My website won't come up in the browser, the server comes up, apache runs

I can telnet into my droplet and see my files and it looks ok, but website not coming up in browser. The droplet is about 3 years old and has been working fine for the most part. I have 3 other droplets created about the same time with the same software. 2 are working and one is not. I opened a ticket and basically their response is,

curl -ILk HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2021 03:49:23 GMT Content-Type: text/html Content-Length: 146 Connection: keep-alive Server: nginx Vary: Accept-Encoding

Generally, the error that you are seeing will be caused by incorrect permissions to a resource. The 403 response code is caused by incorrect permissions, whether it be authorizations or file permissions.

The first step in troubleshooting this error is to ensure the file exists inside your website’s webroot on the server. The webroot is generally located somewhere within /var/www , however, you can also check where it is inside the configuration file located at /etc/nginx/sites-enabled or /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Once you have verified that the file/directory exists, you will need to check the permissions. If you have a standard nginx installation then the service will be run as a www-data user so you will need to ensure that the file can be accessed by that user. This is usually done by simply changing the group of resources to www-data

The files are there with the correct permissions. Other commands I have tried,

ps -aux systemctl status apache2 tail -F /var/log/apache2/error.log there are errors, but apache is up and running

grep -i kill /var/log/syslog

/usr/sbin/apache2 AH00111: Config variable ${APACHE_PID_FILE} is not defined

apache2ctl configtest Syntax OK

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Thank you for your response.

I don’t know why support referred to Nginx. My droplet is running Apache.

I checked the files you mentioned and verified they are correct. They are the same as they were 3 years ago when I created the droplet.

I also checked the permissions on document root and they are also correct. Same as they were 3 years ago when I created the droplet.

Not much has changed in the last 3 years. It is a pretty simple site. It’s confusing why Apache has stopped serving pages.

I also did a df and verifed there is plenty of space, only 44% used.

If anyone else has any other suggestions, please let me know.

Thank you for your help.

Hi @whetzels1,

I’ve noticed you’ve mentioned you are using Apache, but you’ve checked some Nginx configuration files. I’ll recommend checking your Apache config files in:


In there you can check your domain’s config file and find the correct Documentroot of your domain. Additionally, you mentioned permissions but ownership can be the cause of this as well.

Go to your document root and type in ls -lah what does it show? Are all users and group root:root? If yes, then you’ll need to change them. Usually, Apache uses www-data rather than root.