Troubleshooting: CloudFlare and 403 errors when loading background images

If you're using CloudFlare and a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for images, you may find that you get a 403 error and background images and other images linked from CSS rules won't load.

This happens when CloudFlare's Hotlink Protection is enabled and you're using a CloudFlare CDN or other CDN to serve images.

There are two workarounds for this problem. You can implement either of the following solutions.

Disable Hotlink Protection

The Hotlink Protection setting is in CloudFlare's Scrape Shield section, as shown in the following screenshot. Disabling the settings fixes the 403 error.

Add a filter

If you want CloudFlare's Hotlink Protection setting to stay enabled. you can add a filter to your child theme.

  1. Add the following code to your child theme's functions.php file.
  1. In Line 2, replace the first URL with the URL of your website. Replace the second URL with the URL of your CDN.
  2. Save the functions.php file.