I've made a subsite which runs under example.com/subsite - ideally from an architecture point of view it would be under a subdomain, but we wanted the links to come back to the main domain.

The sub site has a completely different design, and layout, and has a 404 page that is in keeping with the rest of it.

How can I set the 404 for the /subsite subdirectory, without affecting the root domains 404 settings in the .htaccess file.

1 Answer 1


Very simple. Just create another .htaccess file in the /subsite directory, and set your ErrorDocument 404 in it to the subsite's 404 page, ie ErrorDocument 404 http://example.com/subfolder/alternate-404.html. The .htaccess in the parent folder will still be used for the main document root, and all other subfolders.

  • Generally, you shouldn't be using an absolute URL as the document target in the ErrorDocument directive as this will result in a 302 external redirect (not a 404). You should be using a root-relative URL-path, eg. ErrorDocument /subfolder/alternate-404.html.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 10:42

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