Why Are Empty Index Files In Folders

We have recently been asked why our templates have blank / empty "index.html" files in them, so here is the reason:

The blank "index.html" files in the folders (images, scripts etc..) help prevent internet users from directly accessing the files on the server where your website is hosted. It stops the browser showing the directory listing for the individual folders.

The problem is not with every host as some hosts automatically add blank index files to the folders that don't already have them and other servers simply don't permit access to directory listings and return a 403 restricted access report if someone tries to access the folder.

An example (if you don't have an empty index.html in your folders) can be found on Google: search for "index of" and click the results.

You will see that folders and files are shown, which in turn are directly accessible and can also be directly downloaded, like the screenshot below shows:

Directory Listing

The folder names (in the image above) have been blacked out for security reasons - we don't want to be accused of anything illegal just because we use the screenshot as a demonstration.

If you don't care whether or not files can be seen and accessed, then please feel free to remove the blank "index.html" file from the individual folders.

Just remember that the index.html file in the root is not to be deleted as it is the homepage :)

We hope this has helped a little to clear this matter up.


Your OS Templates Team