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I've got several sites: example.com, example1.com, and example2.com in my wordpress. All of them point to my server's /public_html folder, which is my Apache root folder. What do I need to add to my .htaccess file to use http authentication only if the user is coming from example2.com/public_html?

example.com/public_html and example1.com/public_html should NOT use authentication.

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    Without correct punctuation, your sentence is ambiguous. I tried to clarify it but feel free to rollback my edit and correct your post if it's not what you meant. – lgeorget Jul 7 '14 at 6:49
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The .htaccess file modifies apache settings based on the file system location, where you want to change settings based on the virtual host context.

So instead of setting up authentication in the .htaccess file, modify the Apache configuration file and add authentication settings to the correct virtual host entry:

<VirtualHost *:80>
  ServerName www.example.com
  ServerAlias example.com

  <Directory /some/path/public_html>
    AuthUserFile /some/path/public_html/.htpasswd
    AuthGroupFile /dev/null
    AuthName "authenticated Users Only"
    AuthType Basic
    Require valid-user
  </Directory>
</VirtualHost>

Instead of using a <Directory /some/path/public_html> directive this could also be good use-case for <Location /public_html> directive within the virtual host context.

On a side note the strong recommendation from the Apache project with regards to .htaccess files:

You should avoid using .htaccess files completely if you have access to httpd main server config file. Using .htaccess files slows down your Apache http server. Any directive that you can include in a .htaccess file is better set in a Directory block, as it will have the same effect with better performance.

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