** Warning ** Not everyone may be able to install or have an .htaccess file depending on your server set up. Please contact your hosting provider or webmaster to see what your options are. Messing with .htaccess can cripple your website if not used properly.
An .htaccess document lets you control many aspects of your server than provide good functionality for SEO, page speed and many other variables. If your webmaster or server provider lets you edit this file it may be in your best interest to do so. A quick side note the file is generally hidden as invisible so may require you to tweak your settings to find it once it has been created.
Included below is the code to make your own .htaccess file which communicates at the server level and is an extremely powerful tool if used properly. The script we included below accomplishes several things, such as;
a) Redirecting visitors to custom website error pages so people never leave your site or experience uncomfortable errors.
b) GZIP file compression which helps increase page loading time and reduce web resources by minifying your website code on a server level. This process may be different for each user depending on your server configuration. Please see your webmaster or developer for more details on this.
c) Redirect all non .www url addresses to the www. versions in order to have a single unified website. Some search engines will consider the non .www and .www of your website two separate copies and this will decrease your rankings.
d) Manage HTTP header expiration information with helps with pagespeed.