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How to Stop WordPress From Overwriting .htaccess File

Are you frustrated with WordPress always overwriting your .htaccess file?

You might be thinking, ‘But isn’t WordPress supposed to handle everything for me?’

While it’s true that WordPress does a great job of managing many aspects of your website, it can sometimes cause headaches when it comes to customizations.

But fear not, because in this article, we will reveal a simple solution that will allow you to take back control of your .htaccess file and make the changes you desire.

So, if you’re ready to put an end to WordPress’s overwriting tendencies and regain control over your website’s settings, then keep reading to discover the answer.

Why WordPress Overwrites .Htaccess File

WordPress overwrites the .htaccess file to ensure that its permalink settings and other important configurations are properly saved and applied. The .htaccess file serves as a crucial component for WordPress, as it stores the permalink settings necessary for the website’s functionality. Additionally, certain plugins may also save their settings in the .htaccess file, which can lead to conflicts or overwriting problems.

Although users can make custom changes to the .htaccess file, it’s important to note that WordPress may delete or overwrite these modifications. This can be frustrating for website owners who want to have full control over their .htaccess file. However, WordPress does this to maintain the integrity of its own settings and prevent any potential conflicts that may arise from user modifications.

To prevent WordPress from modifying the .htaccess file, there are a few options available. One approach is to adjust the file permissions to make it read-only, which would prevent any changes from being made. Another option is to utilize code snippets that disable the specific rules in the .htaccess file that WordPress would typically change. Lastly, leaving the .htaccess file writable allows users to make their customizations without interference from WordPress.

Potential Issues Caused by Overwritten .Htaccess File

When the .htaccess file is overwritten, it can lead to a range of potential issues for website owners.

The .htaccess file is a crucial configuration file for websites hosted on Apache servers, and it controls various aspects of website functionality and security. If this file is overwritten by WordPress, it can result in unintended consequences that may impact the website’s performance and security.

One potential issue caused by an overwritten .htaccess file is the loss of custom redirects and URL rewriting rules. These rules are often added by website owners to redirect specific URLs or improve the website’s search engine optimization. When the .htaccess file is overwritten, these customizations are lost, and the website may experience broken links or incorrect URLs.

Another issue is the disruption of plugin functionality. Many WordPress plugins rely on the .htaccess file to function correctly. If the file is overwritten, certain plugins may not work as expected, leading to errors or missing features on the website.

Additionally, an overwritten .htaccess file can weaken the website’s security. The file is commonly used to implement security measures such as blocking malicious requests, preventing hotlinking, or enabling HTTPS. When the file is overwritten, these security measures may be removed or disabled, leaving the website more vulnerable to attacks.

Understanding the Importance of Preserving Customizations

Preserving customizations in the .htaccess file is crucial for maintaining the functionality and security of your WordPress website. By understanding the importance of preserving these customizations, you can ensure that your website operates as intended and remains protected from potential threats.

Here are three reasons why preserving customizations is essential:

  • Customized .htaccess file settings are tailored to meet the specific needs of your website. These custom rules can include redirects, security measures, and performance optimizations that are designed to enhance your website’s functionality and user experience.
  • Overwriting customizations can lead to broken functionality, security vulnerabilities, or unexpected behavior on your website. By preserving your customizations, you can prevent these issues and maintain the desired behavior and performance of your website.
  • Preserving customizations allows you to maintain control over your website’s .htaccess file. Instead of relying solely on WordPress to make modifications, you can make changes manually and ensure that your custom rules remain intact.

To stop WordPress from modifying your .htaccess file and preserve your customizations, you can change the file permissions to make it read-only. This prevents WordPress from overwriting the file when you make changes through the WordPress dashboard.

Steps to Prevent WordPress From Modifying .Htaccess

To prevent WordPress from modifying the .htaccess file, you can take the following steps:

  1. Change the file permissions to read-only. By doing this, you’re essentially giving WordPress only the ability to read the file, but not modify it. To modify the permissions, you can use an FTP client or file manager to access the .htaccess file and change its permissions to 444 or check only the ‘Read’ boxes.
  2. Another method to prevent WordPress from modifying the .htaccess file is by using a code snippet in the wp-config.php file. This method is more suitable for advanced users who are comfortable with editing the WordPress core files. By adding the code snippet, you can let WordPress know that it shouldn’t modify your .htaccess file.

It is also important to identify the sections in the .htaccess file that aren’t overwritten by WordPress. Look for markers like ‘# BEGIN WordPress’ and ‘# END WordPress’. These markers indicate the sections where WordPress adds its own rules. By placing your customizations outside of these markers, you can ensure that WordPress doesn’t overwrite them.

