.htaccess tutorial

Guys today we will see what is .htaccess and why for it is used effectively…

What is .htaccess??

You may have been working on a website, or reading an article about web development, and heard about the .htaccess file, but wondered what it was, or what, if anything, you can do with it. This tutorial will tell you the basics about .htaccess, and show you a few ways you can use it on your website.

Before we go any farther, let’s explain what the .htaccess file is. htaccess is short for Hypertext Access, and is a configuration file used by Apache-based web servers that controls the directory that it “lives” in–as well as all the subdirectories underneath that directory.

Many times, if you have installed a Content Management System (CMS), such as Drupal, Joomla or WordPress, you likely encountered the .htaccess file. You may not have even had to edit it, but it was among the files that you uploaded to your web server. BTW, that’s its name, .htaccess–it begins with a period, and ends with “htaccess”. If you edit it, you need to make sure that it stays that way, and doesn’t end up with a .txt or .html extension.

Also note that some web hosts do not allow you to edit the .htaccess file–but even on most of those hosts, you can create your own .htaccess file and upload it to specific directories, and as discussed above, it will control those directories and subdirectories below it. Now lets see the features and usage of it clearly by following the tutorial.

More on htaccess

In this tutorial you will find out about the .htaccess file and the power it has to improve your website. HostMonster supports .htaccess files however as a customer you are responsible for what is in this file and how it changes your site.


  • Creating a .htaccess File
  • Alternative Index Files
  • Custom Error Pages
  • Stop a Directory Index From Being Shown
  • Deny/Allow Certain IP Addresses
  • Redirection
  • Password Protection

 

Creating a .htaccess File

You can create a .htaccess file on your local computer or on the server.

On your computer:

Windows: Using Notepad save the file as .htaccess

Mac OS X: Using TextEdit save the file as “.htaccess”
Note: If you save the file as .htaccess it will be hidden and you will not be able to see it in the Finder.Using your preferred FTP client upload the file to the server. The .htaccess file will need to be in the folder where your site is located, typically the public_html folder.

On the server

  1. Login to your cPanel Account
  2. Click the File Manager icon, located in the Files section.
  3. From the File Manger popup choose “Choose Hidden Files (dotfiles).”
    Note: If you do not see this popup you will need to click the “reset all interface settings” link at the bottom of the cPanel page.
  4. From the File Manager popup choose the folder you would like to open, most often the “Web Root (public_html/www)”
  5. Click the Go button.
    Note: If you are in the File Manager already you can add &showhidden=1 to the end of the URL.
  6. Click the New File icon to create a new file and name it .htaccess

Alternative Index Files

You may not always want to use index.htm or index.html as your index file for a directory, for example if you are using PHP files in your site, you may want index.php to be the index file for a directory. You are not limited to ‘index’ files though. Using .htaccess you can set foofoo.blah to be your index file if you want to!

Alternate index files are entered in a list. The server will work from left to right, checking to see if each file exists, if none of them exist it will display a directory listing (unless, of course, you have turned this off).

 

DirectoryIndex index.php index.php3 messagebrd.pl index.html index.htm

 

Custom Error Pages

You can customize your own, personal error pages (for example when a file is not found) instead of using HostMonster’s error pages or not having an error page. This will make your site seem much more professional.

You can use custom error pages for any error as long as you know its number (like 404 for page not found) by adding the following to your .htaccess file:

ErrorDocument errornumber /file.html

For example if I had the file notfound.html in the root directory of my site and I wanted to use it for a 404 error I would use:

ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.html

If the error page is not in the root directory of your site, you can enter the path to the file:

ErrorDocument 500 /errorpages/500.html

These are some of the most common errors:

        401 - Authorization Required
        400 - Bad request
        403 - Forbidden
        500 - Internal Server Error
        404 - Wrong page

Stop a Directory Index From Being Shown

Sometimes, for one reason or another, you will have no index file in your directory. This will, of course, mean that if someone types the directory name into their browser, a full listing of all the files in that directory will be shown. This could be a security risk for your site.

To prevent against this (without creating lots of new ‘index’ files, you can enter a command into your .htaccess file to stop the directory list from being shown:

# disable directory browsing
        
        Options ExecCGI Includes IncludesNOEXEC SymLinksIfOwnerMatch -Indexes
        
        # enable directory browsing
        Options All +Indexes

Deny/Allow Certain IP Addresses

To only allow people with specific IP addresses to access your site (for example, only allowing people using a particular network to get into a certain directory) or you may want to ban certain IP addresses (for example, keeping disruptive members out of your message boards).This will only work if you know the IP addresses you would like to ban.

