500 Internal Server Error - What it is & How to Fix it in WordPress?
While trying to access a website or scroll down to any webpage, you must have encountered a 500 internal server error at some point. If you are a visitor, you would probably ignore it and would jump to another one. However, a website administrator might have to pay heavily if he ignores it and sit relax without fixing it right there. With internal server error 500, not only the website front-end but WordPress administrator dashboard might go inaccessible.
Here, we have come up with details across the reasons that instigate such errors and directions to fix them. Also, we are sharing insights on the importance of investing in a credible web hosting server to avoid a 500 internal server error and improve the website operating time.
In any case, if an HTTP 500 internal server error is re-occurring, it can dramatically impact the reputation of your business. Increased frequency of such an error may lead to your visitors losing trust in your firm and its services. For the most part, it badly affects the branding and the search engine rankings of your website. Hence, experts advise avoiding this error and fix it as soon as it occurs. They also recommend extensively understanding how to troubleshoot. Many a time, it occurs due to internal issues with website configuration, while sometimes it can trigger due to a problematic server, which you may not find under your control.
What is a 500 Internal Server Error?
In general, the three-digit error status code starts with ‘5’ and looks like 5XX, for instance,500 (internal server error). Such type of error shows that the server is not able to process the request due to incorrect website configuration, and there are no issues with the user’s request. It also indicates that there can be some issues the server has encountered within its framework.
While 500 - internal server error specifically designates that the webserver is undergoing some kind of an internal issue and could not process the user’s request at that moment. Sometimes it can be a temporary error and lasts for only a few minutes or maybe seconds.
However, if the problem persists longer than a few minutes, there is a high probability that the website has got some serious problems. More often, it is found that these issues come into the picture when the website is incorrectly configured. In such a case, the website administrators can fix it at its end.
But if these errors are occurring very frequently, you should connect with a web server tech support team and find how to fix a 500 internal server error. We have come across some popular 5XX error codes, including 502 Bad Gateway error, 504 Gateway timeout error, and have helped our clients troubleshoot the issue within the stipulated time.
To know a specific kind of issue, you can look into the specific error code. We are providing some commonly occurring codes and the reasons for such:
Code List of Error 500 Internal Server Error
Why or How it occurs?
The application crashes on the webserver after a user agent’s request.
The application undergoes a restart process on the webserver.
The webserver gets overloaded with a large no. of requests or remains too busy with other requests.
Invalid application configuration or the WordPress website installation is incorrect or corrupted.
Direct requests for GLOBAL.ASA is not allowed.
Incorrect UNC authorization credentials.
Cannot find URL authorization.
Not opening of URL authorization store.
Improper Data Configuration for this file in the Metabase.
URL authorization scope cannot be found.
This code occurs due to a rewrite error during RQ_BEGIN_REQUEST notification handling. The error may arise due to a faulty configuration or inbound rule execution.
Quick Tips to Avert a 500 Internal Server Error and Troubleshoot
In the first place and for the most part, you should keep all the plugins, themes, and WordPress Core updated. The outdated versions often create more issues and are relatively more prone to security threats (malware and hacking) than the updated ones.
It is important to take regular backups of the WordPress website files and database. For this, you can use a good plugin and easily restore the website to the desired version. Here, connecting with an experienced and adept web hosting service provider can help make a judicious decision.
Word Press admins must turn on ‘Debugging’. This small trick can help you easily debug the website, informing you vitally about the cause of the issue. You can allow debugging by adding this line of code in your word press-configuration file: “define( “WP_DEBUG”, true );”
Always use a highly reliable server.
You must use security plugins to scan and audit your website as and when required. Also, use reliable plugins and themes only to avail of good support.
As an acclaimed web server hosting company, we have a system to keep a close watch on the hosted WordPress websites and notify the website administrator. You can use some free web-based website monitoring tools. They also send notifications if the website stops functioning due to any reason.
Key Steps for Troubleshooting of 500 Internal Server Error
Reload the web page. Many a time, it can be a temporary issue and gets resolved with reloading or refreshing the page.
Use Ctrl + F5 and clear the cache. Additionally, you can browse history and clear the browser cache too.
Try accessing the word press -admin backend of your WordPress installation.
You should deactivate all the plug-ins if you get the flexibility to access the admin dashboard.
You can switch the theme to the default one if you are not able to fix the 500 internal server error. Once it is resolved, you can update or change the theme.
If the 500 internal server error persists, you must check the .htaccess file, file permissions as explained above.
Where you will find a 500 Internal Server Error?
HTTP 500 Error on a WordPress Website
500 Error on Linux
HTTP 500 internal server error on a WordPress Website
When a word press website encounters a 500 internal server error, visitors will not be able to access the website. In extreme cases, even the administrator may not be able to access the word press-admin backend.
You can come across the following messages: the browser will reflect any of the messages listed below:
“500 Internal Server Error”
“Internal Server Error”
“HTTP 500 – Internal Server Error”
“HTTP Error 500”
“500 – Internal Server Error”
“500 Internal Server Error. Sorry, something went wrong.”
“500. That’s an error. There was an error. Please try again later. That’s all we know.”
“The website cannot display the page – HTTP 500.”
