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Solid Base .htaccess

Creating a solid base for your .htaccess file. Currently includes RewriteBase, Security (against indexes, files, etc.), and Expires Headers (caching, performance).

  • The URL REWRITES would go at the top of the file.
  • The SECURITY and the WEB PERFORMANCE can go towards the bottom... before and WordPress or WP Super Cache items.
  • UPDATE 2013-08-21: Added code for forcing either non-www or www. on URLs. Also added the MultiViews option.
  • UPDATE 2013-08-23: Added specific code for wp-config.php
  • UPDATE 2013-10-04: Increased favicon expire time.
  • UPDATE 2014-02-05: Removed the Force URL rewrites since there's more than one option.
  • UPDATE 2014-12-10: Updated Expires Headers
  • UPDATE 2015-04-10: Updated file security
# ######################################################################
# # SECURITY #
# ######################################################################
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# | File access |
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# Block access to directories without a default document.
# Usually you should leave this uncommented because you shouldn't allow anyone
# to surf through every directory on your server (which may includes rather
# private places like the CMS's directories).
<IfModule mod_autoindex.c>
Options -Indexes
</IfModule>
# - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
# Block access to hidden files and directories.
# This includes directories used by version control systems such as Git and SVN.
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteCond %{SCRIPT_FILENAME} -d [OR]
RewriteCond %{SCRIPT_FILENAME} -f
RewriteRule "(^|/)\." - [F]
</IfModule>
# - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
# Block access to backup and source files.
# These files may be left by some text editors and can pose a great security
# danger when anyone has access to them.
<FilesMatch "(^#.*#|\.(bak|config|dist|fla|inc|ini|log|psd|sh|sql|sw[op])|~)$">
Order allow,deny
Deny from all
Satisfy All
</FilesMatch>
# Rules to block access to WordPress specific files
<files readme.html>
Order allow,deny
Deny from all
</files>
<files readme.txt>
Order allow,deny
Deny from all
</files>
<files README.md>
Order allow,deny
Deny from all
</files>
<files install.php>
Order allow,deny
Deny from all
</files>
<files wp-config.php>
Order allow,deny
Deny from all
</files>
# Rules to disable XML-RPC
<files xmlrpc.php>
Order allow,deny
Deny from all
</files>
# Deny access to all .htaccess files
<files ~ "^.*\.([Hh][Tt][Aa])">
order allow,deny
deny from all
satisfy all
</files>
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
# Rules to protect wp-includes
RewriteRule ^wp-admin/includes/ - [F]
RewriteRule !^wp-includes/ - [S=3]
RewriteCond %{SCRIPT_FILENAME} !^(.*)wp-includes/ms-files.php
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/[^/]+\.php$ - [F]
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/js/tinymce/langs/.+\.php - [F]
RewriteRule ^wp-includes/theme-compat/ - [F]
# Rules to prevent php execution in uploads
RewriteRule ^(.*)/uploads/(.*).php(.?) - [F]
# Rules to block unneeded HTTP methods
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} ^(TRACE|DELETE|TRACK) [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [F]
# Rules to block foreign characters in URLs
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^.*(%0|%A|%B|%C|%D|%E|%F).* [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [F]
# Rules to help reduce spam
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} POST
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)wp-comments-post\.php*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^(.*)CHANGETHENAMEOFYOURWEBSITEHERE.com.*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://jetpack\.wordpress\.com/jetpack-comment/ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [F]
</IfModule>
# ######################################################################
# # WEB PERFORMANCE #
# ######################################################################
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# | Compression |
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
# Force compression for mangled `Accept-Encoding` request headers
# https://developer.yahoo.com/blogs/ydn/pushing-beyond-gzipping-25601.html
<IfModule mod_setenvif.c>
<IfModule mod_headers.c>
SetEnvIfNoCase ^(Accept-EncodXng|X-cept-Encoding|X{15}|~{15}|-{15})$ ^((gzip|deflate)\s*,?\s*)+|[X~-]{4,13}$ HAVE_Accept-Encoding
RequestHeader append Accept-Encoding "gzip,deflate" env=HAVE_Accept-Encoding
</IfModule>
</IfModule>
# - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
# Compress all output labeled with one of the following media types.
#
# (!) For Apache versions below version 2.3.7 you don't need to
# enable `mod_filter` and can remove the `<IfModule mod_filter.c>`
# and `</IfModule>` lines as `AddOutputFilterByType` is still in
# the core directives.
#
# https://httpd.apache.org/docs/current/mod/mod_filter.html#addoutputfilterbytype
<IfModule mod_filter.c>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE "application/atom+xml" \
