When I try and view my website I get an HTTP Error 403 - Forbidden message.

A '403 Forbidden' message means that the browser has requested a page that it is not permitted to view. There are a few common causes:-

- Missing or incorrectly named index file

When you don't specify a file name when accessing a site (eg visiting the domain directly as most do at http://www.domainname.com), the server searches through a list of default filenames and will display the first one it finds. Common default names are index.php, default.htm, index.htm and index.html - The first page of your website should use one of these names, with all lowercase letters.

When we create your web hosting account, we place a simple index.html file on the server so that there is something there before you upload your site. If you delete this file and don't replace it, then you will see the error message above. To fix this, ensure that the first page in you site is called index.html and that the file is uploaded to the public_html directory.


- Incorrect Access Control Settings

This error will also be displayed if the directory access settings for your site's root directory are set with access criteria which you do not meet. Usually these settings are contained in a file called ".htaccess". This file is sometimes generated manually, but can also be configured by some web development tools, such as MS FrontPage.

If you are using FrontPage, then you should alter the web permissions using this program, and republish your site. In most other cases, manually removing the .htaccess file usually solves the problem.


- Permissions errors

A file and the folder that it is in must have global read permissions - recommended settings are:-

711 or 755 for folders
755 for CGI Scripts
644 for PHP Scripts and HTML files


- Site has been disabled

If we have had to disable your site to protect other users then this may show as a 403 error - we will attempt to contact you if this is the case.

If none of the above causes apply, please contact Support and we'll be happy to help. 

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