Vanilla 1 is no longer supported or maintained. If you need a copy, you can get it here
Constant 403 Error on settings.php
I have installed Vanilla 1.1.5a on my server (hosted at Hostgator) and it has been literally impossible for me to access the application settings.
I chmodded the file to 777, I chmodded all folders to have all access, nothing worked so I changed them back.
I tried it with the .htaccess tips that I found on this forum, I tried to use the same .htaccess in the subfolders too, NOTHING could make the 403 error go away.
I think Vanilla is great forum software, but if I can't get it to run, what good is it? I think you should have the option for the user to choose where to store the settings (i.e. database as opposed to files), I know it's slower but at least it might work.
Do you guys have any ideas what else I could do to access the settings? Thanks.