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WordPress Self-hosting Error Fix… “You don’t have permission to access on this server”

Don´t be confused. This short article here won´t be about blogs that are hosted on WordPress but a post for people who have chosen to self-host a WordPress CMS installation on their own servers or hosting providers. The article will be about an error related to permalink changes and the website error message “You don’t have permission to access / on this server”. If you came here via Google, then you probably saw this message on your website and you probably seek for a solution to fix your problem. It seems that I can give you a hint because I had the same problem today too when I worked on my uncles self-hosted website. I changed the permalink structure and then I got kicked out of the dashboard and I got the error message on all sub-pages of his site. So if you have the the same problem now…

Then I have one question… Did you change the permalink structure in your WordPress dashboard as well to get those pretty search-engine-friendly url´s? If so, then let me tell you a few things I found out and how I fixed the problem…

1. You did enable search-engine-friendly url´s which is great but you need to activate “mod_rewrite” activated on your server. If you know where you can find this option in your hosting provider dashboard, then enable it. The pretty permalink structure won´t work if you don´t have “mod_rewrite” enabled on your server. This alone was the reason why I got the error message on his website after enabling the pretty permalinks. I logged in to the dashboard of his hosting provider and looked for the apache server option “mod_rewrite” and enabled it. It might be that your host has a different dashboard, so try to find it on your own or contact your hosting provider to get help. If you did find the “mod_rewrite” option then check out if it´s enabled. If not, then do it but it might take 10 minutes until the server will notice the change. You maybe even have to enable it two times, it worked in my case and after a few minutes, his website had no error messages anymore. This alone might fix your problem. If not…

2. While this was not a problem in my case, I also have read anywhere that your “.htaccess” file got messed up and has now wrong permissions. Check out the permission of your “.htaccess” file. The permission should be “644” and if not, then change it to that value.

If you caused the error on the same way like me, then point 1 could fix your problem already and if not then also check out my mentioned point 2 because this could be a problem too.

Hope my hints will help you to fix your problem fast. I am not sure if there can be other causes for the error message. But I was able to fix the problem with the first mentioned method. Hope this is enough in your case too. Otherwise you probably need to ask Google if there could be other causes in your case.

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