Cloudways Hosting Support

Cloudways is using Nginx together with Memcached, Varnish, and Redis to deliver faster responses to your website requests. The Nginx server will cache your static content including all your WordPress file uploads. The issue is Nginx caches your protected files as well, which makes them accessible to anyone with their file URLs.

Exclude protected files from Varnish caching

If you’re using Apache server, follow these 3 simple steps to exclude your protected files from caching.

  1. Under your Cloudways dashboard, go to “Application Settings”
  2. Under “Varnish settings” tab, click on “Add New Rule”
  3. Exclude “/wp-content/uploads/_pda” URL as per this screenshot
    • In case, you’re using our Folder Protection feature, please exclude your folder accordingly – as per our first rule

Set up Raw URLs for PDA Gold file protection to work properly on Nginx

Please follow 3 steps below to make our Prevent Direct Access Gold plugin work nicely with Cloudways Nginx server:

  1. Enable our Raw URLs option
  2. Access to your website server using SSH or SFTP
    • Go to our _pda folder located at wp-content/uploads/_pda
    • Create a .htaccess file inside the _pda folder with the following rules
    Order deny, allow
    Deny from all

    You can ask Cloudways customer support to do this if it’s too technical for you.

  3. Contact Cloudways customer support and ask them to remove these file types from your website’s NGINX stack:
MP3, MP4,
PNG, JPEG, JPG, GIF, SVG
PDF,  DOC, DOCX,
XLS, PPTX
ZIP

You can add other file types if you wish to. Basically, these file types won’t be cached by Cloudways Nginx server and will be handled by our plugin’s file protection instead.

That’s all. Now, all your files should be protected correctly with our PDA Gold.

Protected images display issue: Exclude Varnish caching

There are cases where protected images returning 404 on Cloudways hosting. In other words, there are missing thumbnails on your Media Library and that you can’t access those image file URLs directly.

If that’s the case, please follow similar steps above to remove protected images from caching and get everything working correctly again.

  1. Under your Cloudways dashboard, go to “Application Settings”
  2. Under “Varnish settings” tab, click on “Add New Rule”
  3. Exclude “/index.php” URL as per this screenshot

That’s it. Now, all your protected images should show up as normal.

Lasted updated on August 19, 2020