When WordPress is first installed, it includes a file named .htaccess.” This is a file that contains several configuration settings related to interactions with the server (computer hosting the WordPress site). More specifically, it tells servers running Apache software how to access your WordPress files.
Because the “.htaccess” file affects the core functionality of a WordPress website, it should never be modified unless you’re absolutely sure that you know what you’re doing!
The “.htaccess” file is usually placed in the root directory of a WordPress website. Depending on your FTP client or GUI browser program, you may not be able to view this file as it is considered very sensitive. Most computers are designed to hide any file that begins with a period (.). In order to see and modify the “.htaccess” file, you’ll need to activate “show hidden files” in your FTP client or GUI browser program.
In general, the “.htaccess” file is most often used for rewriting and configuring URLs or website addresses for your posts and pages.
If you log into your administration panel and click on “Settings” and then “Permalinks” in the left-hand column, you can choose how WordPress will generate URLs for new posts and pages. If you make any changes, WordPress will automatically adjust the “.htaccess” file.
Note: Some versions of WordPress do not allow you to access the “Permalinks” screen in “Settings.”
There are also some plugins available that allow you to safely make adjustments to the “.htaccess” file in order to optimize your WordPress website.