What could cause a 403 HTTP Status Code

A 403 Forbidden HTTP Status Code is a response to a request from the client that could generally indicate one of two conditions:

  • Authentication was provided, but the authenticated user is not permitted to perform the requested operation.
  • The operation is forbidden to all users. For example, requests for a directory listing return a 403 Forbidden HTTP status when a directory listing has been disabled.

HTTP Web servers like Apache return 403 Forbidden in response to a request for url paths that correspond to the filesystem directories, but this happens when directory listings has been disabled on the server. Some administrators configure the Mod proxy extension for Apache to block such requests, and this will also return 403 Forbidden. Lastly Reverse Proxies that specialized in Web acceleration (Web Cache) could also cause this if not properly configured. Some of the most populars like Squid, Varnish or Polipo need fine tuning to correct any 403 errors they could cause.

So how can I fix this as quickly as possible. You are in luck since this issue can be solved by simply following this steps. For this tutorial we will use the mysite.com/photos folder as the URL that is having the issue. The /photos is related to the Membership Feature Photo Album. So with this in mind we will:

1. Go to your Membership Feature Photo Album and change the URL from photos to albums

2. Add a 301 Redirect by going to your backend Dashboard Developers -> 301 Redirects. In here add a new redirect that points from /photos to /albums

3. Refresh the page to clean the cache by clicking on the "Update Site" button on the top right corner of your backend.

This will make sure your site's photo section works AND also appear correctly without the 403.