How to Password Protect Your Site?

You could control access to your website or sensitive sections using password protection. 

Passwords help keep private and sensitive information safe, providing the first line of defense against unauthorized access and malicious intents. 

Luckily, setting up password protection for a website or subdirectory is pretty straightforward, and you could do this using two files—the .htaccess and .htpasswd files.

So, let’s examine how.

Setting Up the .htpasswd File

The .htpasswd file stores the username and passwords for accessing the page. Most web server software like Apache uses the file to verify users via HTTP authentications.

It stores the username and password on each line, delimiting the username and password with a colon. The file can also store passwords in encrypted form to keep them safe and out of prying eyes.

Here’s how to create the .htpasswd file, encrypt your passwords and store them in the file.

Step 1: Sign in to Your SPanel Account

Open your computer browser and visit www.domain.com/spanel/login to log in to your SPanel account—Scala Hosting all-in-one control panel.

Of course, remember to replace domain.com with your domain name. Please enter your email (or username) and password to log in.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

If you sign in with an admin username and password, Spanel takes you to the admin dashboard but takes you straight to your account’s control panel if you log in as a user.

Step 2: Choose your Account 

To sign in to your account’s control panel from the admin dashboard, click List Accounts under the QUICK LINKS section.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Locate the account you wish to access its control panel, click Actions > Login to log in.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Step 3: Open File Manager

On the control panel, scroll down to the FILES section and click File manager.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Please place your .htpasswd outside of your web directory to prevent people from accessing the file publicly. So you could consider creating it in your home directory, outside of your root directory (public_html). 

Opening the file manager takes you straight to your home directory, and you’ll see folders like Softaculous, public_html, Autorespond, Mail, and subdomain folders; of course, that’s if you have a subdomain on your account.

Step 3: Create the .htpasswd File

In the home directory, click the New File/Folder icon and select New Files.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Create a new file named .htpasswd and save.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Step 4: Encrypt Your Password

You can create an encrypted password using some free online tools like AskApache HTPasswd Generator.

To get started, open the free tool on a new tab, enter the username and password you wish to use to access the page in the username and password fields, respectively.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Select Basic as the Authentication Scheme, ignore the other option and click the Generate HTPASSWD button to encrypt your password.

Step 5: Save Your Encrypted Password in the .htpasswd File

If you selected “all” as the Encryption Algorithm, the tool would generate five encrypted passwords. Please scroll down to the digest algorithm, the most secure of the five, and copy it to your clipboard. 

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Go back to the .htpasswd tab, paste the encrypted password into it, and click the Save button.

Please note that you can only sign in to your protected area with the plain text password, not the encrypted password—the encryption only protects the password from authorized uses.

Setting Up the .htaccess File

After setting up the .htpasswd file in your home directory, you’ll need to add a .htaccess file to the directory or subdirectory you wish to password protect. 

The .htaccess file is a server configuration file that lets users make quick changes to their server settings. It configures the server only for the directory it’s in. 

So, if you wish to password-protect your website, then you’ll need to add the file to the domain’s root directory (public_html). 

But if you intend to protect a subdirectory, for instance, www.domain.com/intranet, then open the root directory and place the file in the “intranet” folder.

As a server configuration file, any error or misconfiguration on the .htaccess will affect your website.

Follow these steps to set up the .htaccess file. 

Step 1: Open Your Web Directory

Kindly access your account’s control panel, scroll to the FILES section, open the file manager, then the folder you wish to password protect.

Please select the public_html folder if you wish to password protect the entire website, as explained earlier, or open it and select a subdirectory folder.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Step 2: Create the .htaccess File

In the folder, click the New File/Folder icon and select New Files to create the .htaccess file if the file is non-existent in that folder.

Please name the file .htaccess and save the changes.

How to Password Protect Your Site?

Step 4: Add Your Code

Now, to password-protect the directory with the username and password you saved in the .htpasswd file, add these lines of code to your newly created or existing .htaccess file.

AuthType Basic  

AuthName “protected area”

AuthUserFile /full/path/to/.htpasswd

require valid-user

And here are what each of the lines means:

  • The AuthType defines the authentication type the server will use. “Basic” authentication is adequate for website password protection.
  • The AuthName specifies the username and password box title that pops up when visitors visit the restricted page. You could use other AuthNames like “Restricted Area,” “Password Protected,” or any that appeals to you.
  • The AuthUserFile defines the full file path of your username and password followed by .htpasswd. The line tells the server where to find your .htpasswd file. You could contact our support if it’s difficult identifying the file path.
  • The require valid-user line tells the webserver who can access the restricted page. Kindly replace valid-user with the username you saved in your .htpasswd. For instance, if your username is “Admin,” then the line should be require Admin, and it’s case sensitive.

Now, save your code and exit the file manager. You could visit the restricted domain or page to confirm that password protection is working as expected. 

Sign in to your restricted area using your username and password. Of course, always use the plain-text password to log in, not the encrypted version.

Need Support?

We understand password protecting a website or subdirectory could be challenging. 

So, if you run into issues setting up one, or you have questions, then reach out to our support, and we’ll be available to help.

Rado

Author

Working in the web hosting industry for over 13 years, Rado has inevitably got some insight into the industry. A digital marketer by education, Rado is always putting himself in the client's shoes, trying to see what's best for THEM first. A man of the fine detail, you can often find him spending 10+ minutes wondering over a missing comma or slightly skewed design.

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