Please keep in mind that most ISP’s use dynamic IP addresses, so this is not always the best way to limit/grant access.

 

Block an IP Address

#Deny List
        
        order allow,deny
        deny from 123.123.123.123 #specify a specific address
        deny from 123.123.123.123/30 #specify a subnet range
        deny from 123.123.* #specify an IP address wildcard
        allow from all

Allow an IP address

#Allow List
        
        order allow,deny
        allow from 123.123.123.123 #specify a specific address
        allow from 123.123.123.123/30 #specify a subnet range
        allow from 123.123.* #specify an IP address wildcard
        deny from all
        

Note: This will still allow scripts to use the files in the directory.

Redirection

There is a tool in the cPanel that can create the Redirects for you, please see How to create a Redirect

Redirect from a specific file to a new file

Example:

Redirect /redirect_from.html http://www.newsite.com/folder/redirect_to.html

In the above example, a file in the root directory called redirect_example.html is redirected to the URL http://www.newsite.com/folder/redirect_example.html
If the old file were in a subdirectory then you could use:

/subdirectory/redirect_from.html

WildCard Redirect / Redirecting from one folder to a new folder

Redirect /redirect_from http://www.newsite.com/redirect_to

Now any request to your site below /olddirectory will be redirected to the new site, with the extra information in the URL added on, for example if someone typed in:

http://www.example.com/redirect_from/images/image.gif

They would be redirected to:

http://www.newsite.com/redirect_to/images/image.gif

Redirecting (URL Rewriting) with Joomla

To enable URL Rewriting in Joomla you will need to copy and paste the following code into your .htaccess file.

        # For security reasons, Option followsymlinks cannot be overridden.
        #Options +FollowSymLinks
        Options +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch

Password Protection

One of the many uses of the .htaccess is being able to reliably password protect directories on websites.
Note: If you would like to use the cPanel tool to password protect your folders please see our article: Password Protect a folder on your website

The .htaccess File

Adding password protection to a directory using .htaccess takes two stages. The first part is to add the appropriate lines to your .htaccess file in the directory you would like to protect. Everything below this directory will be password protected:

AuthName "Section Name"
        AuthType Basic
        AuthUserFile /home/username/.htpasswds
        Require valid-user 

There are a few parts of this which you will need to change for your site. You should replace “Section Name” with the name of the part of the site you are protecting e.g. “Members Area”.

The /home/username/.htpasswds should be changed to reflect the full server path to the .htpasswds file (more on this later). If you do not know what the full path to your webspace is, check your HostMonster cPanel. Look on the left “stats” column of the cPanel.

The .htpasswds File

Password protecting a directory takes a little more work than any of the other .htaccess functions because you must also create a file to contain the usernames and passwords which are allowed to access the site. These should be placed in a file which (by default) should be called .htpasswd. This can be placed anywhere within you website (as the passwords are encrypted) but it is advisable to store it outside the web root (in your home directory) so that it is impossible to access it from the web.

Entering Usernames And Passwords

Once you have created your .htpasswd file (you can do this in a standard text editor) you must enter the usernames and passwords to access the site. They should be entered as follows:

username:password

Where the password is the encrypted format of the password. There is a good username/password service at the KxS site which will allow you to enter the username and password and will output it in the correct format.

For multiple users, just add extra lines to your .htpasswd file in the same format as the first.

Accessing The Site

When you try to access a site which has been protected by .htaccess your browser will pop up a standard username/password dialog box. Alternatively you can send the username and password (unencrypted) in the URL as follows:

        http://username:password@www.website.com/directory/ 

Soruce: https://my.hostmonster.com/cgi/help/htaccess
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MAC OS Keyboard shortcuts

OS X keyboard shortcuts

A keyboard shortcut is a way to invoke a function in OS X by pressing a combination of keys on your keyboard. Learn about common OS X keyboard shortcuts.

To use a keyboard shortcut you press a modifier key with a character key. For example, pressing the Command key (it has a  symbol#in windows its windows symbol) and then the “c” key copies whatever is currently selected (text, graphics, and so forth) into the Clipboard. This is also known as the Command-C keyboard shortcut.

A modifier key is a part of many keyboard shortcuts. A modifier key alters the way other keystrokes or mouse/trackpad clicks are interpreted by OS X. Modifier keys include: Command, Shift, Option, Control, Caps Lock, and the Fn key. You may need to use the Fn key in some of the key combinations listed below. For example, if the keyboard shortcut is Control-F2, press Fn-Control-F2.

