Eugh, i'm honestly banging my ahead against the brick wall with this.

I have my Magento site hosted on the localhost so that I can make changes without affecting the live site. Everything works perfectly EXCEPT none of the links seem to be working. If I click anything on the site, nothing even attempts to load.

Backend loads fine, but the frontend links won't work at all.

Any ideas? Pleaaaaase.

UPDATE: My unsecure site Base URL shows: My secure site Base URL shows the same:

I access the frontend of my store by visiting: or And I access the bankend of my store by visitng:

  • A couple of extra things may help provide a little clarity: 1. What does your browser display when the links fail? A white screen? 2. Do you have logging enabled? If unsure, go to `System > Configuration > Developer > Log Settings and set the Enabled option to Yes If you're running on a unix-like OS (Linux or Mac OSX) you may also need to chmod 777 the var/log/ folder to allow writing new files there. Once you've enabled logging, try and view the URL again and then open the system.log and exception.log files in that folder and see what is the last entry there... Apr 24, 2015 at 3:05
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    When I click the link nothing happens. It's almost as though they're inactive, but down the bottom (I use Firefox) it shows the link when I hover. I just can't click. And those logs don't show anything; probably because it's not doing anything. Apr 24, 2015 at 3:31
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    Okay, somehow I got it back and i've not idea how. Here's what I was doing to try and determine where the fault lied; I moved all my files out the way and put in Magento's base files. Same problem existed. So then I changed the database to see if that was the fault. Same problem existed. So I admitted failure and put all the files back and they're working. So odd. I still can't work it out. Maybe it was a cache problem? I had cleared everything multiple times (browser cache and var/cache files). Apr 24, 2015 at 3:39
  • At least it's working, I suppose... Apr 24, 2015 at 3:56
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    Yep, although frustrating that I can't give an answer. Apr 24, 2015 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


Alan Kent posted a great article recently on Magento 2 behavior similar to what you describe that linked to this Stack Overflow discussion, but the key concepts are relevant to 1.X as well since it's more generally about cookie implementation logic not specific to Magento's codebase.

In short, the fundamental implementation of cookie handling logic has some requirements included within it to check for the presence of certain attributes of a domain name:

I broadly agree with @Ralph Buchfelder, but here's some amplification of this, by experiment when trying to replicate a system with several subdomains (such as example.com, fr.example.com, de.example.com) on my local machine (OS X / Apache / Chrome|Firefox).

I've edited /etc/hosts to point some imaginary subdomains at localexample.com fr.localexample.com de.localexample.com If I am working on fr.localexample.com and I leave the domain parameter out, the cookie is stored correctly for fr.localexample.com, but is not visible in the other subdomains.

If I use a domain of ".localexample.com", the cookie is stored correctly for fr.localexample.com, and is visible in other subdomains.

If I use a domain of "localexample.com", or when I was trying a domain of just "localexample" or "localhost", the cookie was not getting stored.

If I use a domain of "fr.localexample.com" or ".fr.localexample.com", the cookie is stored correctly for fr.localexample.com and is (correctly) invisible in other subdomains.

So the requirement that you need at least two dots in the domain appears to be correct, even though I can't see why it should be.

Thus, the best way to configure your local development environment to make sure you see behavior similar to your live environments is to update your hosts file to map a domain, any domain, to your local system, as long as it has a format of

xxx.yyy.zzz <- includes two 'dots' in the domain name

We've adopted a process of adding something like the following for sites we develop to our hosts file to make sure we don't have to fight with this kind of problem: dev.somesite.com dev.someothersite.com

After doing this, the odd behavior you describe no longer happens in our dev environments and we can get back to coding :)

You may still need to perform one of these two approaches to troubleshoot this kind of issue to make sure you create the correct local host entry in your hosts file:

  1. If you have a (your_database_system) client that can connect to the database you're using, open it and run the following query:

    select * from core_config_data where path like '%base%url%';

    On my mySQL system I can open up MySQL Workbench and see something like the following:

MySQL Workbench Client querying the Magento Database

  1. Since you can also login to your Magento Admin back-end, you can also try browsing to the following menu option:

    System -> Configuration -> Web which should display the following page.

    Expand the Unsecure and Secure accordions and you should look for the fields marked Unsecure : Base URL and Secure : Base URL :

Magento Admin : Menu > System > Configuration > Web > Secure Base URL & Unsecure Base URL

Add what you see in the Unsecure : Base URL and Secure : Base URL fields along with the URL your browser is displaying when you access the back-end and front end in the comments and we can figure out what's happening and a way to restore your functionality:

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    Hi. Thank you for your comments! I will update my answer now to make the information easier to see. Apr 24, 2015 at 2:34

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