403 Forbidden Error | 403-Page Error | WordPress Error

Understanding 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress

403 Forbidden Error: WordPress, as one of the strongest content management systems out there, has a reason or a solution for every error you would ever come across. While using WordPress, has a 403 forbidden error ever occurred to you? If it is coming up then it is a clear indication that the server permissions prohibit access to any particular page of your WordPress website.

Here are the conditions in which you can fall upon this error:

  • If the access is discarded on the “wp-admin” or WordPress login page.
  • This error can come up while installing WordPress. It can be quite challenging for WordPress beginners.
  • When you are trying to access a particular page on your WordPress website.
  • There could be another message “access denied” instead of the “403 forbidden error” that will appear on WordPress. These both are the same.
  • Another message that WordPress show is: ‘access to your domain.com was denied’ message.
  • You could also get an error message- ‘you don’t have the authorization to view this page’ while you trying to access a particular page on your WordPress website.

What is the Reason Behind the Occurrence of 403 forbidden Error in WordPress?

Now let’s talk about reasons why 403 forbidden error occurs in WordPress. Let us have a look at them:

  • The foremost reason for this is that the plug-ins are not managed well. It happens because WordPress security plug-ins sometimes block the IP address or the complete range of IP addresses. Also, if the security plug-ins of WordPress websites are considered to be malicious. This is why WordPress plug-ins should be updated and managed properly.
  • A bad ‘.htaccess’ file can also cause 403 forbidden errors in WordPress.
  • The wrong file permissions on your server are another cause of this error.
  • This doesn’t happen usually but if your WordPress hosting company submits a new change in the server settings, there are possibilities that you will get a 403 forbidden error in WordPress.

How To Troubleshoot the 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress?

It’s time to look at some agile fixes to get rid of a 403 forbidden error in WordPress. Here are the steps you need to follow in the right order as specified:

Safety First: Before jumping on to the solutions, you need to ensure that you have a backup for the entire WordPress website to shield it from any unexpected accidental problems.

The smart WordPress user always uses an ‘automatic WordPress backup’ plug-in to be on the safer side. Just make sure that you have access to the most current backup files of your WordPress website.

Once you have taken all the safety measures, you can move forward to the work on the solutions to fix this error:

Solution #1: Check out these steps to this first solution for fixing the ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress.’

  • Before starting anything, make sure you have deactivated all the plug-ins on your WordPress website.
  • The next step is to check whether your WordPress website has started working evenly or not. If it is working then you don’t require to follow the solution any further.
  • However, if the problem is still there, then you need to start a thorough inspection of the plug-ins to get to the source level of this error. 
  • You can do this by activating the plug-ins one at a time. Keep checking the effect of that plug-in on your WordPress website. This step requires time and patience, but you will definitely find the exact plug-in that is making this error occur.

Solution #2: Here is another solution that can fix the ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress’. This requires you to fix the ‘.htaccess’ files. If you are wondering, how will you do that then here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Start by connecting your WordPress website using the ‘FTP client’ or the ‘File Manager’ in the cPanel.
  • Next, you need to get access to the root folder of your WordPress website.
  • Search for the ‘.htaccess’ file.
  • Before making any changes to it download the ‘.htaccess file’ on your PC, to create the backup.
  • Once you got the backup file, delete the ‘.htaccess’ file from the server.
  • After deleting that file, try to access the WordPress website.
  • If it is working fine, then it means that your ‘.htaccess’ file was corrupt and the error is gone.
  • Since you have deleted the corrupted one, create new ‘.htaccess’ files. For this, you need to log in to your WordPress admin section. 
  • Hit the ‘Settings’ option.
  • Click on the ‘Permalinks’ page.
  • Scroll down to the below part of the page and hit ‘Save.’
  • This will create a new ‘.htaccess’ file on WordPress.

If you are still on that error, then don’t worry, here we have another solution for you. Just keep reading on.

Solution #3: One of the amazing features of WordPress files is that it asks for permissions to channel who can access those files. If the permission gets modified because of specific reasons, you will eventually encounter ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress.’ The wrong permission settings often make WordPress think that you don’t have the authority to access a particular file. Here are the measures to get out of this:

  • You might require to reach out to your WordPress hosting provider for verification of the correct permission to the files on the WordPress website.
  • Another way is to alter the permission yourself. This could be a little tricky. It is always recommended you should only do it when you are absolutely confident in your technical skills. Otherwise, you can always seek professional help.

Steps To Change the File Permission on Your Own

If you are planning to change file permissions yourself then here are the instructions you should follow. You must take extra care while doing so to prevent any severe outcomes:

  • Start by establishing a connection with your WordPress website using ‘FTP client.’
  • Find the source folder and open it.
  • There will be several files here. Pick and select any folder.
  • Then right-click on it. In the drop-down menu please hit the ‘File Permissions’ option.
  • Here it is! Your ‘File Permission’ folder.

Please Note: Here are the permission types for all the files and folders on your WordPress website. This is how it should be ideally:

  1. For folders- 744 or 755
  2. For files- 644 or 640
  • Set the permission type of your source folder to either 744 or 755.
  • Tick the mark on the box that appears next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories.
  • Now tick the mark to the ‘Apply to directories only’ option.
  • Hit ‘OK.’
  • Now you can see the changes made in the FT client folder. These changes set permissions to all the subdirectories available in the folder.
  • Do the same for the rest of the files. Just choose the permission type – ‘644 or 640.
  • Do not forget to tick mark the box that appears next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ and the ‘Apply to directories only’ option.
  • Hit ‘OK.’
  • Accordingly, your FT client will automatically set the permission for every file and folder.

After you have made permission changes to every file and folder, try accessing your WordPress Website. This solution will make that ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress’ vanish entirely.

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