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Surfer WordPress Plugin
WordPress Plugin Troubleshooting
WordPress Plugin Troubleshooting

In this article, you will find possible solutions to the errors that showed up for you while you tried to work with the WordPress plugin.

Updated over a week ago

Error code: 301

Summary: The URL to your page is redirecting to another URL, and REST API is not able to work with the redirection.

When our script is trying to reach your page, it is redirected to another page. Sometimes, redirection is simple and points to a page with the same URL but with an additional trailing slash. The issue is that script can't be redirected, it needs to point to the exact URL.

You need to reconnect with Surfer using the correct page URL without additional redirection. If you are using redirection to add a trailing slash, you need to set an exception for Surfer User-Agent. The best solution is to ask the person who set this redirection for you or your hosting provider support for help.

Our user-agent to set an exception for is SurferSEO WP Plugin.

Another thing might be the maintenance mode active on your website. In maintenance mode, REST API is not active, and we can’t reach your page endpoint. You need to either disable maintenance mode or set an exception for Surfer (not all maintenance plugins have this option). If your plugin does not allow you to set an exception, we do not have other alternative solutions at this time. In this case, please contact our Support Team, and provide your page URL and the timestamp of the issue so we can check what is wrong.

Error code: 401

Summary: Surfer was not able to authenticate.

First, please make sure that you have the most up-to-date version of the plugin installed. You can go to the “Plugins” tab of your WP account, find Surfer, and check if there is any update available. The next step would be to install the plugin once again and then disconnect the plugin and reconnect it to Surfer (this is a crucial step – please process even if, after the reinstallation, you are still connected to Surfer).  

Secondly, please, in your WordPress, go to wp-admin » Settings » Permalinks and check if you have a “Custom Structure” chosen. If yes, and if there is anything added to the input field beside the options available in the “Available tags” below, the plugin might not work. You may need to adjust the input to make the plugin work.

Another possibility is that one of your other plugins is in conflict with our plugin. To check this, disable all of your plugins temporarily and check if this helped. If yes, activate your plugins back, one by one, to check which one was causing the conflict. We'd appreciate any feedback about other plugins interfering with ours. You can reach us at [email protected] or via our live chat.


If the plugin is a security plugin, please check its configuration. It may have a special option to disable REST API protection, which may be enabled by default (just as with a very popular security plugin WordFence).

If you were able to find this option, you can disable it and use both plugins without an issue; if not, you can try to reach plugin support and ask if they have such an option.

The last possible reason is that your server configuration is blocking Surfer. We know that GoDaddy and Cloudflare (as a hosting provider) settings do that on default, but if you have any other hosting provider, it is also possible.
It can be their firewall, config, or country filters. Please reach out to your hosting provider support, describe the issue, and ask to whitelist the Surfer User-Agent: “SurferSEO WP Plugin.”

Here's the exemplary message you can send your hosting provider:

Hi there!

I'm using the Surfer plugin in my WordPress, and this plugin requires REST API to work properly, but it seems that the server configuration may somehow block it.

Could you check on your end if there is anything that can block the REST API endpoints or ports? If this can help User-Agent for the Surfer request is: "SurferSEO WP Plugin."

If there is nothing on your end that is blocking the request, are you able to help me narrow down the source of the potential issue?

Thank you in advance!

Error code: 403

Summary: Access to your page is most likely forbidden and requires additional authentication to reach it.

The most common case is that your page is password protected. Surfer is not able to bypass this. The simplest solution here is to disable additional authentication. If you can’t or do not want to do this, you can try to change the configuration in wp-admin → Settings → General, and change your WordPress Address (URL) to: https://page_login:[email protected]. Then, try to reconnect to Surfer. This should allow Surfer to bypass this protection (but this cannot be guaranteed in some cases).

The second thing might be the maintenance mode active on your website. In maintenance mode, REST API is not active, and we can’t reach your page endpoint. You need to either disable maintenance mode or set an exception for Surfer (not all maintenance plugins have this option). If your plugin does not allow you to set an exception, we do not have other alternative solutions at this time. In this case, please contact our Support Team and provide your page URL and the timestamp of the issue so we can check what is wrong.


Another option is to whitelist the Surfer user-agent (SurferSEO WP Plugin) from protection, but the way to set it depends on how you actually set your password (in some instances, it can not be possible at all). To check and set a whitelist, you need to reach the person who set protection for you or your hosting provider support.

If you do not have any password protection but this error appears, the most common case is when security WordPress plugins are disabling REST API – we have confirmed cases with WordFence. You can quickly check if this is the issue by disabling any security or redirection plugins you have. This will help isolate the issue. If the issue is no longer present, try to disable the REST API protection from plugin settings to be able to use the plugin with ours. If you are not able to find it, you can reach out to your plugin support or to our Support team for assistance.

Error code: 404

Summary: Surfer was not able to find the final endpoint that it should reach to perform the task.

First, please make sure that you have the most up-to-date version of the plugin installed. You can go to the “Plugins” tab of your WP account, find Surfer, and check if there is any update available. If there is an update, make sure to install it and reconnect your Surfer account (this is a crucial step – please process even if, after the reinstallation, you are still connected to Surfer). You can also remove the plugin, install it once again, and then reconnect your Surfer account (again, even if, after the reinstallation, you are still connected).

