With over 75 million active websites today, 35% of the web is powered by WordPress. It is one of the most popular website publishing platforms globally. Although it’s user-friendly and easier to use, and just like every other website running on the server, WordPress also faces this 500 Internal server error. This is something that appears all of a sudden and doesn’t even tell you what the problem is and how to resolve it.
- 1 Does this error signify any problem?
- 2 What causes this error?
- 3 Some names for 500 Internal Server Errors
- 4 Troubleshooting options are as follows:
- 5 Final words
Does this error signify any problem?
Well, yet there is no clear information about the 500 internal server error. This error occurs unexpectedly on your website server when some operation goes wrong at the website’s end. The server is unable to tell you what the problem is, that resulted in the error, but it only shows you the response code 500.
What causes this error?
This issue is faced by every website running on the Web server not only by WordPress. This is a web server’s problem not your computer or on your internet.
Numerous causes can result in this issue.
- corrupted ‘.htaccess file’ in the central directory.
- Exceeding the PHP memory limit
- File permissions are improper.
- WordPress’s core files are corrupt.
- Malfunctioning of themes and plugins.
When accessing the admin area you can also encounter this error. Though, the website works just fine.
You could come by any of the following names depending on your web server or the problem.
- Error 500
- HTTP Error 500
- HTTP Error 500- Internal Server Error
- Internal Server Error
- 500 Internal Server Error
- Temporary Error
- Or any Funny Image with 500 written over it.
Let’s Start Fixing This Error.
Before Troubleshooting an error:
- Creating Backups: As you will be making changes to the root directory, you need to create a backup of your website. There are two ways: Creating your backup or Using the backup that is offered by the website host provider. Also, You can use plugins provided by WordPress like BackUpWordPress, BackupBuddy, and VaultPress.
- Know how to use FTP Client: An FTP client will allow you to access and edit your website’s server files. These are some of the most popular FTP clients that you can install on mac or windows.FileZilla (Open-Source software can be installed on Windows, Mac, Linux)WinSCP (Open Source software can be installed on Windows)Cyberduck (Open Source software can be installed on mac). Or you can also use the File Manager but it is Slower than FTP.
Troubleshooting options are as follows:
1. By checking corrupt .htaccess files
when troubleshooting an error in WordPress the first thing you do is Checking for the Corrupt .htaccess File in the directory. Using your FTP client you can open your website’s root directory that is Public_html. Here, you can see wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes etc.
If you cannot see these hidden files wp-admin and others then you have to click on the Server tab, and then you have to select Force Show Hidden Files option to view these files. Now find your .htaccess file, and by right-clicking, you can edit this to .htaccess.fixerr and? It will delete the old file and replace it with the one you have created. Now you must create a new file and then Go to Settings > Permalinks and then Scroll down and save the changes by clicking the save changes button but don’t make any changes.
So you are done with this!
If the 500 internal server error was because of this issue then, creating a new .htaccess file will fix it and all the configurations will be handled.
2. Turn debugging on
Whenever you encounter a server error, debug your site. It’s not sure if the problem will be fully eliminated or not but debugging can give you more insights about what the problem can be. Only an Experienced WordPress developer should do this. By editing your site’s wp-config.php file you can turn the debugging on.
Now add a small code in your wp-config.php file and open it. Then locate WP_DEBUG, and set it to ‘True’.
In case you couldn’t find it, you have to create the following code yourself and Save it.
Now reload your site to see what happens. One of the Two things might happen at this point:
- The disappearance of a server error or
- Replacement of server error with a different error that will tell where the problem is residing.
if the error is replaced then take a look at where the error is located, for instance, If error resides within a plugin folder, disable that plugin, the error will be fixed.
3. Enlarge PHP memory limit
You can troubleshoot the error by Expanding your PHP Memory limit If you mainly get this error while login to your WordPress admin or uploading an image in your wp-admin, it’s actually because your memory limit is exhausted. The following steps can help increase memory:
- Open your wp-config.php file in the WordPress root directory and search if WP_MEMORY_LIMIT exists or you can create a blank text file named php.ini.
- Now define memory limit and Paste this code in there: memory=250MB(you can increase memory limit up to 250)
- Save the file
- Open your root directory and Upload this file to your /wp-admin/ folder using FTP.
The original file is replaced and now you need to Refresh your FTP client and your website and if the error code 500 still showed up then the error is caused by something else.
If the error is caused by something else, remove the above code from the wp-config.php file and save it, and then re-upload it to the root directory.
4. Deactivating plugins and themes
If the error is still not fixed then try identifying and replacing those plugins and themes which are malfunctioning to resolve this issue. Start deactivating your plugins one by one and after every step refresh your site to check whether Error code is still there or not.
Also, try Using FTP client which helps you to identify the faulty plugins. After that move to the root directory and scroll down and open the wp-content folder. Now just add each plugin individually to the blank directory, and refresh your site every time to check whether the plugin error is fixed or not. If it does you should remove that plugin and If the plugin is essential for your website then consider looking for an alternative that will work instead of that.
And In case if you are unable to find a replacement feel free to contact the site developer.
You can also switch to a default WordPress theme like Twenty Fifteen to check whether there is an error that is caused by your previous theme or not. If the site loads without error then the issue is within your theme.
5. Reuploading clean copy of the core files
It depends upon the web hosting providers, some of them may allow you to replace your core file while few of them may not. So it’s better to ask your host provider first if they can do it. And in case if they can’t then:
- First the WordPress.org website and click on the Download button. When the WordPress zip file will be installed to your computer, you just need to extract the zip file.
- Open the extracted ZIP file using your FTP client and after connecting go to the root folder of your website which has wp-admin, wp-includes, wp-content folders inside of it.
- You have to delete the wp-content folder and the wp-config-sample.php file and then start uploading all the remaining files to your site using your FTP client.
- Folders will transfer by the FTP client to your server. After that select the Overwrite option to replace the old core files with fresh ones and then select “Always use this action”.
- Now Refresh both your website and your Client.
If your WordPress site is corrupt then this step will fix the internal server error.
6. Talk to your host provider
Various issues can lead to internal server errors in WordPress, but if all of the above troubleshooting methods fail then at this point it may be best to talk to your host and If it will be a server issue then they will inform you and will look at things like file permissions and other sources which may cause the error to occur.
The Internal server errors in WordPress are usually not caused by actual server faults but can be caused by other things like the malfunctioning of themes or plugins or caused by corrupted files in the root, you can troubleshoot these issues easily as described above. And always consider talking to your host if nothing worked as they have far more sophisticated tools than you do to locate and fix issues.
We hope this article helped you fix the 500 internal server error issue and if you have any further questions about fixing the 500 Internal server error, please don’t hesitate to reach us out.