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 using .htaccess on their servers and have set a date of October 2022 for full elimination of assist.

The usage of .htaccess as a software for managing web sites is so deeply ingrained that the thought of now not supporting .htaccess could sound like a deal breaker.  Some could rightly suppose that if clients can’t have a customized .htaccess then the webhosting service won’t be appropriate for the way fashionable websites are created.

However a more in-depth have a look at what WP Engine is doing exhibits that the choice is smart and extra surprisingly, this may increasingly sooner or later be a typical characteristic of excessive efficiency webhosting.

Why WP Engine Deprecating .htaccess Assist

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

The announcement said:

“WP Engine will likely be deprecating the .htaccess file to be able to improve web site efficiency and match trade tendencies.

In case your web site is utilizing customized .htaccess directives exterior of the default WordPress guidelines, we have now put collectively an inventory of beneficial options.”

WP Engine estimates that this alteration is not going to have an effect on most web sites that it at the moment 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 further modifications to the .htaccess as they’re utilizing a default WordPress model of this file.
Default WordPress rewrites will likely be dealt with by WP Engine routinely on the server stage.”

.htaccess and Website Efficiency

.htaccess is a approach to management sure elements 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).

The usage of .htaccess information is a longstanding and established observe for managing web sites.

Nevertheless, one thing that is probably not generally thought of or mentioned is that using .htaccess information will not be an environment friendly manner of managing actions like blocking IP addresses or redirecting URLs.

When .htaccess information turn into very massive they will have a detrimental influence on search engine optimization 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 influence 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 vital influence on CPU utilization. Testing additionally revealed that an .htaccess file with as little as 1,000 strains may have a “vital” influence on server reminiscence utilization.

They famous that the additional pressure was not sufficient to convey 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 assessments, we didn’t see any enormous influence on total web page load time on something however the 50,000 line file. That is most likely as a result of, though vital 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 massive .htaccess information may trigger an influence on the server.

Secondly, what could come as a shock to many, is that in keeping 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, equivalent to one would possibly discover on finances shared servers.

The Apache Software program Basis documentation advises:

“There’s, for instance, a typical false impression that consumer authentication ought to all the time be achieved in .htaccess information, and, in newer years, one other false impression that mod_rewrite directives should go in .htaccess information.

That is merely not the case.

You possibly can put consumer authentication configurations in the primary server configuration, and that is, in actual fact, the popular approach to do issues. Likewise, mod_rewrite directives work higher, in lots of respects, in the primary server configuration.”

What WP Engine is proposing is definitely a best-practice in keeping with the Apache documentation and within the brief and long term it should profit their consumer 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 optimization profit.

Will WP Engine Customers Be Inconvenienced?

WP Engine affords methods to get round utilizing .htaccess information by way of what they name Internet Guidelines. Internet Guidelines permits customers to handle IP-based enable/deny guidelines and for setting header responses.

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

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

I take advantage of the Redirection WordPress plugin on a few of my web sites and have discovered it to be a simple approach to handle redirects and headers.

The plugin additionally has a handy log file that exhibits you visits that end in 404 responses which may provide you with a warning to inbound hyperlinks which are misspelled (which might be mounted by making a redirect for the misspelled URL to the right URL).

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

Whereas at first it might seem to be a radical concept to finish assist for .htaccess, contemplating how the Apache Software program Basis itself recommends not utilizing .htaccess on the web site stage, the strategy that WP Engine is taking makes a whole lot of sense.

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

Will different internet hosts observe their lead?

Citations

Learn the WP Engine Announcement

.htaccess Deprecation and Alternate options

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

When (not) to make use of .htaccess information

WP Engine Internet Guidelines

Redirects on WP Engine





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