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WP Engine Ending Assist for .htaccess

WordPress managed internet hosting supplier WP Engine introduced that it’s ending assist for .htaccess directives. WP Engine has began Finish-of-Life (EOL) processes for winding down the usage of .htaccess on their servers and have set a date of October 2022 for full elimination of assist.

Using .htaccess as a software for managing web sites is so deeply ingrained that the thought of not supporting .htaccess might sound like a deal breaker.  Some might rightly suppose that if clients can’t have a customized .htaccess then the internet hosting service may not be appropriate for a way trendy websites are created.

However a more in-depth have a look at what WP Engine is doing reveals that the choice is sensible and extra surprisingly, this may occasionally sooner or later be a standard characteristic of excessive efficiency internet hosting.

Why WP Engine Deprecating .htaccess Assist

The explanations WP Engine gave for leaving .htaccess behind have been about attaining efficiency good points from eradicating .htaccess from the site-level and likewise having the ability to take benefit efficiency good points from newer applied sciences.

The announcement acknowledged:

“WP Engine will probably be deprecating the .htaccess file with a purpose to enhance web site efficiency and match business developments.

In case your website is utilizing customized .htaccess directives exterior of the default WordPress guidelines, we’ve got put collectively a listing of advisable options.”

WP Engine estimates that this modification is not going to have an effect on most web sites that it at present hosts as a result of most websites are solely utilizing the default model of .htaccess that WordPress generates.

“By our evaluation, most WP Engine web sites is not going to require any additional adjustments to the .htaccess as they’re utilizing a default WordPress model of this file.
Default WordPress rewrites will probably be dealt with by WP Engine robotically on the server stage.”

.htaccess and Website Efficiency

.htaccess is a option to management sure facets of a web site, like redirecting a request for one URL to a different URL, redirecting requests for insecure HTTP URLs to safe HTTPs and for blocking the IP addresses of malicious hackers and scrapers, amongst many different makes use of.

.htaccess is a file that’s used on servers that run the Apache open supply server software program (in addition to, for instance, Nginx servers that run as a reverse proxy for Apache).

Using .htaccess information is a longstanding and established observe for managing web sites.

Nevertheless, one thing that might not be generally thought of or mentioned is that the usage of .htaccess information is just not an environment friendly method of managing actions like blocking IP addresses or redirecting URLs.

When .htaccess information turn out to be very giant they will have a detrimental impression on search engine marketing and conversion-related metrics such because the Time to First Byte (TTFB), a metric that measures how lengthy it takes for a server to start downloading internet web page sources.

In keeping with a take a look at by  StrategiQ that quantified the impression of .htaccess on efficiency, they found that .htaccess information can have an effect on each server efficiency and scalability.

What they found was that a big .htaccess file had a measurable and important impression on CPU utilization. Testing additionally revealed that an .htaccess file with as little as 1,000 strains may have a “important” impression on server reminiscence utilization.

They famous that the additional pressure was not sufficient to carry down the web site as a result of the server nonetheless had sufficient sources to deal with the pressure.

“It’s price noting although that in our exams, we didn’t see any big impression on total web page load time on something however the 50,000 line file. That is most likely as a result of, regardless that important useful resource was being utilized in dealing with the requests, we nonetheless weren’t hitting peak capability.”

But one can think about {that a} server with a number of web sites with giant .htaccess information may trigger an impression on the server.

Secondly, what might come as a shock to many, is that in line with the official Apache Software program Basis (the builders of the Apache server software program that runs .htaccess), the one time .htaccess information ought to ever be used is when entry to the server configuration file is restricted, reminiscent of one may discover on price range shared servers.

The Apache Software program Basis documentation advises:

“There’s, for instance, a standard false impression that person authentication ought to all the time be carried out in .htaccess information, and, in more moderen years, one other false impression that mod_rewrite directives should go in .htaccess information.

That is merely not the case.

You’ll be able to put person authentication configurations in the principle server configuration, and that is, the truth is, the popular option to do issues. Likewise, mod_rewrite directives work higher, in lots of respects, in the principle server configuration.”

What WP Engine is proposing is definitely a best-practice in line with the Apache documentation and within the brief and long term it would profit their person base by creating an setting which will make their web sites carry out quicker, which helps gross sales, promoting clicks and has a small search engine marketing profit.

Will WP Engine Customers Be Inconvenienced?

WP Engine presents methods to get round utilizing .htaccess information by means of what they name Net Guidelines. Net Guidelines permits customers to handle IP-based permit/deny guidelines and for setting header responses.

Redirects might be utilized 3 ways throughout the WP Engine managed internet hosting platform:

  1. Bulk imported into WP Engine’s Nginx configuration
  2. Bulk imported right into a WordPress plugin referred to as Redirection
  3. Bulk imported into the Yoast search engine marketing Plugin redirect supervisor

I exploit the Redirection WordPress plugin on a few of my web sites and have discovered it to be a straightforward option to handle redirects and headers.

The plugin additionally has a handy log file that reveals you visits that lead to 404 responses which may provide you with a warning to inbound hyperlinks which can be misspelled (which might be fastened by making a redirect for the misspelled URL to the proper URL).

WP Engine Finish-of-Life (EOL) Course of For .htaccess

Whereas at first it could appear to be a radical thought to finish assist for .htaccess, contemplating how the Apache Software program Basis itself recommends not utilizing .htaccess on the web site stage, the method that WP Engine is taking makes a number of sense.

There are clear advantages for his or her customers and for web site guests as properly.

Will different internet hosts observe their lead?


Learn the WP Engine Announcement

.htaccess Deprecation and Options

Learn The Apache Software program Basis’s Recommendation on .htaccess

When (not) to make use of .htaccess information

WP Engine Net Guidelines

Redirects on WP Engine



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