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One of the websites we manage, http://wesleyunited.ca , recently started having a problem with menu aliases containing "contact" as a substring: clicking the menu just brings up an empty page that just says "Temporarily Unavailable." This happened spontaneously, we didn't do any work on the website or update anything manually before this problem arose. After we found out about the issue we updated to Joomla 3.9.5 (this was a few weeks ago) but that didn't fix the problem.

As a temporary fix I changed the "Contact Us" menu item's alias so that is doesn't contain "contact", and I made a "Contact (Broken)" sub-menu item which exhibits the error for demonstration purposes.

I played around with different aliases, and found that as long as "contact" is a substring it will not work, but everything I tried without it was fine. Even "contac" and "ontact" work. It also doesn't have to be separated out with hyphens, something like "blcontactah" will cause the error. I tried adding "contact" to the aliases of the other menu items (not just the "Contact Us" page) and it broke those as well. Even if a menu item has "contact" in the alias and a sub-menu item does not, the sub-menu's link will still give the error, I guess because "contact" is still in the url.

Does anyone have any idea for why this is happening? Did our server spontaneously decide to start blocking urls containing the string "contact", and if so how do I disable that?

  • When you see this message, is it coming from Joomla, or is it a server error page? Getting any error status code? Can you share a link to the page with the issue? – FFrewin May 15 at 20:01
  • It just says "Temporarily unavailable" on a white screen. The website is wesleyunited.ca , please check out the "Contact Us" item in the top menu – William May 15 at 20:04
  • I changed the menu structure so that the "Contact Us" link works now (it's a live site so it needs to have something working) and added a "Contact (Broken)" sub-menu item to show the error message. – William May 15 at 20:16
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    Well, there is a 503 error generated - which is a server error. I am not sure if this is produced by Joomla or if it's something else on the server level - but I tried a few "fake" urls on the site like wesleyunited.ca/contact-me/contact - that normally shouldn't exist and Joomla would return a 404 error and I got the 503 error again. So it looks to me that this something outside of Joomla -without being 100% certain-, but 1. I would enable error reporting and debug to see if I can get any more meaningful error note and I would clone the site and tried on another environment. – FFrewin May 15 at 20:26
  • Also check the error logs on your server, check your .htaccess (if you have) for anything that could be creating the issue (rename/disable it for a while to test), ask your hosting provider for help as well (since this is a server error). – FFrewin May 15 at 20:27

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