories. Also, some hosting providers might not allow the use of .htaccess file, in this case, you should check with the provider’s documentation or contact the support team.
Also, it’s important to backup the .htaccess file before making any changes, if a mistake is made, the website could become inaccessible.