The .htaccess file can be placed in one or more of your /home/user/public_html subdirectories. Among other things, this file can be used to restrict access to other files and web pages or to enable or on/off some of php modules. When a request for a web page is made, the web server first checks for an .htaccess file. The server begins this check by looking for .htaccess in the root of the current web directory, and on down the directory tree until it reaches the directory where the requested file resides. Since the placement of the .htaccess file determines when it is executed, this fact can be used to restrict access only in certain subdirectories.
You may notice after uploading your .htaccess file via FTP that it seems to have "disappeared" from the directory you uploaded it to. It hasn't really disappeared; it is still on the server and will still behave as you have set it to. If you need to edit it, just edit it from your cPanel or re-upload your edited .htaccess file via FTP. This will overwrite the old .htaccess file. Please note that Windows will not allow you to create a file called .htaccess. If you use FTP to edit/upload your .htaccess file, it will be necessary to create this file using another name and then rename it once you have uploaded it to your site.
Important Note: Do not edit the .htaccess file if you are using MS FrontPage! You'll either create a security hole or break FrontPage.
In your cPanel:
Click on File Manager -->public_html (click folder icon) or whatever directory you want to edit .htaccess for --> click .htaccess file icon --> Click Edit File (on the right).
Simply create your .htaccess with a text editor, name it anything, and upload it via FTP as an ASCII file, and rename it to .htaccess after it's on the server. You may not see it from your FTP program after uploading but you will be able to see it via your cPanel if you need to reassure yourself that it's there.