WordPress htaccess: A Step-by-Step Guide


In this article, we will explore the topic of "htaccess wordpress" and provide you with valuable insights and tips on how to effectively use htaccess files in your WordPress website. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, understanding and utilizing htaccess files can greatly enhance the performance, security, and functionality of your WordPress site.

What is htaccess?

The .htaccess file, short for Hypertext Access, is a configuration file used by web servers, including Apache, to control various aspects of website functionality. It is a powerful tool that allows you to modify server settings on a per-directory basis, overriding the default server configuration.

Why is htaccess important for WordPress?

Htaccess files play a crucial role in WordPress websites as they enable you to make important changes to your site’s behavior without directly modifying the core WordPress files. This means that you can customize your website’s functionality, enhance security measures, and improve performance without the risk of breaking your site during updates.

How to create and edit htaccess files in WordPress?

To create or edit the htaccess file in WordPress, you can follow these simple steps:

  1. Connect to your website using an FTP client or access the file manager in your hosting control panel.
  2. Locate the root directory of your WordPress installation, usually named "public_html" or "www."
  3. Look for the existing .htaccess file. If it doesn’t exist, you can create a new file and name it ".htaccess."
  4. Right-click on the file and choose the "Edit" option. Alternatively, you can download the file, edit it using a text editor, and then upload it back to the server.
  5. Make the necessary changes to the file, save it, and upload it back to the server.

Useful htaccess tips for WordPress

1. Enabling pretty permalinks

By default, WordPress uses URLs that include query strings, such as "https://www.example.com/?p=123." However, you can use htaccess to enable pretty permalinks, which are more user-friendly and SEO-friendly. To do this, add the following code to your htaccess file:

# Enable pretty permalinks

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

2. Redirecting non-www to www or vice versa

To redirect your website visitors from the non-www version to the www version (or vice versa), you can use htaccess. This helps in maintaining a consistent URL structure and can also have SEO benefits. Use the following code in your htaccess file:

# Redirect non-www to www
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

3. Blocking access to sensitive files

Htaccess can be used to restrict access to sensitive files or directories on your WordPress site. This adds an extra layer of security and prevents unauthorized access. Use the following code to block access to specific files:

# Block access to sensitive files

Order deny,allow
Deny from all


In conclusion, understanding and utilizing htaccess files in WordPress can greatly enhance your website’s performance, security, and functionality. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can effectively create and edit htaccess files to optimize your WordPress site. Remember to always make a backup of your htaccess file before making any changes and test your website thoroughly after implementing modifications.


Q: Can I use htaccess files on all web hosting platforms?
A: Htaccess files are primarily used on Apache web servers. If your hosting provider uses Apache, you should be able to use htaccess files. However, some hosting platforms may have restrictions or alternative methods for achieving similar functionality.

Q: How can I test if my htaccess file changes are working correctly?
A: After making changes to your htaccess file, it is important to test your website thoroughly to ensure everything is functioning as expected. You can check if pretty permalinks are working, test URL redirects, and verify access restrictions to sensitive files.

Q: Can I use multiple htaccess files in different directories of my WordPress site?
A: Yes, you can have multiple htaccess files in different directories of your WordPress site. Each htaccess file will affect the directory it is placed in and its subdirectories. However, be cautious when making changes to htaccess files in different directories, as conflicting rules may cause unexpected behavior.