WordPress 403 forbidden error

What is 403 forbidden error WordPress all about?

Usually WordPress tries to explain the reason or any other details every time you face any error. The 403 forbidden error in WordPress is an indication of the scenario when the server permissions prohibits an access to any particular page off your WordPress website.

You can stumble upon this error in situations like:

  • When the access is denied on the ‘wp-admin’ or WordPress login page.
  • You can get this error while installing the WordPress which can be quite dreadful for the WordPress beginners.
  • When you try to visit any particular page on your WordPress website, you may come across this error.
  • Sometimes you may see an ‘access denied’ message instead of the ‘403 forbidden error’ message on WordPress. So do not get confused.
  • Sometimes WordPress shows messages like: ‘access to your domain.com was denied’ message.
  • You may also get an error message which reads- ‘you don’t have authorization to view this page’ while you try to visit any particular page on your WordPress website.

Culprits behind 403 forbidden error in WordPress:

In this section we will look at the reasons that cause 403 forbidden error in WordPress. Let us have a look at them:

  • The first and the most predictable reason is the plug-ins are not managed properly. Sometimes some WordPress security plug-ins can block the IP address. And sometimes the whole range of IP address can get blocked too. This can happen when the security plug-ins of your WordPress website consider them to be malicious. That’s why managing WordPress plug-ins becomes important.
  • As a second reason, a bad ‘.htaccess’ file can cause 403 forbidden error in WordPress.
  • Another reason can be the wrong file permissions on your server.
  • Although it’s a rare occasion, but when your WordPress hosting company introduces a new change in the server settings, you can get 403 forbidden error in WordPress all of a sudden.

Ways to troubleshoot the 403 forbidden error in WordPress:

In this section we will look at some quick fixes to sort out the 403 forbidden error in WordPress. Please follow the instructions in the right order as mentioned:

Safety First:

  • Before pouncing on to the solutions, please make sure that you have made a backup of the entire WordPress files to protect you from any unforeseen accidental troubles.
  • If you are a smart WordPress user and are already using an ‘automatic WordPress backup’ plug-in, then in that case you should make sure that you are able to access the most recent backup files of your WordPress website.

After ensuring the above steps, now you can move forward to the solutions of this error:

Quick Fix 1:

Here is the first solution for fixing the ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress.’ Please follow these steps:

  • First of all please deactivate all the plug-ins of your WordPress website.
  • Now check if your WordPress website has started to work smoothly. If yes then you don’t need to follow this quick fix solution any further.
  • But if the problem still persists then you can inspect closely which plug-in at the root level of this error.
  • In order to do that you need to activate the plug-ins one at a time. And side by side you need to cross check the effect of that plug-in on your WordPress website. This step requires patience, but will surely lead you to the exact plug-in that is causing you ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress.’

Quick Fix 2:

The second solution for fixing the ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress’ is to fix the ‘.htaccess’ files. In this section we will look at the ways which help you to fix the ‘.htaccess’ files. Please follow these steps:

  • As a first step please connect your WordPress website with the help of ‘FTP client’ or the ‘File Manager’ in the cPanel.
  • Now open the root folder of your WordPress website.
  • Now you need to look for the ‘.htaccess’ file.
  • For safety reasons, please download the ‘.htaccess file’ in your PC, in order to create the backup of the ‘.htaccess’ file.
  • Once you have safely saved the backup file, feel free to delete the ‘,htaccess’ file from the server.
  • Now try to open the WordPress website.
  • If you are able to access the WordPress file, then it means that the issue was with the ‘.htaccess’ file or in other words the ‘.htaccess’ file was corrupt.
  • You can create new ‘.htaccess’ files. All you need to do is to log in to your WordPress admin section.
  • Then click on ‘Settings’ option.
  • Now click on ‘Permalinks’ page.
  • Now scroll down to the lower part of the page and click on ‘Save.’
  • Now you will see that WordPress has created new ‘.htaccess’ files.

If the error has not got resolved yet, then don’t worry, we have other solution to offer you. Just keep reading on.

Quick Fix 3:

WordPress files are designed to have permissions to channel who can access to those files. When the permission gets altered due to a certain reasons, it can land you to ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress.’ The lack of permission of wrong permission settings can make WordPress to think that you don’t have permission to access a certain kind of files. In this kind of case you can take the following measures:

  • You may need to contact the WordPress hosting provider to verify for the correct permission to the files on your WordPress website.
  • Another route is to change the permission yourself. But since it is a very big step, we would suggest that you should do it only when you are thoroughly confident in computer technical skills. Otherwise it would be wise to seek for a professional help.

How to change the file permission yourself:

Here you will find the instructions on changing the file permissions on your own. Please take extra care to do it properly to avoid any serious consequences. Here are the steps:

  • Firstly establish a connection with your WordPress site by using ‘FTP client.’
  • Now look for the root folder and open it.
  • Here you will see several file. Please select any folder.
  • Then right click on it and from the drop down menu please choose ‘File Permissions’ option.
  • You will now see a ‘File Permission’ folder.

Please Note: Ideally all the files and folders on your WordPress website should the following permission types:

  1. For folders- 744 or 755
  2. For files- 644 or 640
  • Now please set the permission type of your root folder to either 744 or 755.
  • Now tick mark the box which is displayed next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories.’
  • Now you need to tick mark the ‘Apply to directories only’ option.
  • Then click on ‘OK.’
  • You will see that the changes that you made in the FT client folder, has set permissions to all the subdirectories in that folder.
  • Follow the same procedure for the rest of the files. Just select the permission type- ‘644 or 640.’
  • Please make sure that you tick mark the box which is displayed next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ and the ‘Apply to directories only’ option.
  • Click on ‘OK.’
  • Accordingly your FT client will set the permission for all the files and folders.

Once you finish making the changes to all the files and folders, try opening your WordPress Website. You will see that the error ‘403 forbidden error in WordPress’ has vanished completely.