The .htaccess File Explained

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The .htaccess is a file located in your websites file structure, it is a configuration file for use on Apache web servers, the file is placed in your directory and is loaded on to the webserver, the .htaccess is editable, the file is able to configure the web server and allow or disallow functionality within the web server software so you can activate features that the web server has to offer like setting passwords and 404 not found, the .htaccess looks like the image below

.htaccess

The Apache web server is what runs your website on your hosting account if you have a Wordpress, Joomla or any other website, the software is located on the server where your website is hosted from, the Apache software is run on around 70% of web servers world wide, the server software handles your web pages and communications.

The .htaccess is a sensitive file if you enter a wrong command with in the file when you are editing your website may shut down, the file is useful for a number of reasons it can serve the 404 file not found, when a document has been deleted from your website, it can be used to redirect a url from www.yourdomain.com to yourdomain.com and any other redirect you want with in your website.

The .htaccess can be used by hackers if it is not properly protected, if they get hold of the file they can make configuration changes to the file with out you knowing and hide malware or modify the php configuration which can infect your whole website, the .htaccess file should only be edited if you are familier with the file other wise you can cause more harm then good.