403 status even when pages are loading fine

Using the https://httpstatus.io/ website, I’m seeing a 403 status being returned for my website even though the website itself seems to be loading perfectly fine - no errors displayed.

I’m using Rankmath to perform an SEO analysis but it’s throwing an error and Rankmath recommend ensuring first that the website is reporting a 200 status, which it’s currently not doing.

I have 4 websites running on my server and I’m getting this 403 status being reported for 2 of them. When I run the test initially, I do get a 200 but subsequent tests thereafter all result in a 403. I’ve replicated this with several different browsers and I get the same behavior from all of them.

This is one of the affected websites:


I’m stumped and hoping for suggestions.

Did you see anything in the firewall events?

Do you mean the Cloudflare firewall logs? There are a couple of entries there but not relating to this issue.

Does this sound familiar to you?

No, that’s not something that I’ve seen before. I did, however, contact the people at httpdstatus.io and they tell me this is a known problem with websites behind Cloudflare. It’s apparently not that my website is giving a 200 status code - just that the httpdstatus.io service receiving a 403 from Cloudflare. There’s actually nothing wrong with my website, so it seems.

Ok, an update here. It turns out you were right. The anti-crawler thing is protection that is provided by another plugin called CleanTalk. Disabling that plugin (temporarily) makes the problem go away.

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