About this tool:
Use the free online htaccess Authentication generator to create an htaccess file that will password protect your site or a directory.
If you are familiar with any Content Management system(CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, you might have encountered the .htaccess configuration file. You even might have edited it. Some web servers allow you to edit that file; some may not. Even you can create your .htaccess configuration file and upload it to the specific directories.
But the question is, what is the .htaccess configuration file?
.htaccess configuration file
"htaccess" stands for Hyper Text access. A configuration file that controls how a web server responds to various requests. You can upload the .htaccess configuration file on the web servers running the Apache Web Server software. When the file is placed on the Apache Web Server, it detects the file and performs the commands/instructions mentioned in the file.
.htaccess configuration file and SEO
A study shows almost 200+ ranking factors that Google considers while ranking the website in its search results (SERP). These all factors, somehow, revolve around the user experience.
.htaccess configuration file helps you solve the problems that are related to visitors and have a direct impact on the user experience.
Some of them are
- When the visitor lands on the page, that shows an error message like a 4xx (Client Request Errors) or 5xx (Server Errors) message. It gets irritated. Here, the .htaccess file plays an important role. It can help to pass the instructions, to display a friendly message to the visitor, in the case if it finds any problem on the website. So, the .htaccess file helps in error handling. That has a positive impact on your experience.
- Suppose you query for something on Google, and from the SERPs, you clicked one of them, and on the landing page, you find nothing or an error. That will bring a negative impact on the user experience. Here, the .htaccess file plays an important role. It can pass the instructions and redirect the visitor to a specific page or website. That is very useful when web admins do not want visitors to land on the particular web pages. So, the .htaccess file helps in handling redirects. That has a positive impact on user experience.
- Today, despite that much technological advancement, people still have great concern about their privacy. The webmasters do not want any unauthorized person to visit its website. Therefore, the visitors must have a valid user name and password to enter the website. Here, the .htaccess file plays an important role. Because all the social media platforms provide a password protection facility, having that facility positively impacts the user experience and brings the user into a relaxed environment. They can easily share their information without being any fear of privacy threats. So, the .htaccess file helps in password protection. But, for that, you have to pass some instructions in your .htaccess file.
- If you go to a different forum related to IP addresses, one of the most asked questions is receiving unlimited requests from the specific IP address, or someone is trying to hack their website from a particular IP address. So, the best solution is to block that IP address. Here, the .htaccess file plays an important role. The webmasters can choose to allow which IP addresses to visit their website and which IP addresses they should block. They can even allow a specific IP address range, resulting in blocking all the other IP addresses out of that range. So, the .htaccess file helps to deny access to visitors by IP addresses/IP addresses blockage.
How to create a .htaccess file?
It is easy to create a .htaccess file. You can use Notepad++, Microsoft VSCode, or any good text editor for that purpose. A .htaccess file may contain several lines, depending upon the instruction the webmasters want to pass and its functionality. It would help if you had a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to upload the file, and the file must be in ASCII. Please upload the file to the right directory. After uploading the file, if you search for that file in your web directory, you may not find it because the web server's software may try to hide it (Because in most file systems, filenames that begin with a dot (.) are hidden files).
Note: You cannot use Microsoft NotePad for creating the .htaccess file.
How to Password Protect a Directory on Your Website?
To solve this issue, we can use htaccess Secure Directory
- Create a text file using any good text editor, like UltraEdit, Microsoft WordPad.
- Save the file as .htaccess (without any additional file extension).
- Save the file as .htpasswd.
- Open the online and free .htpasswd generator tool.
- Enter the username, password, and path to the .htpasswd file. The path should be relative to the root directory of your server.
- Click on "Convert" button to get .htpasswd and .htaccess code.
- Copy and paste the ".htpasswd file code" in .htpasswd file, and ".htaccess file code" in .htaccess file.
- Upload the .htaccess file in those directories which you want to protect.
- Upload the .htpasswd file in a directory, as you mentioned in the .htpasswd path input.
- Visit the web directory to check if it is working.
So, the use of the .htaccess file is secure and is mainly used by webmasters and SEO advisers, especially for various things like redirect handling, password protection, IP address blockage, and many more.
You must use the .htaccess file when you do not have access to the main server configuration file, especially in shared hosting because most shared hosting accounts do not have access to the main server configuration file. Therefore, the configuration file (distributed one) in each hosting account is necessary. And, .htaccess file is a distributed configuration file that allows configuration changes only in the directory in which it is placed.