Understanding Apache MIME types

Understanding Apache MIME types

MIME stands for Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions. Apache MIME types are used to tell browsers how to handle certain types of files. MIME types are a form of an instruction set that informs web browsers about the type of file and how the file will be served to the user. Then if it is a.J’s file it is sent to the browser and then the application/javascript MIME type is also sent to the browser and informs that it is a Javascript file. General MIME types are added automatically to the web server. The default MIME types are not removable MIME types. We can add customized MIME types to the website. Adding customized MIME types requires technical knowledge of web server. We must be well known to the web server and know what we are doing before setting customized MIME types. If the MIME types are not handled properly the website will inaccessible.

Most of the MIME types are set globally on the server. For example, on most servers, the text/html MIME type equates to htm, html, and shtml extensions and this informs the browser to interpret all files with those extensions as HTML files. MIME types are used to handle new technologies as they appear. Web servers do not have MIME types of this extension in the MIME types list, therefore web browser might not properly process the page. If a new technology appears we can set up MIME types of this new technology manually on the server. By adding a customized MIME type into web servers the web browser can process the page. Before adding new MIME types, make sure to check the list of pre-existing MIME types because it alters the functionality of the website.

MIME types are defined as a system defined MIME types. If we have a file with custom extensions, we can specify the MIME types for that file. This will inform the browser about the custom extension and how to handle that file. The difference between apache handlers and MIME types is that MIME types tell the browser how to handle the type of file, while Apache handlers instruct the web server what to do when processing certain types of files.

MIME types are also known as media type or content type. MIME types are officially assigned and listed by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). MIME is an extension of internet email protocol that is used to exchange different file types that are audio, video, images etc.. on the internet. In web transmission, MIME header is inserted to the server. MIME types consist of two parts main type and subtype. The main type is separated from subtype by a forward slash character.


Adding MIME Types in cPanel

1) Login to cPanel.

2) Click the icon ‘MIME Types’ under the section ‘Advanced’.

Understanding Apache MIME types


3) Add MIME type extensions in the Extension(S) in the textbox.

Understanding Apache MIME types


4) Click the button ‘Add’.

Understanding Apache MIME types


This will submit the new MIME type in the web servers MIME type list.


Deleting a custom MIME type in cPanel.

1) Login to cPanel.

2) Click MIME types under Advanced section of cPanel home screen.

3) Scroll down the User Defined MIME Types list and click delete link under ‘Actions’ of the corresponding MIME types you wish to delete.

Please note that you are not allowed to delete the MIME types that the system defined automatically on the server

If you need any further assistance please reach our support department.

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