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Actually some hosting provider disable . htaccess file in window hosting.

Is this necessary file?

If this file is necessary then how to enable it?

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    .htaccess files are for configuring Apache web server, so if your Windows hosting account is using IIS or another web server, then you won't be able to enable it.
    – dan
    Dec 20, 2022 at 2:28
  • If I migrate to another hosting plan like business plan hosting then will be work? Dec 20, 2022 at 5:49
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    IIS and other web servers have configuration files too, often with similar configurations available (e.g., rewriting or redirecting URLs). Some control panels let you switch between different web servers too (e.g., Plesk). If you need to specifically use a .htaccess, then select a hosting plan that includes Apache HTTP server, which is typical of Linux hosting plans.
    – dan
    Dec 20, 2022 at 8:40
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    "migrate to another hosting plan like business plan" - That's entirely dependent on your web host. "Windows hosting" is unlikely to be using Apache (it's more likely to be using Microsoft's IIS). Even the most basic Apache (or LiteSpeed) hosting is unlikely to disable .htaccess.
    – MrWhite
    Dec 20, 2022 at 8:50
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    Whether .htaccess is "necessary" (on an Apache or LiteSpeed server) depends on what you are trying to do. You don't need .htaccess if you just have a static HTML website for instance. (Just to confuse matters, .htaccess is available on Microsoft's IIS via an additional/paid-for add-on called "Helicon Ape", with some slight differences.)
    – MrWhite
    Dec 20, 2022 at 9:00

1 Answer 1

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No, a .htaccess file is not necessary if you have full control of the web server - however it can be useful -

Why you may want a .htaccess file

The .htaccess file is typically in control of the website administrator, who may not have access or authority to alter the web server configuration - indeed its whole purpose is to delegate configuration for part of the site. Wordpress for example likes to make extensive use of .htaccess to redirect pretty URL's for handling, and many cache modules will write .htaccess stuff to help with caching.

You can limit the scope of damage if a mistake is made in a .htaccess file, while a mistake to the configuration of the core web server can take the entire server down.

Why your provider may not want to enable .htaccess

.htaccess slows down the server - especially the parts "behind" the .htaccess file, as it needs to recursively look for .htaccess files, and modify the server behaviour dynamically.

.htaccess files can create security concerns (lots of different ones from tiny to significant - one obvious one is allowing directory listing for a directory without a default page, another is overriding permissions to make the site behave differently to the way it is intended.

If you are asking this question, and you are using Windows Hosting, you may want to check yourself. .htacccess is normally associated with Apache. While Apache can be run on Windows, very few serious web hosting providers would do so - the case for Linux (or another Unix variant) for generic web hosting is very strong. (Its possible other web servers also use it, but I can't see it being ubiquitous as the directives are often closely tied with Apache config. I know Lightspeed paid version has some support for .htaccess files though)

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