All subdomains on the server displaying 403


Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
We have been facing this issue since a few hours now. Everything was working fine, all of a sudden a lot of domains and almost every subdomain is displaying 403 forbidden while the clients try to open them. What should I be checking here?


Quality Assurance Analyst
Staff member
Oct 2, 2010
somewhere over the rainbow
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Upon seeing the error, it's probably going to be ownership or permissions. If a bunch of domains are suddenly showing permissions errors either a) the PHP handler was changed to something not compatible with your setup, b) someone changed ownership or file permissions on a slew of directories within /home

The first is easy to check in WHM > Apache Configuration > PHP and SuExec Configuration area.

The second would need to be checked in root SSH. Select one specific account to check and check the folders at each level:

ls -ld /home && ls -ld /home/user && ls -ld /home/user/public_html
Above please replace user with the cPanel username.

The /home partition should be owned by root:root, while /home/user should be owned by user:user and /home/user/public_html should be owned by user:nobody. The contents of public_html should be owned by user:user.