Sucuri Firewall and Joomla Upgrades – “AJAX loading error”

Courtland Consulting Sucuri and Joomla

  1. Are you using a Sucuri website firewall? (If not, you should!)     
  2. Do you have a Joomla website?

If you said “yes” to both of those questions, read on for an ajax loading error “gotcha” that I have run into at least three times now with three different Joomla website upgrades. 

When you try to do the one-click core Joomla upgrade on a website that has Sucuri website firewall, it will fail unless your IP address is already whitelisted in Sucuri for that site. You will get a popup from Joomla saying “AJAX loading error” and the upgrade screen will just halt.

The tricky things here are:

  1. You can’t see the real error message from Sucuri, which would explain the problem exactly and what to do about it, because it is an AJAX (behind the scenes) network call, and
  2. You might have both an IPv4 and IPv6 IP address assigned to the computer that you are using, and at least in my case, Sucuri was blocking the IPv6 address (I thought I was already whitelisted, because my IPv4 address was in fact already whitelisted).

So, to see the error message from Sucuri and fix the problem, do this:

  1. Show the console/inspector in Google Chrome
  2. Show the Network tab in the inspector
  3. Attempt the Joomla upgrade
  4. After you get the “AJAX loading error”, look in the Network tab.
  5. Select the network call to “restore.php” (it will be in red and will show a 403 status).
  6. Click the Preview tab to see the error message from Sucuri, which will tell you to whitelist your IP address and will also tell you exactly what IP address to whitelist.
    Screenshot of inspector
  7. Go into the Sucuri website firewall configuration, and whitelist the IP address that the Sucuri error message told you was blocked.
  8. Try the core Joomla upgrade again – it should work this time!

Trouble with Joomla upgrades, website security, or both?  Get in touch, Courtland can help