No matter you are using WordPress CMS or running any PHP websites. You probably have seen the .htaccess in your website directory before. If yes, you probably hosting your website under Apache web server.
The .htaccess is a configuration file for Apache Web Server software that used to configuration the server either to enable/disable additional functionality and features that the Apache Web Server software.
The htaccess are often used to improve website security, website page speed, URL rewriting and many more. Each time you edit the htaccess file, you don’t need reboot the web server to see the change. It will works immediately when the next time you request from the server.
Does htaccess slow down your website?
Comes to the point, does htaccess slow down your website? The short answer is YES.
Although the htaccess are very powerful when configuring your server for your website, the htaccess file will be executed each time you requested it from server. Imagine if your htaccess configuration is very large and each time your website loads, it needs requested from server again and again.
It means, when you have more htaccess configuration, the more CPU, RAM, computing power and server resources are required.
If you can reduce of using htaccess, reduce it as much as possible. Keep it in minimum, be sure remove all the duplicated and unnecessary htaccess configuration. Make sure to keep it clean, short and simple as much as you can.