Knowledgebase: Domain Hosting
When I try and view my website I get an HTTP Error 403 - Forbidden message.
Posted by Patrick - Nick-James Support on 19 August 2009 07:58 PM
This error indicates that there is no valid home page, or that permissions have been set on a page which does not allow you to view it. |
Cause 1: Missing or wrongly 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
Cause 2: 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.