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Mime Types Web Hosting Information

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions or MIME types are used to tell applications how to handle certain extensions. Most of these are already set on the server for the extensions that are used most often. For example text/html is set for .htm, .html, and .shtml. When a browser application loads these types of files it will know how to read them.

If you use a filename extension that is not known to the web server, the file is assumed to be plain text, the server's default media type. Web browsers will try to display the file as plain text. If the file is not a text file, it may end up looking like a sequence of garbage characters.

Note: People often get confused as to the difference between mime types and Apache handlers. Basically, mime types tell your browser how to handle files, while Apache handlers tell the server how to handle files.

Some web hosts that support custom mime types provide an easy to use control panel to help create and manage custom mime types.

For those web hosts that do not have an easy method to create and manage custom mime types, you still may be able to setup custom mime types using a .htaccess file.

Step 1:
Create a plain text file using a text editor such as Windows Notepad.

Step 2:
Add the following text...



  • Replace "MIMETYPE" with the appropriate MIME type.
  • Replace "EXTENSION" with the filename extension you're using to represent it.

    Example: The following line maps the "audio/midi" MIME type to the .mid filename extension:

    AddType audio/midi mid

Step 3:
Save the file as a plain text file. Name the file ".htaccess"

Step 4:
Upload the .htaccess file in ASCII mode to your web space using an FTP application.

Step 5:
Try it out. Check to see that it works with your web browser.


Custom Mime Types
List of Mime Types
Custom Mime Type Hosting
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