How to control file extensions with an .htaccess file?

March 14, 2021

You must have many websites showing index.html file name when you load any page from their website. How can they have all pages names as index.html or just *.html? Do they manually write down the HTML code? Definitely not. All they do is change the original file extension with .html or any other extension to hide the original extension of the file.

One way to do is using .htaccess file for Apache or web servers.

Where is the .htaccess file located?

The .htaccess file should be located in your site’s root directory.

If you’re using FTP or SFTP to load the files from your website to your local machine then sometimes you might not see the .htaccess file as it might be hidden. You need to change your hosting settings to make it visible.

If you don’t have .htaccess file on your web server, you can always create one. Just create a blank text file and save it as .htaccess.

Here’s how to change the file extension

Just add the following code to your .htaccess file and change the extension to your desired extension.

The following code will change the file extension from a .php to .html.

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^(.+)\.html$ /$1.php [NC,L]

When you change the file extension, you can access the file using both of those extensions. For e.g. you can access the file using .html and .php after adding the code above in your .htaccess file.

Here’s how to remove the extensions completely.


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