Came across a condition when you are to manually operate on .htaccess file on your host? Got perplexed when installing Dolphin? Here’s how to check if you host supports .htaccess.

What is .htaccess?

One might think that although .htaccess is only a simple file with no name  but the extension .htaccess, it can alter settings on the servers by allowing to do much more different things. From displaying custom 404 error pages to configuring high end web applications, .htaccess is needed.

Does my host support .htaccess?

In fact, most if not many hosts support .htaccess but don’t actually publicize it and many other hosts have the capability but do not allow their users to have a .htaccess file.

As a general rule, if your server runs Unix or Linux, or any version of the Apache web server it will support .htaccess, although your host may not allow you to use it.

A good sign of whether your host allows .htaccess files is if they support password protection of folders. To do this they will need to offer .htaccess (although in a few cases they will offer password protection but not let you use .htaccess). The best thing to do if you are unsure is to either upload your own .htaccess file and see if it works or e-mail your web host and ask them.

What the .htaccess file can do?

Virtually, there’s might be no limit. Just to point out few from a huge range of list: password protecting folders, redirecting users automatically, custom error 404 pages, changing your file extensions, banning users with certian IP addresses, only allowing users with certain IP addresses, stopping directory listings and using a different file as the index file.

If interested, you could discover more .htaccess tips tricks on the web.

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