I have a Wordpress site which contains a link to a non-WordPress (i.e. pure Html) page sitting on a subdirectory of the same domain. It all works fine at the moment but now I wish to password protect that subdirectory.

I tried adding .htaccess and .htpasswd files but then when I attempt to go to that page, instead of seeing the expected "please type a username and password" I see "This page doesn't seem to exist."

I know there are ways of adding passwords from one WordPress page to another but this issue is from WordPress to non-WordPress.

EDIT: As requested... the root directory contains the following four subdirectories:

  • wp-content
  • wp-includes
  • wp-admin
  • info

There is a link on the front page of the wordpress site like so:

Take a look at the results <a href="http://www.example.com/info/results.htm">here</a>

I put both the .htaccess and .htpasswd files in the "info" directory. The info directory also contains "results.htm" of course.

The \info\.htaccess file contains:

AuthType Basic
AuthName "Password Protected Area"
AuthUserFile /home2/public_html/example/info/.htpasswd
Require valid-user
Options -Indexes

the root .htaccess contains:

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress 

If I temporarily disable the root .htaccess file by renaming it then the whole thing works. I.e. I do see the request for username and password when I try and access the /info/results.htm file.

  • "I tried adding .htaccess and .htpasswd files" - Please show the directives used and the location of these .htaccess files.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 14:53
  • You've not shown the directives in the root (WordPress) .htaccess file? Does this contain just the standard WP code block (ie. front-controller)? If you temporarily rename the root .htaccess file (essentially disabling WP) are you presented with the username/password dialog?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 0:15
  • "/home2/public_html/example/info/.htpasswd" - To clarify... your document root is /home2/public_html/example and not /home2/public_html (as one might expect)?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 1:03
  • @MrWhite: See edits to OP. The reason for the "example" in the path is that this is actually an "addon" domain,
    – Mick
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 11:55
  • And you don't have any other .htaccess files along the file system path? eg. No .htaccess file directly in the public_html directory (which would still apply here)?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


From the information given, this "should" work as intended. Whether the directory is protected by HTTP Authentication in this way should not matter.

I see "This page doesn't seem to exist."

I'm assuming this is a WordPress generated 404 page.

So, when the directory is "protected", it appears to be incorrectly routed through WordPress. This implies that the condition RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f in the parent .htaccess file is failing for some reason. This condition checks that the request does not map to a physical file before routing the request through WordPress. It "should not" matter that the directory where the file is located is protected by HTTP Authentication, since this filesystem check is not (or should not be) an HTTP request.

As a "workaround" you can try disabling the rewrite engine in the /info/.htaccess file. This prevents the mod_rewrite directives in the parent .htaccess file (the WordPress front-controller) from being processed.

For example:

# Prevent mod_rewrite directives in parent .htaccess file(s) being processed
RewriteEngine Off

Options -Indexes

AuthType Basic
AuthName "Password Protected Area"
AuthUserFile /home2/public_html/example/info/.htpasswd
Require valid-user

UPDATE#1: Sadly it didn't work. Still got the "This page doesn't seem to exist." message ... which by the way appeared to be WordPress generated

Try the following instead:

  1. Remove the RewriteEngine directive added above in the /info/.htaccess file.

  2. Add the following directives to the root .htaccess file before the # BEGIN WordPress code block:

    # Ignore any requests to the /info/ subdirectory
    RewriteRule ^info/ - [L]

    As the code comment states, this should now explicitly ignore any requests to the /info subdirectory. The WordPress directives that follow will not be processed so WordPress will not be invoked.

UPDATE#2: "RewriteRule ^ - [L]" works perfectly

In order to diagnose the URL-path that mod_rewrite is seeing when requesting /info/results.htm (when the directory is password protected) you can try adding the following before the above modified directive. For example:

# Debugging URL-path
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} !^UrlPath=
RewriteRule (.*) /xyz?UrlPath=$1 [R,L]

# Ignore everything... (prevents URL being routed through WP)
RewriteRule ^ - [L]

When you request /info/results.htm you should*1 now be redirected to /xyz?UrlPath=<something>. What is the <something> part? (NB: /xyz doesn't exist, so you should see an Apache 404 response - not a WordPress 404 response.)

(*1 - I say "should", this is on your system, with how it appears to be behaving. It "should" display the user/pwd dialog, but that is not happening for reasons not yet determined.)

  • Sadly it didn't work. Still got the "This page doesn't seem to exist." message ... which by the way appeared to be WordPress generated - it even had my site's wordpress header image above it.
    – Mick
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 18:43
  • Ok, something a bit weird going on here. Do you have access to the server config? I've added an alternative approach to my answer - this explicitly prevents any requests that start /info/ from being passed to WordPress.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 19:55
  • I don't have access to the server config. So I tried the second approach. Then, when I first clicked the link from the homepage to the info page it displayed the results.htm immediately - I then realised my username/password were probably already in the cache so I then tried again from a new "private" window (firefox)... then when I clicked the link from the homepage I got the old "This page doesn't seem to exist." message.
    – Mick
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 13:54
  • Try (temporarily) changing the above RewriteRule ^info/ - [L] to simply RewriteRule ^ - [L] - this should prevent everything from going through WordPress, so you should not get the "This page doesn't seem to exist." msg. If that still doesn't change this behaviour then change RewriteEngine On to Off in the WordPress code block.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 15:01
  • "RewriteRule ^ - [L]" works perfectly - I now see the request for the username and password and if I type them in I get to see my results.htm... so is this a full solution?
    – Mick
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 15:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.