THE Ultimate Htaccess

.htaccess file tutorial .htaccess is a very ancient configuration file for web servers, and is one of the most powerful configuration files most webmasters will ever come across. This tutorial shows off the very best of the best htaccess tricks and code snippets from hackers and server administrators.

You've come to the right place if you are looking to acquire mad skills for using .htaccess files!

Note: This is fairly light and non-verbose.

Serving WebP images for PNG and JPG files

One of the biggest speed bottlenecks of sites today are images, specifically unoptimized images or large scaled images. With Apaches Rewrite module we can convert all existing jpegs and png files (and most gifs) to webp, then transparently rewrite them so that a request for img.png from a browser that supports webp will receive img.webp.

Alternate robots.txt files with Htaccess

robots-off-txtSo here's the basic idea: There are 2 sites, a development site and a live site. They are essentially mirrors of each other in terms of they have the same files. You need to disallow all search engine robots from indexing and crawling the development site, while allowing full crawling of your live site. Htaccess to the rescue!

RewriteCond Cheatsheet

Request to

RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} = GET /cgi-bin/php/pro/rewrite-test/?catch=caught&this=that HTTP/1.1
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} = /cg/rewrite-test/?catch=caught&this=that
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} = catch=caught&this=that
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} =
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} = Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:18.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/18.0
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} =

WordPress .htaccess in-depth

WordPress PermalinksWordPress uses a file named .htaccess to rewrite all requests to the main index.php file. This article explains what the htaccess file rules look like and what they actually do.

3 Ways to Serve PDF Files using Htaccess Cookies, Headers, Rewrites

FYI, using the Mod_Rewrite Variables Cheatsheet makes this example, and all advanced .htaccess code easier to understand. This demo lets you set a cookie with 1 of 3 values, then you just request the pdf file with a normal link click and get 1 of 3 different responses. This is accomplished with a nice bit of .htaccess code.

Set PDF Viewing Mode - Make a selection, then click the view pdf button.

Inline Download Save As View PDF using selected mode »

Securing php.ini and php.cgi with .htaccess

If you have a php.cgi or php.ini file in your /cgi-bin/ directory or other pub directory, try requesting them from your web browser. If your php.ini shows up or worse you are able to execute your php cgi, you'll need to secure it ASAP. This shows several ways to secure these files, and other interpreters like perl, fastCGI, bash, csh, etc.

Actual Htaccess Files from My Server

#### No https except to wp-admin -
# If the request is empty ( implies fopen or normal file access by a php script )
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^$ [OR]

# OR if the request if for wp-admin or wp-login.php
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/(wp-admin|wp-login.php).*$ [NC,OR]

# OR if the Referer is https
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^*$ [NC]

# THEN skip the following rule, basically all this does is force https or badhost to be redirected
# BUT because of the above 3 rewritecond's, this won't break poorly written admin scripts
RewriteRule .* - [S=1]

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} =on [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9} /(wp-admin/.*|wp-login.php.*) HTTP/ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule .* https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

mod_rewrite Fix for Caching Updated Files

Web Developers sometimes use file.ext?v=004 as a version control system to force visitors to use updated files. This is terrible. Instead link to apache-003.css and set it to be cached forever. When you change the file you just change the links to apache-004.css. That eliminates millions of bandwidth and resource robbing If-Modified-Since requests. You only need Apache with mod_rewrite, and 1-10 minutes!

Advanced .htaccess Tricks for Securing Sites

This is all new, experimental, and very very cool. It literally uses .htaccess techniques to create several virtual "locked gates" that require a specific key to unlock, in a specific order that cannot be bypassed. It uses whitelisting .htaccess tricks to specify exactly what is allowed, instead of trying to specify everything that isn't allowed. Also, by setting specific cookies/tokens after successfully passing through a gate, we can then require the exact cookie/token from the previous gate, which stops an attacker from skipping or bypassing gates.

.htaccess trick to show Alternate CSS file based on IP

This past week I updated my sites apache.css file for a site-redesign. I wanted to make changes to the .css file that only I could see, so that my regular traffic and site-visitors would still see the old version. Here's the elegant solution I came up with using .htaccess and mod_rewrite that works so well I'm sharing it with all you wonderful and incredible people reading my blog :)

Smart HTTP and HTTPS .htaccess Rewrite

This is freaking sweet if you use SSL I promise you! Basically instead of having to check for HTTPS using a RewriteCond %{HTTPS} =on for every redirect that can be either HTTP or HTTPS, I set an environment variable once with the value "http" or "https" if HTTP or HTTPS is being used for that request, and use that env variable in the RewriteRule.

Mod_Security .htaccess tricks

Mod_Security rivals Mod_Rewrite in the amount of features it provides. I decided to go ahead and post what I learned about it today, even though its tough to give away such awesome htaccess and apache tricks.. Learn how to control spam once and for all, conditionally log/deny/allow/redirect requests based on IP, username, etc.. Mod_Security is so fine!

Log all .htaccess/.htpasswd logins

htaccess htpasswd with phpLearn how to log and debug usernames and passwords used to login to a htaccess basic authorization protected website using php. This article is BOSS and will show you how to fully take control of this aspect of security using php and .htaccess, I don't believe you will find instructions to do this anywhere else on the net.

Redirecting RSS to Feedburner

FeedBurner, the best syndication company in the worldFeedBurner is so RAD! I love it. Here's an alternative method to redirect scrapers and feed requests to your feedburner url, in my case, I use Branding by feedburner, which is so hot, taking advantage of CNAMEs in your DNS record.