WordPress Default .htaccess Explained

WordPress Default htaccess Explained

When working with WordPress, one critical file that you’ll often encounter is the .htaccess file. This server configuration file plays a vital role in the functionality and performance of your WordPress website. In this comprehensive tutorial, we’ll explore the basics of the default WordPress .htaccess file, unraveling its structure and explaining its importance.

The following code snippet represents the default .htaccess file in a typical WordPress installation:

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
# END WordPress

Now, let’s break down each component to understand its function and significance:

# BEGIN WordPress and # END WordPress: These lines serve as comments, marking the start and end of the WordPress-specific portion of the .htaccess file. They help to distinguish the WordPress rules from other server directives that may be present in the same file.

<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c> and </ifmodule>: These tags check if the Apache module “mod_rewrite” is enabled on the server. If it’s not enabled, the enclosed directives will not be executed, preventing potential server errors.

RewriteEngine On: This line enables the URL rewriting engine, allowing the subsequent rules to take effect.

RewriteBase /: This directive specifies the base URL for rewriting rules. In this case, the base URL is the root of your website.

RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]: This line ensures that requests for “index.php” are not rewritten further. The “-” indicates that no further action is taken, and the “[L]” flag stops the processing of any subsequent rules.

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f and RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d: These conditions check if the requested file or directory does not exist. The “!” symbol negates the conditions, meaning that the following rule will only be applied if both conditions are false.

RewriteRule . /index.php [L]: This line rewrites any non-existent file or directory request to “index.php”. The single dot (.) represents any character, and the “[L]” flag stops the processing of any further rules.


A solid grasp of the default WordPress .htaccess file is crucial for effectively managing and optimizing your website. By delving into its individual components and understanding their functions, you can troubleshoot issues, boost performance, and bolster security.

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