"application/javascript" \
"application/json" \
"application/ld+json" \
"application/manifest+json" \
"application/rdf+xml" \
"application/rss+xml" \
"application/schema+json" \
"application/vnd.geo+json" \
"application/vnd.ms-fontobject" \
"application/x-font-ttf" \
"application/x-javascript" \
"application/x-web-app-manifest+json" \
"application/xhtml+xml" \
"application/xml" \
"font/eot" \
"font/opentype" \
"image/bmp" \
"image/svg+xml" \
"image/vnd.microsoft.icon" \
"image/x-icon" \
"text/cache-manifest" \
"text/css" \
"text/html" \
"text/javascript" \
"text/plain" \
"text/vcard" \
"text/vnd.rim.location.xloc" \
"text/vtt" \
"text/x-component" \
"text/x-cross-domain-policy" \
"text/xml"
</IfModule>
# - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
# Map the following filename extensions to the specified
# encoding type in order to make Apache serve the file types
# with the appropriate `Content-Encoding` response header
# (do note that this will NOT make Apache compress them!).
#
# If these files types would be served without an appropriate
# `Content-Enable` response header, client applications (e.g.:
# browsers) wouldn't know that they first need to uncompress
# the response, and thus, wouldn't be able to understand the
# content.
#
# https://httpd.apache.org/docs/current/mod/mod_mime.html#addencoding
<IfModule mod_mime.c>
AddEncoding gzip svgz
</IfModule>
</IfModule>
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# | ETags |
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# Remove `ETags` as resources are sent with far-future expires headers.
#
# https://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html#etags
# https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7232#section-2.3
# `FileETag None` doesn't work in all cases.
<IfModule mod_headers.c>
Header unset ETag
</IfModule>
FileETag None
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# | Expires headers |
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------
# Serve resources with far-future expires headers.
#
# (!) If you don't control versioning with filename-based
# cache busting, you should consider lowering the cache times
# to something like one week.
#
# https://httpd.apache.org/docs/current/mod/mod_expires.html
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive on
ExpiresDefault "access plus 1 month"
# CSS
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 1 year"
# Data interchange
ExpiresByType application/atom+xml "access plus 1 hour"
ExpiresByType application/rdf+xml "access plus 1 hour"
ExpiresByType application/rss+xml "access plus 1 hour"
ExpiresByType application/json "access plus 0 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/ld+json "access plus 0 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/schema+json "access plus 0 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/vnd.geo+json "access plus 0 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/xml "access plus 0 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/xml "access plus 0 seconds"
# Favicon (cannot be renamed!) and cursor images
ExpiresByType image/vnd.microsoft.icon "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 1 year"
# HTML
ExpiresByType text/html "access plus 0 seconds"
# JavaScript
ExpiresByType application/javascript "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 1 year"
# Manifest files
ExpiresByType application/manifest+json "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType application/x-web-app-manifest+json "access plus 0 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/cache-manifest "access plus 0 seconds"
# Media files
ExpiresByType audio/ogg "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/bmp "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image/svg+xml "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/mp4 "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/ogg "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType video/webm "access plus 1 month"
# Web fonts
# Embedded OpenType (EOT)
ExpiresByType application/vnd.ms-fontobject "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType font/eot "access plus 1 year"
# OpenType
ExpiresByType font/opentype "access plus 1 year"
# TrueType
ExpiresByType application/x-font-ttf "access plus 1 year"
# Web Open Font Format (WOFF) 1.0
ExpiresByType application/font-woff "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType application/x-font-woff "access plus 1 year"
ExpiresByType font/woff "access plus 1 year"
# Web Open Font Format (WOFF) 2.0
ExpiresByType application/font-woff2 "access plus 1 year"
# Other
ExpiresByType text/x-cross-domain-policy "access plus 1 week"
</IfModule>
@ericrasch
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Author

When forcing the www. on sites, as noted in the HTML5BP comments above, their code can cause issues with subdomains.

