I get this error “Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error” when activating the plugin, what should I do?

Please check with your web hosting provider about its PHP version and make sure it supports PHP version 5.4 or greater. Our plugin’s codes are not compatible with outdated PHP versions. As a matter of fact, WordPress also recommend your host supports:

  • PHP version 7 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater
  • HTTPS support

Older PHP or MySQL versions may expose your site to security vulnerabilities.


Why can I still access my files through non-protected URLs?

Please clear your browser’s cache (press CTRL+F5 on PC, CMD+SHIFT+R on Mac) as files and especially images are usually cached by your browsers.

Also, if you’re using a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache to speed up your WordPress website, please make sure you clear your cache as well. Your browsers and caching plugin could still be showing a cached (older) version of your files.


Why am I getting “page not found” 404 error when accessing private links?

It seems our custom rewrite rules are not inserted into your .htaccess file properly. There are a few reasons for this:

  • You edit and mess up your .htaccess rules
    Please enable “remote debug log” and validate your .htaccess rules under our settings, ‘Helpers” tab
  • Your WordPress folders are structured differently from usual

For example, your domain’s root folder is located at, let’s say, home/ directory but your WordPress files are put under home/wp/ directory. In such cases, our plugin can’t insert our .htaccess codes properly, and so, you have to manually update your .htaccess located at home/wp/ directory with our plugin’s custom rewrite rules.


Why am I getting the error below when activating the plugin?

The error message is descriptive, isn’t it?

If your .htaccess file were writable, we could insert our codes automatically for you, but it isn’t.So you must either make your .htaccess file writable (with 644 permission) or manually put the mod_rewrite rules found under Settings > Permalinks (you can find the code below) into your .htaccess file.


Why are all my images and files are missing after removing or deactivating the plugin?

By default, if you deactivate and remove our plugin via WordPress, our .htaccess rule will be removed together with its files. However, in case you remove it manually using FTP, you will have to remove these codes from your .htaccess for your Media files & images to work normally.

# Prevent Direct Access Rewrite Rules version 3.0 and above
RewriteRule ^private/([a-zA-Z0-9-_]+)$ index.php?pda_v3_pf=&pdav3_rexypo=ymerexy [L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !facebookexternalhit/[0-9]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !Twitterbot/[0-9]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !Googlebot/[0-9]
RewriteRule ^wp-content/uploads(/_pda/.*\.\w+)$ index.php?pda_v3_pf= [QSA,L]
# Prevent Direct Access Rewrite Rules End
# Prevent Direct Access Rewrite Rules version 2.0 and below
RewriteRule private/([a-zA-Z0-9-_]+)$ index.php?pre_dir_acc_61co625547= [R=301,L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -s
RewriteRule wp-content/uploads(/[[email protected]/#&+-]+)+\.([[email protected]/#&+-]+)$ index.php?pre_dir_acc_61co625547=&is_direct_access=true&file_type= [QSA,L]

Why nothing happens after I activate the plugin?

First, Prevent Direct Access supports Apache HTTP Server (“httpd”), which has been the most popular web server on the Internet since April 1996.

Please note that although our plugin (both Free & Premium version) does support websites hosted on WP Engine who utilizes NGINX web server, you need to manually configure some htaccess redirect rules.

Second, the plugin also needs to flush some mod_rewrite rules to your website’s .htaccess file to prevents direct access to your files on the server.

As mentioned, in order for the plugin to work properly, you must either make the .htaccess file (located on your website root folder) writable or manually update our mod_rewrite rules to your .htaccess.


Does Prevent Direct Access plugin support NGINX web server?

Yes, we do. We support WP Engine – the most popular hosting that makes use of NGINX web server. If you’re using a different hosting running on NGINX, please contact us for support.


Do you offer a developer license for the Prevent Direct Access Premium Plugin?

Yes, We do. Please read more about our developer license here.