When maintaing a website for a customer where there are several gigabtyes of product images that change frequently, it can be annoying to have to keep a local copy of all those images, particularly when bandwidth usage is taken in to consideration. Using .hatccess files on Apache with a clever use of rewrite rules, it is possible to still reference the images files as if they are on the local webserver but they are really served off the remote server. This makes the local development copy of the website look just like the remote one without having to worry about keeping the images in sync. This post looks at how to do this.
Apache allows the use of .htaccess files which can change certain configuration options in a per-directory basis. By default .htaccess files are named .htaccess but it is possible to use a different name either for the whole server, or on a virtual host by virtual host basis. This post looks at how to change the filename used.
If you have made changes to the Apache configuration file httpd.conf, or one of the other included configuration files (eg vhosts.d files), you need to reload the Apache service for the changes to take effect.