I have recently uploaded a very basic site and have had it working for about 2 months. Then last night I went to update the index page and when I reloaded everything in Dreamweaver, I received this message after trying the find the site online:

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.

Apache/2.2.6 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.6 OpenSSL/0.9.7a FrontPage/ mod_bwlimited/1.4 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 Server at <link snipped> Port 80

The site needs to be up and running by this evening because it is opening this weekend! Please pplease help - I am using dreamweaver so I am a complete beginner and don't knwo where to start. I have already checked that my permissions are set the right way so it must be something else!



If you have a .htaccess file in the home directory, delete it. (back it up first via FTP).

If you save your web pages as htm you cant pull them up this happen to me i made my first page with
note pad and then used NUV it changed it to my index.html to index.htm and my apache.conf use's
the html

That doesn't make sense, did you copy and paste that from somewhere?

no it makes sense. in apache there is a way to change the way the server treats file extensions. look for the line where in says .html, and add .htm to that

Yes, Actually that's correct. It's called indexing (but I don't think that's the problem here) and there's a couple of parts to this.

1. The associations for index. or default. , .htm/.html/.php - This will only allow the main index or default page to display with those file extensions when you go to the root address e.g. www.yoursite.com The page will display if you go to www.yourrsite.com/index.htm

This would only give 404, not 403

2. Folder indexing, allows or disallows viewing of any directory without an index page.

This would give you a Forbidden 403 page.

Your both missing the point. The postee said she got the message after using a 'ErrorDocument to handle the request' This implies (to me) that its a custom 403 or 404 page and probably has something like the following in a .htaccess file:

errordocument 403 /index.php?error=403
errordocument 404 /index.php?error=404

This code needs to correspond to another script telling the site where the 404 or 403 file is. Granted, it could still be index association related where the use of .php is used instead of.html. Writing complex scripts can be bad, especially if the error page contains css or images. To test this method, backup the .htaccess file first then delete it. If the pages show up, then its the errordocument part of the .htaccess file.

Be safe and name error files 404.shtml or 403.shtml and put them in the root directory.

Also... If its a shared host, she wont have access to the httpd.conf or the apache.conf file and the site should be set up for all extentions with indexing ON. All this can be done through the sites control panel, either cpanel, plesk or a custom made one.

If she owns the server, then I'd start with the .htaccess file. Then look further into permissions, file ext's.


To test, give permissions of chmod 777. ALL new files uploaded to the www directory must be chmod a+rx in order to not receive a 403 Forbidden error in a browser.

Go directly to the page www.yoursite.com/index.xxx (xxx is the extension to your page htm,html or php).

Dreamweaver, I used the homesite and like i said i made my first page index.html then redid somethings with homestie it saved it as index.htm i tryed to go back to my site and got the same 403 Forbidden error that Alexis got i checked the files with ls -l thay looked right worked on this for hours then i read some more apache docs. apache when installed use's the .html but it can be change i apache.conf to use htm but if you dont have 1 it will give you the 403
forbidden unless you have the .htaccess