Index.html: Everything You Need To Know So Far!

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser.

It can be aided by technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and scripting languages such as JavaScript.

Understanding the Index.html Page on a Website

One of the first things you learn when you start dabbling in website design is how to save your documents as web pages.

Many tutorials and articles on how to get started with web design will tell you to save your first HTML document as index.html. Let’s look at the significance of this naming convention, which is an industry-standard.

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Default Homepage

The index.html page is the most common name for the default page displayed on a website if no other page is specified when a visitor requests the site. In other words, index.html is the name given to the website’s homepage.

Site Architecture and Index.html

On a web server, websites are created within directories. Each webpage on your website must be saved as a separate file. Your “About Us” page, for example, could be saved as about.html, and your “Contact Us” page could be contact.html. These.html files will make up your website.

When someone visits the website, they may do so without specifying one of these specific files in the URL address. As an example:

Even if there is no page listed in the URL request made to the server, the web server must still deliver a page for this request so that the browser can display something. The file that will be delivered is the directory’s default page. In other words, if no file is requested, the server knows which one to serve by default. On most web servers, the default page in a directory is called


In essence, when you go to a URL and specify a specific file, the server will deliver that file. If you do not specify a file name, the server will look for a default file and display it for you—almost as if you had typed that file name into the URL.

Other Default Page Names

In addition to index.html, some websites use the following default page names:

  • index.htm
  • default.htm or default.html
  • home.htm or home.html

In reality, a web server can be configured to recognize any file as the default for that site. Even so, it’s still a good idea to stick with index.html or index.htm because they are automatically recognized by most servers and don’t require any additional configuration.


While default.htm is sometimes used on Windows servers, using index.html almost guarantees that your default homepage will be recognized and displayed no matter where you host your site, including if you change hosting providers in the future.

You Should Have an Index.html Page in All Your Directories

It is best practice to have a corresponding index.html page for every directory on your website.

Even if you do not intend to display content on the index pages of specific directories with actual page links, having the file in place is a wise user experience and security move.

Using a Default File Name Like Index.html is a Security Feature as Well

When a user navigates to a directory without a default file, the directory structure is usually visible. This view displays website information that would otherwise be hidden, such as directories and other files in that folder. This transparency can be beneficial during the development of a site, but once the site is live, allowing directory viewing can be a security risk.


If you do not include an index.html file in a directory, most web servers will display a file listing of all the files in that directory by default. While this behavior can be disabled at the server level, it requires the involvement of the server administrator to make it work.

Sites That Do Not Use .html Files

Some websites, such as those powered by a content management system or those written in more robust programming languages such as PHP or ASP, may not include.html pages in their structure. For these sites, you should still specify a default page, and for certain directories within that site, having an index.html (or index.php, index. asp, etc.) page is still desirable for the reasons stated above.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is in Index Html?

Default Home Page

The Index. Html Page is the Most Common Name for the Default Page Displayed on a Website if No Other Page is Specified When a Visitor Requests the Site. In Other Words, Index. Html is the Name of the Website’s Homepage.

Where Can I Find Index Html?

The Index.html File is Stored in the Webserver’s Web Site Root Directory. If the Webserver is Apache2, the Default Path is /var/www, and the Web Site Folder Name. If the Webserver is Iis, the Path Will Be C:inetpubsites by Default but May Vary Depending on the Web Site Configuration.

What is an Index Page?

The Index Page is the Url or Local File That Loads Automatically When a Web Browser Starts and When the Browser’s ‘home’ Button is Pressed. The Term is Also Used to Refer to the Front Page, Web Server Directory Index, or Main Web Page of a Group, Company, Organisation, or Individual’s Website.

What Are Some Index Examples?

An Index is Defined as a Guide, List, Sign, or a Number Used to Measure Change. A List of Employee Names, Addresses, and Phone Numbers is an Example of an Index. A Stock Market Index is an example of an Index Because It is Based on a Standard Set at a Specific Time.

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