11 Essential WordPress .htaccess Hacks

I am pretty sure, most of the WordPress self hosted users are aware of what is .htaccess. I am not going to talk about what is it about, rather about its essential techiques that can be tried by every single WordPress users. There are a lot of .htaccess hacks, but here are some of it, which I find it essential.

wordpress .htaccess hacks

Note: Before trying any of these hacks, kindly take a backup of .htaccess file from the WordPress root folder.

1. Remove the /category/ from WordPress category permalink

Personally I am not a big fan of /category/. If you look at some popular blogs, you can see them having categories http://yourdomain.com/wordpress instead of http://yourdomain.com/category/wordpress

RewriteRule ^category/(.+)$ http://www.yourblogname.com/$1 [R=301,L]

2. Redirect post with date and name to post with postname

Some of like to display post with date, month, year and postname. For those who wish to redirect all the post under this permalink to /%postname%/ this; here is the hack.

RedirectMatch 301 /([0-9]+)/([0-9]+)/([0-9]+)/(.*)$ http://www.yourblogdomain.com/$4

3. Stop images used in post from hotlinking

This happens to most of the blogs, who write tutorials where the other blogger shares your post on his blog by hotlinking your images. Going through this way, all the image shared in his blogs, takes your server bandwidth to load those images. The .htaccess hack used here will stop hotlinking of images and display a default image for hotlinked images. So create a new image with the name of stophotlink.jpg and upload it to your image folder.

RewriteEngine On
#Replace ?mysite\.com/ with your blog url
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(.+\.)?yourblog\.com/ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
#Replace /images/nohotlink.jpg with your "don't hotlink" image url
RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ /images/stophotlink.jpg [L]


4. Restricting IP’s of comment spammers

Askimet is a beautiful tool to keep us free from spam comments. If you are not using Askimet, but want to just block certain IP’s of spammers, here is the tip

<Limit GET POST>
order deny,allow
deny from
deny from
allow from all

5. Redirect visitors to maintenance page

We often change our WordPress theme. When changing the themes, normally the visitors encounter with strange errors. At this situation, we have to redirect the visitors to a maintenance web page except for the admin.

In the snippet below, change your maintenance page name and on REMOTE_ADDR type in your IP. Make sure that you have a static IP before trying this hack.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/maintenance.html$
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^123\.123\.123\.123
RewriteRule $ /maintenance.html [R=302,L]


6. Redirect www to non www or vice versa

Normally we like to keep our URL short. This has also become a trend to keep your site name shorter as much as possible. So removing the www can considerably makes a positive effect for blogs with longer domain name.

Redirect www to non www

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.yourblogname.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://yourblogname.com/$1 [L,R=301]

Redirect non www to www

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourblogname.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourblogname.com/$1 [L,R=301]

7. Disable directory listing

This keep your blog visitors from looking at your directory

# disable directory browsing
Options All -Indexes

8. Limit upload size from WordPress media option

# limit file uploads to 10mb
LimitRequestBody 10240000


9. Redirect WordPress RSS to Feedburner

Feedburner is loved my many. But by default WordPress have its own RSS which doesn’t need any extra configuration. In order to redirect the default WordPress RSS to Feedburner, here is the hack.

# temp redirect wordpress content feeds to feedburner
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
 RewriteEngine on
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !FeedBurner    [NC]
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !FeedValidator [NC]
 RewriteRule ^feed/?([_0-9a-z-]+)?/?$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/YOURFEEDNAME [R=302,NC,L]


10. Automatically fix spelling mistakes in URL

Nifty tweak for all WordPress users

<IfModule mod_speling.c>
CheckSpelling On


11. Restrict access to WordPress admin by IP

Accessing WordPress dashboard based on IP can tighten the security from unauthorized entry.

order deny,allow
allow from # This is your static IP
deny from all


July 26, 2011. This entry was posted in WordPress and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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7 Responses so far!

  1. thx and going to try this….

  2. Thank you for all the cool .htaccess tricks. Will surely be trying them out on my future wp sites.

  3. Thanks, I assumed it was mod spelling, but it seems speling as above is correct) :)

  4. Nice list, short and sweet descriptions, just about enough for beginners to understand. You could have added one more to make it a ‘dirty dozen’ .htaccess tips! Thanks Franklin, however, you can mention to be careful about copy/pasting becoz its really really case-sensitive. No need to panic though, it’s just a file!

  5. Dude, your blog is awesome, I’ve Bookmarked your blog & also subscribed to rss fees 😉 Keep sharing wordpress tricks :) love your blog :)

  6. Very nice information, I was looking to modify htacess file. You have explain it very well.

  7. Awesome man :) Thanks a ton :)

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