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.
Set up Raw URLs for PDA Gold file protection to work properly
Please follow 3 steps below to make our Prevent Direct Access Gold plugin work nicely with Cloudways hosting:
- Enable our Raw URLs option
- Access to your website server using SSH or SFTP
- Go to our
_pdafolder located at
- Create a .htaccess file inside the
_pdafolder 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.
- Go to our
- 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 these simple steps to remove protected images from caching and get everything working correctly again.
- Under your Cloudways dashboard, go to “Application Settings”
- Under “Varnish settings” tab, click on “Add New Rule”
- Exclude “/index.php” URL as per this screenshot
That’s it. Now, all your protected images should show up as normal.