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Not a Bug 403 Error when site is registration only

Discussion in 'Resolved Bug Reports' started by Ferdinand, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Ferdinand

    Ferdinand Active Member


    I've noticed that when a bot crawls a closed xenforo site it returns a 403 error 'forbidden' this is when the unregistered/unconfirmed view option is set to 'no'.

    This is obviously a problem and other sites where registration is required, e.g. linkedin, pinterest, facebook, ect do not return the same error for a force registration approach.

    I have only noticed as google will penalise websites for returning such an error and this has affected us.

    How do we correct this and keep the board closed or is there a way to prevent the site returning a 403 error code.

  2. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    This is the correct behaviour.

    You have denied unregistered users, which includes bots, from viewing. You have forbidden them from viewing the content. So 403 is totally correct.
  3. Ferdinand

    Ferdinand Active Member

    As I have mentioned this happens on lots of large sites which do not seem to have the 403 error page problem. Is there a workaround for this? Having a search engine black mark is a big problem.
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Well-Known Member

    The sites you mentioned also have guest viewable pages. If you look at my Facebook profile when not logged in (or at least when you aren't my friend), you get a page that is designed for guest viewing. XenForo doesn't differentiate between guests / bots / those without permission and properly returns a 403 Forbidden error when a user doesn't have necessary permissions to view the page.

    If you'd like to change the behavior, you will require an add-on.
  5. Ferdinand

    Ferdinand Active Member

    In theory I don't need it to differentiate those users, I simply want to require login to view the forums, members, and resources, I would allow access to the pages. Is this possible?
  6. Jeremy

    Jeremy Well-Known Member

    The standard software already prompts users to login to view the content.
  7. riraha

    riraha Member

    While this might be a standard behavior, there is quite a serious issue with it. Such private forums seem to be inaccessible from Windows Phones (neither with IE nor with Maxthon browser) - after getting the 403 error browser just stops proceeding and shows an empty page instead of login form. Is it possible to overcome it somehow?

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