I have found a solution to this problem but it doesn't make sense to me and I'm hoping someone can explain it to me so I can understand.

I have wordpress installed on the root directory (/public_html/) for my website: domain.com - In this directory is a .htaccess which has the standard WP config but I have also added the following to redirect non-www to www:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !domain.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [L,R=301]

I have then setup a sub-domain: client.domain.com and set its root directory to /public_html/sites/client.domain.com/ - In this directory is another .htaccess which has I have added the following so that the site operates on http://client.domain.com/ and not http://www.domain.com/sites/client.domain.com/

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !client.domain.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://client.domain.com/$1 [L,R=301]

Now this works ok - I have index.html in the directory /public_html/sites/client.domain.com/ and when I type http://client.domain.com/ I get the right index.html.

BUT, here's my problem. I am trying to install Wordpress in /public_html/sites/client.domain.com/ (or on: http://client.domain.com/)

When I run the install:

Step 1: It asks for language - successfully select English

Step 2: It asks for database settings, I successfully enter the database details

Step 3: I get to page: http://client.domain.com/wp-admin/setup-config.php?step=2 which successfully displays:

All right, sunshine! You’ve made it through this part of the installation. WordPress can now communicate with your database. If you are ready, time now to… [Run the Install]

Here is where it fails and I get this error page:


You don't have permission to access /wp-admin/install.php on this server.

Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

on this URL: http://client.domain.com/wp-admin/install.php?language=en_AU

If I rename the /public_html/.htaccess the install works.

My question: how can the parent .htaccess overrule the local .htaccess?

And, why does it only happen when I get to Step 3? Why does it not cause problems prior to this step?

1 Answer 1


thanks anyway Body must be at least 30 characters; you entered 13.

  • "thanks anyway" does not so much as address the question, let alone resolve it; therefore it should not be submitted as an answer (and most certainly not accepted as the best). Please see the How to Answer section of our help center for more information regarding the nature of an Answer.
    – bosco
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 23:52

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