Credits: Video Training produced by Brian Teeman
Joomla ships with a special file which, amongst other things, ensures that your web site URLs do not include the words "index.php".
If you've already set this up before you will have done this from the "System - Global Configuration" and set the "Use URL Rewriting" to 'Yes', having created that special .htaccess file on your web server.
If this all worked fine, then you can happily proceed with the .htaccess maker part of Admintools.
You will find the .htaccess maker in the "Security" section. Remember, if you've already been able to create without any modification the .htaccess file, then you can happily proceed with this section.
However, you should know that any changes made here have the possibility of completely blocking your entire website.
So before you proceed, you should make sure that you have FTP or some hosting control panel file manager access to get your site back online just in case something goes wrong.
If when you used Joomla's own .htaccess file you had to make some edits for it to work on your web host, you will find those right down the bottom of this file.
The most likely ones that you will have changed was to set the "follow symlinks" to "Yes" and the base directory of your site from slash to some subdirectory.
If you were able to make Joomla's own .htaccess file work without any changes you can simply leave these as the default.
If we scroll back to the top we can see this .htaccess maker includes various options to enhance the basic security of your website.
Each one of these is documented in the Admintools documentation section of the Akeebabackup.com website.
Remember, defaults are there for a very good reason and if you don't know what something is then you should leave it alone.
In addition to some web site security there is also some additional server protection that is provided.
Some components may work in a non-standard way and you will have to provide exceptions to allow direct access to their files. Here we can see three examples for Akeeba Backup, Admintools, and the Joomla! update component.
It may be that you will have to add additional exceptions for some of your components that are on your website.
In addition we have the opportunity to create some custom .htaccess rules. If you don't know what these are don't worry about it - it doesn't apply to you. But, if you've had to create some already then this is where you will add them.
If you had previously added some code to change your PHP version you should copy that code here. Otherwise your host may default to a very old version of PHP.
The final section Optimisation and utility adds some additional tweaks to your website and you shouldn't need to change these.
When you are happy with the settings, click on the big green "Save and Create .htaccess".
Your new .htaccess file has been written to the disk and a backup has been taken of the old one. At this point, you must check to make sure that every part of your website is working as it did before.
It should, but as mentioned before it may be necessary to add some exceptions for some of your components.
If for some reason your web site is now completely blank or you have a 500 error, you should use your ftp program or your web hosts file manager to locate the .htaccess file in the root of your web space.
Rename this file perhaps to .htacessnew - to prevent it from working and your web site will reload.
You should then return to Admintools and the .htaccess maker and review the settings until your web site is working perfectly.