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WARNING: Be very careful editing your server configuration or .htaccess files. Even a minor typographical error can make your site unusable! Always make a backup copy of any file so you can recover quickly.

I do not want index.html to be the default page when a person accesses my site. If I rename index.html to index.shtml, all I get is a directory listing.

The DirectoryIndex directive allows you to specify a specific filename or filenames as the default page in a directory. Depending on your needs, you can even make a CGI script the default. One note of caution on using a CGI as your default page: Many search engines will not index it.

If you have permission to edit the master configuration files

Edit the files httpd.conf and srm.conf file and do the following:

Find this line.

DirectoryIndex index.html

and change it as follows:

DirectoryIndex index.shtml index.html

Of course, you can use any filename you wish. I prefer to leave index.html as a valid index as well.

Changing The Default Page using .htaccess

If you are unable to edit your master configuration files, you can use this directive from .htaccess. Just edit the .htaccess file located in your main HTML directory. If you do not have this file, feel free to create it!

To change the default page, either edit the existing DirectoryIndex line or add the following:

DirectoryIndex index.shtml index.html
This will make index.shtml the default page.

By using a .htaccess file in a subdirectory, you can specify a different default page for that one directory without affecting the rest of your site.

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