Working with the .htaccess and Redirects

URL redirections let web admins forward visitors to the new location when a page moves or gets deleted.  

Web direct helps minimize the loss of traffic and sales due to a moved or deleted page. It can also make the navigation experience seamless by preventing visitors from running into 404 errors when visiting their favorite pages.

Web redirects also let web admins force all visitors to connect securely to the website through HTTPS and address duplicate content concerns.

You can place a redirect rule on your domain’s .htaccess file. Let’s find out what it is and how to add different redirect rules.

What’s .htaccess File

The .htaccess file, short for hypertext access file, is a server configuration file. 

It lets users make quick changes to their server settings. However, the file configures the server only for the directory it’s in. So, for instance, the .htaccess file in the document root directory (public_html) can only configure server settings for the primary domain.

If you wish to configure server settings for a subdomain, you’ll need to do that in its .htaccess file. You can also place the file in a subdirectory, for example,/downloads, to configure server settings for it.

As a server configuration file, any error or misconfiguration on the .htaccess will affect your website, so before you make any edits, it might not be a bad idea to back up the original file.

Types of Web Redirects

Web redirection could be permanent or temporary. Let’s examine quickly what each means.

Permanent Redirect

Permanent redirect or 301 redirect indicates permanent relocation.

It helps users forward web visitors to a new page when the previous location moves permanently or gets deleted.

 Use this redirection type if you don’t wish to bring back the old URL.

Temporary Redirect

Temporary redirect or 302 redirect indicates temporary relocation.

It forwards visitors from a page to another temporarily and is helpful if you wish to reinstate the URL later. You could use temporary redirects when carrying out website maintenance.

When you build a new page, you could temporarily redirect your visitors to it when they visit the old page to get their feedback before deleting it.

Creating Different Redirects Rules

You can create web redirects by placing web redirect rules on the .htaccess file using the correct syntax. Let’s explore some of the redirects you can make.

Redirecting the Homepage to a Specific Subfolder

You can redirect permanently to another URL on the same website by adding this code to your .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine On 

Redirect 301 /index.html

Redirect 301 in the code indicates permanent redirect. You could replace 301 with 302 if you wish to redirect temporarily. 

Please, don’t forget to replace with the directory you wish to redirect to. Some websites use /index.php as the index file, so replace /index.html if it applies to your website.

Don’t add the RewriteEngine On line if you already have it at the beginning of your file before the closing </Ifmodule> tag. 

Always begin your .htaccess file with the line.

Working with the .htaccess and Redirects, Redirecting the Homepage to a Specific Subfolder

Redirecting to a New Page

To redirect a page to another URL on the same website:

  • Redirect 301 /old /new

Redirecting to External Pages

To redirect a page to an external destination:

  • Redirect 301 /old

Redirecting a Website to a New Domain

To redirect your entire website to a new domain or a parked domain name to your main website:

  • Redirect 301 /

Redirecting Old Directory a New Directory

To redirect a directory to a new director (for instance, to

  • RewriteRule ^old/(.*)$ /new/$1 [R=301,NC,L]

Redirecting With Masking

To mask the URL of the new location (for instance, redirecting to the subfolder but wants to show its URL in the address bar as :

  • RewriteRule ^files/?$ /folder/

Show only the domain name without the file path (for example,

  • RewriteRule ^/?$ /folder/

Redirecting to a Specific Index Page

To set a default index page (for example, index.html instead of index.php):

  • DirectoryIndex index.html

Redirecting 404 Pages to the Homepage

To redirect the 404 error page to the homepage to prevent visitors from running into No Found errors:

  • ErrorDocument 404

Redirecting Non-Existing Page to the Homepage

To redirect visitors to the homepage when they enter non-existing pages – 

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f 

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

HTTPS Redirection

To force all visitors to connect via HTTPS – 

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off 

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

Non-www Redirection

To redirect a non-www URLs to www

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

To redirect www URLs to non-www

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

Temporary Redirect

To redirect a page to a new location temporarily:

  • Redirect 302 /photo /new-location

To temporarily redirect an entire website:

  • Redirect 301 /photo

Modifying the .htaccess File

To create a redirect, you’ll need to edit your domain’s .htaccess file to add the redirect rule, and here’s how to go about it.

But first, follow these steps to create a .htaccess file if you don’t have it already.

Step 1: Log into SPanel’s User Interface.

The default login URL is (don’t forget to replace with your actual domain).

Working with the .htaccess and Redirects, Step 1: Log into SPanel’s User Interface.

Step 2: Open the File Manager and navigate to the document root directory.

SPanel’s File Manager is available under the Files section on SPanel’s homepage.

Working with the .htaccess and Redirects, Step 2: Open the File Manager and navigate to the document root directory.

It will take you to your account’s home folder. In it, you should see your primary domain’s document root directory.

Working with the .htaccess and Redirects, Step 2: Open the File Manager and navigate to the document root directory. 2

But if you wish to create the redirect rule for a subdomain, choose the subdomain’s specific folder.

Step 3: Create the File

In the domain’s root directory, click the New File/Folder icon and select New Files.

Working with the .htaccess and Redirects, Step 3: Create the File

Create a new file named .htaccess and save.

Working with the .htaccess and Redirects, Step 3: Create the File 2

Step 4: Add Your Code

Add these lines to your newly created .htaccess file before entering your redirect rules, as explained earlier –

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

RewriteEngine On

Now, copy and paste all your redirect codes below the RewriteEngine On line, then add this closing tag.


Working with the .htaccess and Redirects, Step 4: Add Your Code

But if you have an existing .htaccess file, locate it in your root directory, and right-click the file to reveal a menu; choose Edit to open the editor.

Working with the .htaccess and Redirects, Step 4: Add Your Code 2

Copy and paste your web redirect code into the editor and save. Then, you could visit the redirected page to confirm that it’s forwarding traffic to the specified location.

Need Support?

If you need assistance creating any redirect for any specific purpose, kindly contact our support for quick help, and we’ll be available to help.

Was this helpful?

What’s your goal today?

1. Find the right Web hosting solution

If you’re looking for industry-leading speed, ease of use and reliability Try ScalaHosting with an unconditional money-back guarantee.

2. Make your website lighting fast

We guarantee to make your WordPress site load in less than 2 seconds on a managed VPS with ScalaHosting or give your money back. Fill out the form, and we’ll be in touch.

Please enter a valid name
Please enter a valid website
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

3. Streamline your clients’ hosting experience

If you’re a web studio or development agency hosting more than 30 websites, schedule a call with Vlad, our co-founder and CTO, and see how we can deliver unmatched value to both your business and your clients.


Need a custom cluster or professional advice?

Book a meeting and get a free 30-minute consultation with Vlad, co-founder & CTO of Scala Hosting, who will help you select, design and build the right solution - from a single data center cluster to a multi-region & multi-datacenter high availability cluster with hundreds of servers.

Book a free consultation

4. Learn how to grow your website in 2024

An all-star team of SEO and web influencers are sharing their secret knowledge for the first time in years. Learn about the future of SEO, Web Design best practices and the secrets to getting the foundation for your website to thrive. Watch the exclusive webinar.

An Exclusive Insiders Look Behind The SEO and Web Development Curtain


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.