The server looks for specifically named files as the first page of your website, also known as the index page. The default order of index file names our particular servers look through is index.htm, index.html, index.php, and finally default.htm. You can change the name of the index file your account looks for by altering the .htaccess file. Perhaps you want to have a specific custom name for your index file or maybe you are migrating from another host and the index page is named differently. This way your internal links will not be broken by renaming the index file.
What is an htaccess File?
The .htaccess file is a hidden text file within your hosting account that can be very powerful. It is designed so that you can modify it to change the behavior of your website that normally would take higher access beyond your account. It acts as a liaison between your domain and the server and can perform many functions.
Learn more about htaccess
Changing your Default Index File Via htaccess
- Log into your cPanel.
- Find the Files category and click on the File Manager icon.
- Click Settings at the top right corner.
You can also list more than one file in the configuration. The file will be read left to right and check for them in that order. In this example, we add index.htm, index.html, and index.php to the list. First the server will check for first.html, if it does not find a file with that name, it continues to index.htm and so on.
DirectoryIndex first.html index.htm index.html index.php