Best Practices for Adding Customizations to .Htaccess

To effectively preserve your customizations to the .htaccess file in WordPress, it’s essential to follow best practices for adding customizations. Here are three key practices to keep in mind:

  1. Properly place your customizations: When adding customizations to the .htaccess file, make sure to add them between the ‘BEGIN WordPress’ and ‘END WordPress’ lines. This ensures that your customizations aren’t overwritten when WordPress makes changes to the file.
  2. Avoid modifying core WordPress code: It’s important to refrain from directly modifying the core WordPress code in the .htaccess file. Instead, use plugins or theme functions to add the necessary code. This will prevent any conflicts or issues that may arise from modifying the core code.
  3. Regularly backup your .htaccess file: Before making any changes to the .htaccess file, it’s crucial to create a backup. This allows you to easily revert back to a previous version in case something goes wrong during the customization process.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Working With .Htaccess

Avoiding common mistakes is crucial when working with the .htaccess file in WordPress. Making errors when modifying this file can lead to overwriting and potentially breaking your website.

One common mistake isn’t making a backup of the .htaccess file before making any changes. This can be done by simply downloading a copy of the file and saving it on your computer.

Another mistake to avoid is placing your customizations in the wrong section of the .htaccess file. It’s important to insert your instructions in the appropriate location to ensure that they’re executed correctly.

Additionally, be cautious when using code snippets or instructions found online, as they may not be compatible with your specific WordPress setup. Always test any modifications on a staging site before implementing them on your live website.

Finally, remember to save the .htaccess file in the correct format, which is plain text without any formatting or extensions.

How to Test if WordPress Is Still Modifying .Htaccess

To determine if WordPress is still modifying the .htaccess file, you can perform a quick test by checking for the presence of specific markers within the file. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Check for the presence of ‘# BEGIN WordPress’ and ‘# END WordPress’ markers in the .htaccess file. These markers indicate the sections that WordPress manages.
  • Add custom code outside the ‘# BEGIN WordPress’ and ‘# END WordPress’ markers to see if it remains unchanged. If the code is modified or removed, it means that WordPress is still modifying the .htaccess file.
  • Use markers specific to plugins to identify sections that could be overwritten. Some plugins may add their own markers in the .htaccess file. If these markers are modified or removed, it indicates that WordPress is still modifying the file.

Additional Tips for Maintaining a Secure and Optimized .Htaccess File

When maintaining a secure and optimized .htaccess file, it’s important to implement additional tips to prevent WordPress from overwriting it. By following these tips, you can ensure that your customizations to the .htaccess file are preserved.

Firstly, you can use markers to identify sections that won’t be overwritten by WordPress. By placing markers such as ‘BEGIN WordPress’ and ‘END WordPress’ in the file, you can indicate which sections shouldn’t be modified.

Secondly, you can prevent WordPress from modifying the .htaccess file by setting the correct file permissions. By ensuring that the file isn’t writable by WordPress, you can prevent it from making any changes to the file.

Thirdly, you can use code snippets in the wp-config.php file to prevent WordPress from modifying the .htaccess file. By adding the code snippet define(‘WP_DISABLE_MOD_REWRITE’, true); to the wp-config.php file, you can disable WordPress’ ability to modify the .htaccess file.

Lastly, it’s important to understand the error message that WordPress displays when it’s unable to make changes to the .htaccess file. By understanding the error message, you can troubleshoot and resolve any issues that may be preventing WordPress from overwriting the file.


In conclusion, by following the steps outlined in this article, you can prevent WordPress from overwriting your .htaccess file and ensure that your customizations are preserved.

It’s important to understand the potential issues caused by an overwritten .htaccess file and the importance of preserving your customizations.

By using best practices for adding customizations and avoiding common mistakes, you can maintain a secure and optimized .htaccess file.

Remember to regularly test if WordPress is still modifying the file to ensure its effectiveness.

How can you prevent WordPress from overwriting the .htaccess file?

The .htaccess file is crucial for managing the settings and functionality of a WordPress website. However, issues with the file can cause performance and security problems. Best practices for managing the .htaccess file include using proper markers for WordPress and plugin settings, creating custom markers for custom code, preventing WordPress from modifying the file, and troubleshooting issues with custom code and markers. Plugin conflicts, incorrect file permissions, and automatic updates can all interfere with WordPress’s ability to modify the .htaccess file.

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