Problem: I have a website running on a local MAMP install with Drupal and it’s working perfectly. I move the entire site, database and everything, over to a Network Solutions host. Everything looks fine, except when I log into the admin, I get an access denied error. The login works and it takes me to the admin area, but when I click around, I get pages with just content loaded that say access denied. No style sheets, no theming, but it is trying to pull in the content. Which means it’s accessing the database fine. It’s just having some sort of session problems.

Solution: Another one of those odd scenarios where it ends up being something totally simple and unexpected. The new server was using CGI instead of Apache, which, yes, will cause some problems. But this problem was actually related to the immense number of domain names associated with the account. There were about 5 or 6 domain names which all pointed to the same host. Drupal’s admin only lets you resolve to one domain name, and it was picking the first one it found alphabetically. Because the site we were trying to load started with a T and the first domain name on the list started with an E, going to the admin area from the T page caused an error. Going from the E domain was smooth sailing.

I still consider this topic open. What if we really want to be able to do everything from the T domain? Why does Drupal’s admin care what domain you’re reading from? Maybe we can find some answers here.

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