Support » Fixing WordPress » Problems disabling directory browsing

  • Something Something Life


    So I wanted to block directory browsing for my site to avoid visitors from seeing all my files and folders. I found numerous places online that suggested adding the following text to the .htaccess file: “Options -Indexes” or “Options All-Indexes”. I added this to the .htaccess file and uploaded it. And it worked! Sort of.

    Now, when I typed the address for a directory ( I get forwarded to my host’s 404 page (, rather than my own 404 page. This is almost as bad as the original situation, because now I’m moving visitors away from my site completely!

    I kept searching for answers and saw that another option was to put a blank index.html file in the folders/directories I want to block. This seemed like maybe it isn’t as secure as the previous solution, but still seemed like it would do the trick. I created this file and uploaded it, and changed “Options -Indexes” to “Options +Indexes” in my .htaccess file. Now I’m getting my custom index.html page (after some hand-wringing and cookie clearing during which my entire site disappeared).

    What I want to know is how I can both block directory browsing and redirect visitors to my custom page. Is my current solution secure enough? Is the forced redirect a quirk of my (free) host, or will that happen regardless of the host I use? I want to make sure my visitors get a smooth, unified experience, but I also want to make sure my site is secure.

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  • There is a plug in that can handle re-directs easily, there is also another that can block serps and bots. I will see if I can remember the name but it might pay to search for it in the meantime.

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