Here's a simplified way to force www. on URLs:

# Force www. on the URL
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourwebsite.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^ http://www.yourwebsite.com%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

@ericrasch
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These Force www. codes are from HTML5 Boilerplate. They are good, but I'd prefer to use the shorter, simpler version above.

# ##############################################################################
# # URL REWRITES                                                               #
# ##############################################################################

# ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# | Rewrite engine                                                             |
# ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

# Turning on the rewrite engine and enabling the `FollowSymLinks` option is
# necessary for the following directives to work.

# If your web host doesn't allow the `FollowSymlinks` option, you may need to
# comment it out and use `Options +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch` but, be aware of the
# performance impact: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/current/misc/perf-tuning.html#symlinks

# Also, some cloud hosting services require `RewriteBase` to be set:
# http://www.rackspace.com/knowledge_center/frequently-asked-question/why-is-mod-rewrite-not-working-on-my-site

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
  #404 error prevention for non-existing redirected folders
  Options -MultiViews

  Options +FollowSymlinks
  # Options +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
  RewriteEngine On
  # RewriteBase /
</IfModule>


# ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# | Suppressing / Forcing the "www." at the beginning of URLs                  |
# ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

# The same content should never be available under two different URLs especially
# not with and without "www." at the beginning. This can cause SEO problems
# (duplicate content), therefore, you should choose one of the alternatives and
# redirect the other one.

# By default option 1 (no "www.") is activated:
# http://no-www.org/faq.php?q=class_b

# If you'd prefer to use option 2, just comment out all the lines from option 1
# and uncomment the ones from option 2.

# IMPORTANT: NEVER USE BOTH RULES AT THE SAME TIME!

# - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

# Option 1: rewrite www.example.com → example.com

#<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
#    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
#    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.+)$ [NC]
#    RewriteRule ^ http://%1%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]
#</IfModule>

# - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

# Option 2: rewrite example.com → www.example.com

# Be aware that the following might not be a good idea if you use "real"
# subdomains for certain parts of your website.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
   RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
   RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\..+$ [NC]
   RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !=localhost [NC]
   RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !=127.0.0.1
   RewriteRule ^ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]
</IfModule>

@ericrasch
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If you need to force index.XXX or home.XXX to rewrite to the root of whatever folder...

# Force index.XXX to rewrite to the root of whatever folder. SRC: http://kevinthompson.info/blog/2011/03/04/completely-remove-index-php-from-expressionengine-urls.html
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^GET.*(index|home)(\d)?(\.php|\.html?) [NC]
RewriteRule (.*?)index\.php/*(.*) /$1$2 [R=301,L]

@ericrasch
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Improved force trailing slash code (if you need to force a trailing slash on the end of your URLs to avoid duplicate content issues)...

#2014-02-28 Eric R.: trailing slash fix SRC: http://stackoverflow.com/a/1668741/284091
# checks for filenames
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
# skips any URLs with a . the end indicating a file extension
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !\.[^.]+$
# adds trailing slash, but checks to see if there's already a slash present
RewriteRule ^(.*(?:[^\/]))$ $1/ [L,R=301]

You can add this towards the top of the .htaccess (just after the force www. code would be ideal).

@weeirishman
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I'm using this to remove .html and .php file extensions and 301 to the same slug on sites that have been ported from static to Genesis Wordpress.

# Remove file extension from URL if porting a static site to Genesis Wordpress
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/wp-.+$
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,}\s([^.]+)\.(html|php) [NC]
RewriteRule ^ %1/ [R=301,L,NC]

@ericrasch
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I added some more security code, so be sure to CHANGETHENAMEOFYOURWEBSITEHERE.com where it exists above.

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