“Is currently unable to handle this request. HTTP ERROR 500.”
Check Out Ways To Fix 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress
In case there is an error 500 - internal server error on your WordPress website, you may not access any or some of the website’s pages. This directs that there are some issues at the root directory.
Corrupt .htaccess file
A corrupted .htaccess file is among the most common issues or causes of a 500 internal server error. One can find this in the root directory. This error might arise due to a plugin update, theme update, etc, which might have been incurred while migrating from one server to another. To fix this 500 internal server error, you can simply replace the current .htaccess file with another one.
Exceeding PHP Memory Limit
A 500 internal server error caused by exceeding the PHP memory limit usually occurs when any word press plug-in or theme is consuming processing memory more than required. This error could also take place if website administrators are using multiple plug-ins at a time.
To fix this issue, you can increase the memory limit. You can do this efficiently by allowing some modifications in the wp-configuration file or php.ini file. You can increase from 64M to 128M, 256M, and extend so on.
There is an alternative where you can enhance the PHP memory limit through php.ini. Also, you can edit your php.ini by selecting the line of code that defines the memory limit.
This may look like: memory_limit = 32M and you can extend this memory limit to 64M, 128M, 256M, and so on.
One more related issue with a 500 internal server error caused by exceeding PHP memory unit is Maximum Execution Time. In such a case, you can exceed the maximum execution time limit either through a word press-configuration file, or .htaccess file or, a php.ini file.
You can add the following code to define the Maximum Execution Time using word press-configuration or increase its value if the code already exists:set_time_limit(300);
You can add or edit the following code to increase the time limit using the .htaccess file:php_valuemax_execution_time 300
You can use the following code to edit php.ini as well to increase the execution time:max_execution_time = 300.
Faulty Plugin or Theme Issue
With the recently installed or updated plugin, you need to check and analyze if there are any issues with those plugins causing a 500 internal server error. In case, you can access the admin dashboard (if possible) and deactivate all the plugins at once. Refresh, and then check the website if it is working. In case if it is working to reactivate the plugin one after the other, then check after activating each of the plugins. This way, you can easily detect which Word Press plugin is causing such an error.
Additionally, you can rename the directory of every plugin in case you cannot access the admin backend. Meanwhile, you can check the website after renaming each of these and see if the 500 internal server error resolves or persists. Also, experts recommend updating all the plugins as and when required.
Furthermore, you can try updating or switching the theme of your WordPress Website. This can help you check if the internal server error is gone.
We often provide our customers with Error logs to help them further identify the cause of the error. If you wish to avail of such capabilities and avert a 500 internal server error due to a faulty plugin or WP theme, you can connect with us anytime.
Corrupted Core Files
To troubleshoot a 500 internal server error on your Word Press website caused by corrupted core files, you have to upload the updated files using an FTP server. Also, you can upload the updated files from WordPress.com and use FTP software to upload them to the server.
Check File Permissions
WP administrators need to correctly configure all the directory and file permissions to make the WordPress website work perfectly fine and without a hitch. File permission settings that experts recommend are as follows:
1. 755 for all folders and sub-folders.
2. 644 for all files.
Incorrect permission settings can block some plugins, themes, and scripts from working. Additionally, we can help you use the ‘Fix Permissions’ tool for fixing file permissions in Sites->Tools in the dashboard.
Unsupported PHP Version
Some of the outdated PHP versions are not supported by the latest WordPress version anymore. WP experts highly recommend the latest versions like 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4. Also, we can let you have the latest PHP 8 version and managed WordPress Hosting without much hassle.
Incorrect DNS Entries
If your DNS (Domain Name System) is directed to a server other than your hosting server, your visitors cannot access it. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that your Domain Name System entries are accurate.
Problem with Server Itself
In any case, you cannot find the cause of a 500 internal server error; you should immediately connect with the technical support team of your web hosting provider. There can be critical issues with either the server hardware or the software application. However, if outage reports are very frequent at the server end, it’s high time to consider switching to another company.
Linux 500 Error
In case the website visitors are encountering HTTP status 500 - internal server error, you can troubleshoot it using Linux. This you can do if the error arises due to any of the CGI or PERL scripts. Also, your website can come across such an error due to the non-compatible versions of PHP and Apache. In this case, you must upgrade PHP or recompile Apache.
Ask a Web Hosting Server Administrator
In case you do not find any solution across your HTTP 500 internal server error even after using troubleshooting popular software or and trying debugging server-side scripts. You need to go through all the common and complex causes of such issues. In server documentation, a 500 internal server error may arise for different reasons in different operating systems. Hence, you should comprehensively analyze your system and go for the most appropriate way to fix it.
Also, you can connect with your web hosting service provider to troubleshoot this type of error. They can access your error logs and identify key reasons for such problems. The root cause of your problem.o. These service providers closely monitor the issue, fix it within the stipulated time, and help you with inventive tools to avoid such complexities in the future, too.
For the most part, advanced strategy and support help you increase efficiency. It is the industry-best practice to connect with experienced administrators. Many a time, troubleshooting a 500 internal server error can impact your website’s Google ranking. Before you plan to move ahead and fix this on your own, check if your server is still working. If it is not running, contacting your web hosting service provider should be on high priority.