403 Forbidden when you open a domain?

What does it mean when you visit your website and get a 403 forbidden error?


You don’t have permission to access / on this server.

Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

First and foremost, it means that you do not have an index.html, index.htm, index.php, home.html, home.htm, home.php, default.php, or default.php file. There are a few more variations, but they all boil down to this.

If you receive this error when you open your domain “yourwebsite.com”, it means that you do not have one of these files in the public_html folder, which is the main folder for your website.

This error can also occur if you have a folder called “documents” and try to visit yourwebsite.com/documents/, and you will see the same error.

This is for security reasons to prevent directory listing if the index file is accidentally missing.

If you still want the files to be listed in the folder, create a .htaccess file (with a dot, meaning .htaccess) and add the following:

Options +Indexes

After doing this, you will enable the files and folders to be listed when that folder is visited.

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