Being blocked from your own website can be very annoying, especially if you don’t know what is wrong. When you attempt to access a particular page on your website or log into WordPress, the 403 Forbidden error frequently appears.
Fortunately, this typical WordPress error has a few quick fixes. You might even be able to solve the problem with assistance from your web host, depending on your hosting plan.
We’ll examine the 403 Forbidden error and its primary causes in more detail in this post. Then, we’ll demonstrate five fixes for it. Let’s get going!
What the 403 Forbidden Error Is (And What Causes It)
One of several HTTP status codes used by servers to communicate with your browser is the 403 Forbidden error. When you see the 403 status code, it means that your server believes you do not have authorization to access that specific page.
When you try to log into your WordPress admin area or visit a specific page on your website, the 403 Forbidden error frequently appears. It might also come up when you install WordPress.
Typically, one of the following messages—or closely related variations—accompanies the error
- “403 Forbidden – Access to this resource on the server is denied.”
- “Forbidden – You don’t have permission to access [directory name] on this server.”
- “You are not authorized to view this page.”
- “It appears you don’t have permission to access this page.”
- “403. That’s an error. Your client does not have permission to get URL [address] from this server.”
You might encounter a straightforward notification that reads “Access Denied” rather than the status “403 Forbidden.” Access to [domain name] was denied, which is another message that could appear. You are not permitted to view this page.
This 403 Forbidden error could be caused by a number of things. The most likely scenario is that your server has incorrect file permissions.
How to Fix 403 Forbidden Error WordPress
Let’s now go over some fixes for the 403 Forbidden error in WordPress. To start, we advise that you create a backup of your website in case something goes wrong and you need to roll it back to a previous state.
1. Change your file permissions
The server hosting your website has separate permissions for each WordPress file. These options regulate who can view and alter its contents. Your server will prevent you from accessing these files if they have the wrong permissions set.
Simply get in touch with your hosting company, and a technical expert should be able to check your file permissions for you. By connecting to your website using a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client like FileZilla, you can also perform this action on your own.
You can also use the file manager in your hosting account to access your website. If you are using HostForLIFE.eu, please just simply login to your Plesk control panel -> File Manager -> wp-config.php file and please set your permission.
2. Deactivate plugins
As we already mentioned, a malfunctioning plugin can also result in the 403 Forbidden error. You’ll need to first deactivate all of your plugins before reactivating each one individually to see if this is the case.
Start by using FileZilla or the file manager in your hosting account to log in to your website. Next, open the wp-content folder in the root directory of your website and look for the plugins folder there. Next, choose Rename with a right-click on the plugins folder.
Next, give the folder a new name, such as “plugins_test”. All of your plugins will be automatically turned off as a result.
If you can access your site after renaming the folder, then a buggy plugin was to blame for the 403 Forbidden error. Find out which one it is as a next step.
Go back to the root directory of your website and rename the plugins folder to “plugins” first. Then go to your WordPress dashboard’s Plugins page and activate each plugin one at a time. Do this repeatedly until you can reproduce the error. Once you’ve located the problematic plugin, you have two options: delete it or get in touch with the developer for assistance.
3. Deactivate CDN
After following the above instructions, if you’re still receiving the 403 Forbidden error, your Content Delivery Network (CDN) may be malfunctioning. This is a network of servers spread out across the globe that each hosts a copy of your website. Many hosting packages include a CDN to improve the performance of your website.
You must momentarily turn off your CDN in order to determine whether it is the source of the issue. You can find your CDN settings by logging into your hosting account. We advise contacting your hosting company if you are unable to access your CDN.
4. Check your Hotlink Protection
Finally, you might want to look at the hotlink protection on your website. When someone embeds media files on their website directly from another website, this practice is known as hotlinking. Some people might do this to use the bandwidth of another site owner (rather than their own), which is essentially theft.
Hotlink protection is provided by some hosts and CDN providers. On the other hand, if this is not configured correctly, it might result in a 403 Forbidden error on your website. As a result, you might want to talk to your web host about this problem. While you might want to investigate this on your own, it’s best to seek assistance from a technical professional to make sure that your hotlink protection is set up properly.
Using an SFTP client like FileZilla or the file manager in your hosting account, we looked at four primary fixes for the 403 Forbidden error in this article:
- Modify the file permissions.
- Turn off your plugins.
- Turn off your CDN.
- You should check the hotlink protection.
A managed WordPress hosting plan might be something to take into consideration if you want to get professional assistance when running into WordPress errors. Our HostForLIFE’s plans include 24/7 technical support for WordPress site owners, allowing you to spend more time growing your business and less time troubleshooting.