WordPress 403 forbidden error is a risky error for your WordPress site. It can be even riskier if you are a WordPress beginner. However, you need not worry; there is a way it can be fixed. A file located in the .htaccess may be corrupted and that is what causes the error. Once the file that is corrupted is eliminated, your WordPress site becomes operational again. You do not want to lose out on business due to some unexpected downtime on some web pages in your site. A few minutes to an hour of downtime reduces the user experience and can lead to loss of many clients. This is in case you have monetized your account through e-commerce, advertising, or through ad campaigns. As such, this article will show you, the beginner, how to remove the 403 forbidden error on WordPress on a step by step basis.

What are 403 forbidden errors on WordPress?

Whenever your WordPress website has error messages, there are some codes that are shown regarding the reason for the error. One such error is the 403 forbidden error WordPress. Essentially, this error code is shown on WordPress when server permissions on your site do not allow your users access to a webpage on your site. The error is normally shown in this format.
“403 Forbidden – You don’t have permission to access ‘/’ on this server.
Additionally, a 403 forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an Error Document to handle the request.”

In addition, there are variations to the message. It may appear in the following format for different scenarios.

  • 403 forbidden: can occur during the installation of WordPress
  • 403 forbidden: when access is denied for WordPress login page or wp-admin
  • 403 forbidden when you are unable to visit any particular webpage
  • Sometimes, as opposed to seeing a wordpress403 forbidden error, you get to see “Access
  • The “access to your domain forbidden” is another message you are likely to get.


Poorly configured WordPress security plugins are the main cause of this error. Essentially, most WordPress plugins for security have the ability to block any IP address if seen to be malicious.
When you use Sucuri, you get to improve the security on your WordPress site. Further causes to the error message include incorrect file permission to your server or corrupt .htaccess file.
Furthermore, changes may be made by your WordPress hosting company to your server settings. This equally results in the same error.

How to solve 403 forbidden error in WordPress

First, ensure that you create some back up for all the data you have stored on your WordPress site. You can do so easily by following this guide. Alternatively, if you have a plugin for your WordPress to help with the backup of files; you can use this too.

Follow these methods to fix the error on WordPress

1. WordPress plugin

If a WordPress plugin has caused the error, follow this method.

  • Deactivate all plugins including all those security plugins you may have included in your site.
  • If the problem is solved, it means the plugins caused the errors.
  • Activate your plugins back one at a time and you will get to know what caused the 403
    forbidden error.

See More:- Keys to Secure Your Gmail Account

2. Corrupt .htaccess

If the error was caused by a corrupt .htaccess file, repairing the file is the easiest way to solve this.

  • Connect the site to a file manager or FTP client
  • Locate .htaccess found in the root folder in your WordPress site. Use this guide to help you do
    so with ease.
  • Download a .htaccess file to help you to have a fresh backup in your computer. Subsequently,
    delete the corrupt file from your server
  • Once done try and access your WordPress website. If you find that there is no problem, it
    means that the .htaccess file was corrupt.
  • Click on save changes tab found at the bottom of the page and you will get a fresh .htaccess
    file that is not corrupt. You and your users now have access to the site.

Solving 403 Error message caused by file permissions on WordPress

There are file permissions for every file in your website. They are used to control access to files as well as folders on your site.
If these files have incorrect file permission, a WordPress 403 forbidden error message appears.

  • Your web server assumes you or your users do not have
    permission to access files on your site
  • First, ask your hosting provider to check file permissions for your WordPress website
  • These hosting providers will fix the problems for you immediately if the file is not corrupt or the
    errors are not caused by various WP security plugins.
  • Do not try to change file permissions yourself is dangerous and the complications are serious if
    done incorrectly. You may lose access to your website completely when done in the wrong way.
  • Therefore, use professional help such as your web hosting service professionals or a WP
    expert to fix any errors in file permissions.


In conclusion, the article has shown you the various scenarios that cause the 403 forbidden error messages. As a WP beginner, you can use experts and hosting professionals to help you with error messages. Learn from them to the point where you can operate your site well as an admin. Using the three methods listed above, you are assured that your WordPress site remains operational with no WordPress 403 Nginx. You do not have to worry about minutes or hours of webpage downtime that will cost you your online income due to error messages on your WordPress site.

Here are a few more topics that you shouldn’t miss:
Keys to Secure Your Gmail Account
How to change WordPress Admin to Login URL for Improved Security
Sucuri: Free Malware Scanner

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