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How do I redirect my site using a .htaccess file?

  • Applies to: All Service Types

  • Difficulty: Medium

  • Time needed: 10 minutes

  • Tools needed: FTP or SSH, plain text editor

 
  • Applies to: All Service Types
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: FTP, plain text editor

Overview

This document will explain how to create a .htaccess file to redirect your site or site content. This will not redirect any emails for your domains.

READ ME FIRST

As a configuration file, .htaccess is very powerful. Even the slightest syntax error (like a missing space) can result in your content not displaying correctly or at all.

Since .htaccess is a hidden system file, please make sure your FTP client is configured to show hidden files. This is usually an option in the program's preferences/options.

This article is provided as a courtesy. Installing, configuring, and troubleshooting third-party applications is outside the scope of support provided by (mt) Media Temple. Please take a moment to review the Statement of Support.

Instructions

1. Create an empty text file using a text editor such as notepad, and save it as htaccess.txt.

NOTE:

The reason you should save the file as htaccess.txt is because many operating systems and FTP applications are unable to read or view .htaccess files by default. Once uploaded to the server you can rename the file to .htaccess.

2. Edit the contents of the file. Check the following examples:

301 (Permanent) Redirect: Point an entire site to a different URL on a permanent basis. This is the most common type of redirect and is useful in most situations. In this example, we are redirecting to the "mt-example.com" domain:

# This allows you to redirect your entire website to any other domain
Redirect 301 / http://mt-example.com/

302 (Temporary) Redirect: Point an entire site to a different temporary URL. This is useful for SEO purposes when you have a temporary landing page and plan to switch back to your main landing page at a later date:

# This allows you to redirect your entire website to any other domain
Redirect 302 / http://mt-example.com/

Redirect index.html to a specific subfolder:

# This allows you to redirect index.html to a specific subfolder
Redirect /index.html http://example.com/newdirectory/

Redirect an old file to a new file path:

# Redirect old file path to new file path
Redirect /olddirectory/oldfile.html http://example.com/newdirectory/newfile.html

Redirect to a specific index page:

# Provide Specific Index Page (Set the default handler)
DirectoryIndex index.html

3. Upload this file and re-name it to .htaccess.

NOTE:

  • If using a text editor, be sure to save the file as plain text.
  • Paths to where you should save this file can be found in this article: System paths.
  • The definitive guide on Apache directives that can be used in .htaccess files can be found here: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/mod/core.html.

More powerful URL changes with mod_rewrite

If you need to make complex changes to the way your URL displays, you should visit Using .htaccess rewrite rules. You can do things like add "www" to the beginning of your URL, redirect all requests to a subfolder but keep the rest of the URL, etc.

See also

How to Create & Edit and .htaccess File from (mt) Media Temple on Vimeo.



 

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