Secondly, please, in your WordPress, go to wp-admin » Settings » Permalinks and check if you have a “Custom Structure” chosen. If yes, and if there is anything added to the input field beside the options available in the “Available tags” below, the plugin might not work. You may need to adjust the input to make the plugin work.

Next option is that your page didn’t rebuild the permalink structure. You can go to wp-admin → Settings → Permalinks and click “save” without making any changes.

Another option is that your caching plugin stores the old routes list. Try clearing the cache for the caching plugin you are using.

Another thing might be the maintenance mode active on your website. In maintenance mode, REST API is not active, and we can’t reach your page endpoint. You need to either disable maintenance mode or set an exception for Surfer (not all maintenance plugins have this option). If your plugin does not allow you to set an exception, we do not have other alternative solutions at this time. In this case, please contact our Support Team, and provide your page URL and the timestamp of the issue so we can check what is wrong.

The next possible issue is a conflict with other plugins. Plugins work with hooks and badly made plugins may prevent our plugin from registering endpoints. To check this, temporarily disable all plugins you have and check if this helped. If yes, please activate the plugins one by one to check which plugin is causing a conflict, and please inform us which plugin is causing the interference. You can reach us at [email protected] or via our live chat.

Although it's less common, some conflicts may be created by theme files. To check this, simply change the theme temporarily and check if this solves the issue. If all of this fails, you can reach your hosting support and ask them why your REST API URL returns error 404, as they may have this information, or at least they should have some diagnostic tools to provide you with some help.

Code execution timeout

Summary: Script execution time on your server was exceeded. It can be a temporary issue.

The most simple solution here is just to try again. If this is happening to you very often, you should try to increase the script execution time on your server. Please do not set this to unlimited, as this will break your page, but you can set time to, for example, 60 seconds. That should be enough to fix the issue for you. You can change the execution time in your hosting settings. If you are not sure how, please ask your hosting provider for support.

SSL certificate issue

Summary: Your SSL certificate is most likely wrong. Our plugin checks the certificate, so in case something is not working properly, you won’t be able to use the plugin.

This could happen for a variety of reasons. The certificate could be expired, or it was generated on your staging page, and now you have a different domain. The best solution here is to generate a new certificate for your page. Please reach your hosting provider support, they should be able to help you with that.

Unknown error

Summary: This error can mean that you have maintenance mode active or you are trying to connect using an old token. Also, the error can show up when you have an image added that links to a nonexistent source. 

In the maintenance mode, REST API is not active, and we can’t reach your page endpoint.

You need to either disable maintenance mode or set an exception for Surfer (not all maintenance plugins have this option). If your plugin does not allow you to set an exception, we do not have other alternative solutions at this time. In this case, please contact our Support Team and provide your page URL and the timestamp of the issue so we can check what is wrong.

When it comes to using an old token, please make sure that you have the freshest version of the plugin installed. You can go to the “Plugins” tab of your WP account, find Surfer, and check if there is any update available. The next step would be to install the plugin once again and then disconnect the plugin and reconnect it to Surfer (this is a crucial step – please process even if, after the reinstallation, you are still connected to Surfer).

Please also check your images in the Content Editor and make sure that their source is still active. In such a case, you won't find images at all in the content editor; only the placeholder and the alt text will be there. To fix that in the simplest way, just add the image once again, but this time via the "Insert image" option in the content editor. This way, the image source in the content editor will be Surfer. 

Google Search Console module issues

If you are experiencing any issues with the GSC module, please first try removing the plugin and installing it once again. Then, please disconnect the Surfer account (if, after the reinstallation, you are still connected to the Surfer account) and connect once again. If that won't help, please reach out to the Support Team.

Other issues

If you are facing any other issues that were not listed above, we recommend first getting familiar with the information below and making sure that you have the plugin updated to the latest version. If you still need help, we advise reaching out to our Support team.

  • The plugin fully supports two basic WordPress editors/builders for now: Gutenberg and Classic Editor. We also support Elementor builder (beta). If you use any other editor or a WordPress plugin/theme that changes the editor structure (especially by adding blocks), our plugin may work, however, we cannot promise full functionality.

  • For now, by default, you can use the plugin only to export content to your WordPress posts. However, with more advanced programming knowledge, you can also use our Filter method to be able to update not only posts but also pages.

  • The plugin needs at least version 7.4 of PHP in order to work properly.

  • WordFence might interfere with the correct functioning of the plugin. In order to circumvent it, carry out the following steps:

    1. Go to wp-admin » WordFence » All Options.
    2. Look for a "Brute Force Protection" section.

    3. Find a "Disable WordPress application passwords" option, unmark it, and save the settings.

  • GoDaddy/Cloudflare hosting might also interfere with the correct functioning of the plugin. If you suspect that might be the case, please reach out to your hosting provider support, describe the issue, and ask to whitelist the Surfer User-Agent: “SurferSEO WP Plugin.” Our user-agent to set an exception for is the SurferSEO WP Plugin. You can find an exemplary message to send your hosting provider here.

  • Some of your plugins may interfere with ours. Please try deactivating all the plugins and then turn them on one after another, checking which one is causing the issues.

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