Ray's Test Page - Changing the Default Home Page

If a web server is using Apache then the default home page is index.html. It is possible to change the default home page by editing the Apache configuration file, httpd.conf.

Find the section that reads DirectoryIndex index.htmland change it to DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm the default home page will now be index.html, if that file isn't found then it will try and find the file index.htm. If you change the line to DirectoryIndex index.htm then the new default home page will be index.htm.

This is only of use to you if you can edit httpd.conf and no host in their right mind will let you do that.

There are other ways though.

Some hosts, like Lycos UK, let you add a file named .htaccess to your folders. What this file does is to override or add to some of the settings in httpd.conf. This can be done because Lycos UK have changed another setting in htppd.conf that allows overrides to itself. Unless htppd.conf has been modified to accept overrides by .htaccess the commands in that file will have no effect.

To change the default home page using .htaccess that file should contain the line something like DirectoryIndex default.htm. The default home page is now default.htm.

Windows PCs do not allow you to create a file named .htaccess. in this case name the file, which is plain text, htaccess.txt. When it is uploaded to the server rename it .htaccess.

Another way to make your page appear to be the default home page is to redirect visitors from index.html to another page. This is done by adding the line <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0; URL=http://URL/your_page.htm"> to the HEAD section of index.html. Obviously, change http://URL/your_page.htm to whatever you want the page people will see.

This page created 1st June 2004

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