Here are the modifier key symbols you may see in OS X menus:

Command key/ windows keyboard-windows symbol
Control key
Option key
Shift Key
Caps Lock
Fn Function Key

Startup shortcuts

Press the key or key combination until the expected function occurs/appears (for example, hold Option during startup until Startup Manager appears). Note: If a startup function doesn’t work and you use a third-party keyboard, try again with an Apple keyboard.

Option Display all bootable volumes (Startup Manager)
Shift Start up in Safe Mode
Left Shift Prevent automatic login
C Start from bootable media (DVD, CD, USB thumb drive, and so forth)
T Start up in Target disk mode
N Start from a NetBoot server
X Force Mac OS X startup (if non-Mac OS X startup volumes are present)
D Use Apple Hardware Test
Command-R Use OS X Recovery (OS X Lion or later)
Command-V Start up in Verbose Mode
Command-S Start up in Single User Mode
Command-Option-P-R Reset NVRAM / parameter RAM
Hold down the Media Eject (⏏) key or F12 key, or mouse or trackpad button Eject removable discs

 

Sleep and shut down shortcuts

 

Power button – OS X Mavericks Tap to power on. Once powered on, tap to wake or sleep.
Hold down the power button for 1.5 seconds – OS X Mavericks Show restart / sleep / shutdown dialog
Hold down the power button for 5 seconds Force the Mac to power off
Command-Control-power button Force the Mac to restart
Control-Media Eject (⏏) Show restart / sleep / shutdown dialog
Command-Option-Media Eject (⏏) Put the computer to sleep
Command-Control-Media Eject (⏏) Quit all applications (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then restart the computer
Command-Option-Control-Media Eject (⏏) Quit all applications (after giving you a chance to save changes to open documents), then shut down the computer
Shift-Control-Media Eject (⏏) Put all displays to sleep

Finder keyboard shortcuts

Command-A Select all items in the front Finder window (or desktop if no window is open)
Command-Option-A Deselect all items
Command-Shift-A Open the Applications folder
Command-C Copy selected item/text to the Clipboard
Command-Shift-C Open the Computer window
Command-D Duplicate selected item
Command-Shift-D Open desktop folder
Command-E Eject
Command-F Find any matching Spotlight attribute
Command-Shift-F Find Spotlight file name matches
Command-Option-F Navigate to the search field in an already-open Spotlight window
Command-Shift-G Go to Folder
Command-Shift-H Open the Home folder of the currently logged-in user account
Command-Shift-Control-T Add to Dock
Command-I Get Info
Command-Option-I Show Inspector
Command-Control-I Get Summary Info
Command-Shift-I Open iDisk
Command-J Show View Options
Command-K Connect to Server
Command-Shift-K Open Network window
Command-L Make alias of the selected item
Command-M Minimize window
Command-Option-M Minimize all windows
Command-N New Finder window
Command-Shift-N New folder
Command-Option-N New Smart Folder
Command-O Open selected item
Command-Shift-Q Log Out
Command-Shift-Option-Q Log Out immediately
Command-R Show original (of alias)
Command-T Add to Sidebar
Command-Shift-T Add to Favorites
Command-Option-T Hide Toolbar / Show Toolbar in Finder windows
Command-Shift-U Open Utilities folder
Command-V Paste
Command-W Close window
Command-Option-W Close all windows
Command-X Cut
Command-Option-Y Slideshow (Mac OS X v10.5 or later)
Command-Z Undo / Redo
Command-1 View as Icon
Command-2 View as List
Command-3 View as Columns
Command-4 View as Cover Flow (Mac OS X v10.5 or later)
Command-Comma (,) Open Finder preferences
Command-Accent (`) (the Accent key above Tab key on a US English keyboard layout) Cycle through open Finder windows
Command-Shift-Question Mark (?) Open Mac Help
Command-Left Bracket ([) Go to the previous folder
Command-Right Bracket (]) Go to the next folder
Command-Up Arrow Open the folder that contains the current folder
Command-Control-Up Arrow Open the folder that contains the current folder in a new window
Command-Down Arrow Open highlighted item
Command-Shift-Up Arrow Make the desktop active
Right Arrow (in List view) Open the selected folder
Left Arrow (in List view) Close the selected folder
Option-click the disclosure triangle (in List view) Open all folders within the selected folder
Option–double-click Open a folder in a separate window, closing the current window
Command–double-click Open a folder in a separate window
Command-click the window title See the folders that contain the current window
Command-Tab Switch application–cycle forward
Command-Shift-Tab Switch application–cycle backward
Command-Delete Move to Trash
Command-Shift-Delete Empty Trash
Command-Shift-Option-Delete Empty Trash without confirmation dialog
Space bar (or Command-Y) Quick Look (Mac OS X v10.5 or later)
Command key while dragging Move dragged item to other volume/location (pointer icon changes while key is held–see this article)
Option key while dragging Copy dragged item (pointer icon changes while key is held–see this article)
Command-Option key combination while dragging Make alias of dragged item (pointer icon changes while key is held–see this article)

Application and other OS X shortcuts

Note: Some applications may not support all of the following application key combinations.

