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"Can I drop my main index.html file into the "images" folder and just have it redirect, or does it have to be a new, blank index.html?"
No, not your site home page index file (that would load but your paths would be screwed up). A new one with either a message you wish to convey to people trying to access the images directory, or with a redirect to your domain.
"I don't want a list of files in my directory to show up in Google."
Then use a robot.txt file. That's what it's made for.
Can I drop my main index.html file into the "images" folder and just have it redirect, or does it have to be a new, blank index.html?
Good reminder to do this actually.
So you don't want someone to see a list of files in your images directory? If you don't know your way around .htaccess, just drop an index file in that folder. That's what will load instead. Either have it redirect to your home page, or include a specific error or message.
place .htaccess in the root directory.
Following an online tutorial, I put a file called .htaccess in my website "images" folder with this line:
It disabled all my images though. Where do I put it, and what can I add to have it redirect to my main index.html page?