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403 Forbidden Error on HTTP Refer (4 posts)

  1. VST Life
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    For about a week now I have been experiencing a 403 error on both subdomains of my site. If I click on a referring link in google/twitter/bing/topsy, etc. I get a 403 Forbidden error. However, if I enter the same link directly it works fine. This is happening across mobile and desktop versions and OS'. At first I thought it might be a problem with CloudFlare or W3TC so I tried turning those off but it didn't solve the issue. I have also been looking at htaccess files (root and 2 x subs) and permission settings but no luck. Google webmaster tools doesn't show any issues with DNS, crawling, connectivity, etc. My site isn't on any black lists. Pingdom check tools work OK. The only major chance I can think of was a recent upgrade to PHP 5.3 from 5.2.17. I am working with my host provider to try a manual rollback to the previous version. Has anyone else seen this kind of problem or have any suggestions for things to try to troubleshoot this issue? Thank you.

    "Forbidden You don't have permission to access / on this server.
    Apache/2.2.22 Server at ja.vstlife.com Port 80"

  2. nofearinc
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Could you load any other resources on the site directly? Might be a problem in .htaccess or a wrong Apache configuration after you've updated the PHP.

  3. VST Life
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Nofearinc, thanks for the reply. Yes, the site seems to work normally otherwise:
    VST Life

    After I get the 403 from say a Google link I have to insert the cursor and manually load the link. It is really weird, which makes me think it is something in Apache. This is the htaccess I am using now:

    # Use stable version of PHP
    AddHandler php-stable .php
    
    # STOP Hotlinking
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(en\.)?vstlife.com/.*$ [NC]
    RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|jpeg|bmp|zip|rar|mp3|flv|swf|xml|php|png|css|pdf)$ - [F] 
    
    # BEGIN WordPress
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
    </IfModule>
    # END WordPress
  4. VST Life
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    The answer was staring me right in the face. Removing "php" from my hotlinking rewrite rule now allows the pages to be linked to from Google, etc. Doh!

    VL

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