Command-Space bar Show or hide the Spotlight search field (if multiple languages are installed, may rotate through enabled script systems)
Control-A Move to beginning of line/paragraph
Control-B Move one character backward
Control-D Delete the character in front of the cursor
Control-E Move to end of line/paragraph
Control-F Move one character forward
Control-H Delete the character behind the cursor
Control-K Delete from the character in front of the cursor to the end of the line/paragraph
Control-L Center the cursor/selection in the visible area
Control-N Move down one line
Control-O Insert a new line after the cursor
Control-P Move up one line
Control-T Transpose the character behind the cursor and the character in front of the cursor
Control-V Move down one page
Option-Delete Delete the word that is left of the cursor, as well as any spaces or punctuation after the word
Command-Option-Space bar Show the Spotlight search results window (if multiple languages are installed, may rotate through keyboard layouts and input methods within a script)
Command-Tab Move forward to the next most recently used application in a list of open applications
Command-Shift-Tab Move backward through a list of open applications (sorted by recent use)
Shift-Tab Navigate through controls in a reverse direction
Control-Tab Move focus to the next grouping of controls in a dialog or the next table (when Tab moves to the next cell)
Shift-Control-Tab Move focus to the previous grouping of controls
Command-esc Open Front Row (if installed)
Option-Media Eject (⏏) Eject from secondary optical media drive (if one is installed)
Fn-Delete Forward Delete (on a portable Mac’s built-in keyboard)
Command-F1 Toggles “Mirror Displays” for multi-monitor configurations
Command-F2 Toggle Target Display Mode
Command-F3 Show Desktop
Command-F5 Toggle VoiceOver On / Off
Option-F1 or F2 Opens “Displays” System Preference
Option-F3 or F4 Opens “Mission Control” System Preference
Option-F10 or F11 or F12 Opens “Sound” System Preference
Control-F3 App Exposé
Shift-Control-F6 Move focus to the previous panel
Control-F7 Temporarily override the current keyboard access mode in windows and dialogs
Control-F8 Move to the status menus in the menu bar
F9 Tile or untile all open windows
F10 Tile or untile all open windows in the currently active application
F11 Hide or show all open windows
F12 Hide or display Dashboard
Command-Accent (`) Activate the next open window in the frontmost application
Command-Shift-Accent (`) Activate the previous open window in the frontmost application
Command-Option-Accent (`) Move focus to the window drawer
Command-Minus (–) Decrease the size of the selected item
Command-{ Left-align a selection
Command-} Right-align a selection
Command-| Center-align a selection
Command-Colon (:) Display the Spelling window
Command-Semicolon (;) Find misspelled words in the document
Command-Comma (,) Open the front application’s preferences window (if it supports this keyboard shortcut)
Command-Option-Control-Comma (,) Decrease screen contrast
Command-Option-Control-Period (.) Increase screen contrast
Command-Question Mark (?) Open the application’s help in Help Viewer
Command-Option-/ Turn font smoothing on or off
Command-Shift-= Increase the size of the selected item
Command-Shift-3 Capture the screen to a file
Command-Shift-Control-3 Capture the screen to the Clipboard
Command-Shift-4 Capture a selection to a file
Command-Shift-Control-4 Capture a selection to the Clipboard
Command-A Highlight every item in a document or window, or all characters in a text field
Command-B Boldface the selected text or toggle boldfaced text on and off
Command-C Copy the selected data to the Clipboard
Command-Shift-C Display the Colors window
Command-Option-C Copy the style of the selected text
Command-Control-C Copy the formatting settings of the selected item and store on the Clipboard
Command-Option-D Show or hide the Dock
Command-Control-D Display the definition of the selected word in the Dictionary application
Command-D Selects the Desktop folder in Open and Save dialogs
or
Selects “Don’t Save” in dialogs that contain a Don’t Save button, in Mac OS X v10.6.8 and earlier
Command-Delete Selects “Don’t Save” in dialogs that contain a Don’t Save button, in OS X Lion and Mountain Lion
Command-E Use the selection for a find
Command-F Open a Find window
Command-Option-F Move to the search field control
Command-G Find the next occurrence of the selection
Command-Shift-G Find the previous occurrence of the selection
Command-H Hide the windows of the currently running application
Command-Option-H Hide the windows of all other running applications
Command-I Italicize the selected text or toggle italic text on or off
Command-Option-I Display an inspector window
Command-J Scroll to a selection
Command-M Minimize the active window to the Dock
Command-Option-M Minimize all windows of the active application to the Dock
Command-N Create a new document in the frontmost application
Command-O Display a dialog for choosing a document to open in the frontmost application
Command-P Display the Print dialog
Command-Shift-P Display a dialog for specifying printing parameters (Page Setup)
Command-Q Quit the frontmost application
Command-S Save the active document
Command-Shift-S Display the Save As dialog
Command-T Display the Fonts window
Command-Option-T Show or hide a toolbar
Command-U Underline the selected text or turn underlining on or off
Command-V Paste the Clipboard contents at the insertion point
Command-Option-V Apply the style of one object to the selected object (Paste Style)
Command-Shift-Option-V Apply the style of the surrounding text to the inserted object (Paste and Match Style)
Command-Control-V Apply formatting settings to the selected object (Paste Ruler Command)
Command-W Close the frontmost window
Command-Shift-W Close a file and its associated windows
Command-Option-W Close all windows in the application without quitting it
Command-X Remove the selection and store in the Clipboard
Command-Z Undo previous command (some applications allow for multiple Undos)
Command-Shift-Z Redo previous command (some applications allow for multiple Redos)
Control-Right Arrow Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table
Control-Left Arrow Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table
Control-Down Arrow Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table
Control-Up Arrow Move focus to another value or cell within a view, such as a table
Command-Right Arrow Move the text insertion point to the end of the current line
Command-Left Arrow Move the text insertion point to the beginning of the current line
Command-Down Arrow Move the text insertion point to the end of the document
Command-Up Arrow Move the text insertion point to the beginning of the document
Option-Right Arrow Move the text insertion point to the end of the next word
Option-Left Arrow Move the text insertion point to the beginning of the previous word
Command-Shift-Right Arrow Select text between the insertion point and the end of the current line (*)
Command-Shift-Left Arrow Select text between the insertion point and the beginning of the current line (*)
Shift-Right Arrow Extend text selection one character to the right (*)
Shift-Left Arrow Extend text selection one character to the left (*)
Command-Shift-Up Arrow Select text between the insertion point and the beginning of the document (*)
Command-Shift-Down Arrow Select text between the insertion point and the end of the document (*)
Shift-Up Arrow Extend text selection to the line above, to the nearest character boundary at the same horizontal location (*)
Shift-Down Arrow Extend text selection to the line below, to the nearest character boundary at the same horizontal location (*)
Shift-Option-Right Arrow Extend text selection to the end of the current word, then to the end of the following word if pressed again (*)
Shift-Option-Left Arrow Extend text selection to the beginning of the current word, then to the beginning of the following word if pressed again (*)
Shift-Option-Down Arrow Extend text selection to the end of the current paragraph, then to the end of the following paragraph if pressed again (*)
Shift-Option-Up Arrow Extend text selection to the beginning of the current paragraph, then to the beginning of the following paragraph if pressed again (*)
Control-Space bar Toggle between the current and previous input sources
Option-Control-Space bar Toggle through all enabled input sources
Command-Option-esc Force Quit
Command-Shift-Option-Esc (hold for three seconds) Force Quit the front-most application (Mac OS X v10.5 or later)
Command-Left Bracket ([) Previous browser webpage
Command-Right Bracket (]) Next browser webpage

*Note: If no text is selected, the extension begins at the insertion point. If text is selected by dragging, then the extension begins at the selection boundary. Reversing the direction of the selection deselects the appropriate unit.

Full keyboard access lets you use your keyboard to navigate and interact with items on the screen. Use these shortcuts to select and adjust controls such as text fields and sliders.

Tab Move to the next control
Shift-Tab Move to the previous control
Control-Tab Move to the next control when a text field is selected
Arrow keys Move to the adjacent item in a list, tab group, or menu
or
Move sliders and adjusters (vertical up and down arrows used to increase and decrease values)
Control-Arrow keys Move to a control adjacent to the text field
Space bar Select the highlighted menu item
Return or Enter Click the default button or perform the default action
Esc Click the Cancel button
or
Close a menu without choosing an item

You can navigate the menus in the menu bar without using a mouse or trackpad. To put the focus in the menu bar, press Control-F2 (Fn-Control-F2 on portable keyboards). Then use the key combinations listed below.

Left Arrow and Right Arrow Move from menu to menu
Return Open a selected menu
Up Arrow and Down Arrow Move to menu items in the selected menu
Type the menu item’s name Jump to a menu item in the selected menu
Return Select a menu item

for more shortcuts..clickhere

Source: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343