What Is The 500 Internal Server Error & How Can I Fix It?
Have you ever tried to access a site only to be met with an error
page saying 500 error, Internal Server Error, the page isn’t working, or
something like this?
The HTTP 500 Internal Server Error is a common error that users
often encounter. It can occur due to several causes, including PHP memory
limit, Permission error, browser cache, corrupted database, etc. The wide range
of causes means there are a number of different solutions to the error
depending on the specific cause.
Although the error has several variations in terms of its display,
it is easily recognizable. And while not too dangerous, it can still negatively
impact the website’s SEO. So, it must be fixed immediately.
This article will explain the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error and go
over some promising solutions you can employ to deal with it.
What Is The 500 Internal Server Error?
The 500 Internal Server Error or HTTP server error is just one of
the many HTTP error codes that keep you scrambling to figure out what has
happened with the site. However, as the name implies, it is an error from the
server end when you cannot reach the website because the server experienced an
unexpected problem with an unspecified root cause.
Basically, a 500 Internal Server error means that the server
encountered a problem in fulfilling a request made by the user on their
Whether the request from the server is fulfilled is indicated by
status codes along with HTTP headers, and one of the alarming codes is 500 –
meaning something wrong has happened on the server side. However, the server
itself is unable to accurately detect the issue.
As a result, the server is unable to fit the problem under a
specific HTTP error code. So, it responds with a general error message, HTTP
500 Internal Server Error, hinting that it has caught an inexplicable problem
that is unclear.
How Does The Error Appear On The Browser?
There is no single particular appearance of the error message.
Different browsers, websites, and web servers have their own unique
representation of the 500 Internal Server Error message.
Some of the message variations for HTTP 500 Internal Server Error
●500 Internal Server Error
●Internal Server Error
●500. That’s an error.
●HTTP Status 500 - Internal Server Error
●HTTP Error 500
●Error code: 500
●The page isn’t working
●500 – Internal Server Error
●Temporary Error (500)
●Error 500 Internal Server Error
●The server returned a 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.
Apart from these codes, you may see a message on different browsers. If
you are using Chrome browser, the error 500 may appear as,
This page isn’t working
Webshotingmeter.com is unable to handle
HTTP ERROR 500
While the Apache
error screen may appear like this.
The server encountered an internal error or
misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the
server administrator, root@localhost, to inform them of the time the error
occurred and the actions you performed just before this error. More information
about this error may be available in the server error log.
On the other, you will see,
500. That’s an error.
The server encountered an internal error or
misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
If the problem persists, please report your
problem and mention this error message and the query that caused it.
That’s all we know
And sometimes, the error 500 may leave a blank screen on your browser.
To fix this error, let's first know the root causes of this error.
What Causes The 500 Internal Server Error?
An HTTP 500 Internal Server Error refers to a sudden and
unexplainable issue, such as a temporary glitch in the server, that can occur
for various reasons. It is a general error message indication comprising
various triggers and causes.
Fortunately, it is not associated with any problems regarding your
browser, device, or internet connection. But unfortunately, this generic error
code then includes a range of other issues, and you may not necessarily know
what they are.
So, here are some common problems frequently known to result in the
HTTP 500 Internal Server Error.
500 internal error may also be caused by permission error that
typically occurs due to a restriction placed on a file or directory to prevent
the file from unauthorized access on the files or directories.
Various factors, such as a
misconfiguration, a bug in the software or application, a user mistake, or a
networking problem, can cause it. This prevents the successful execution of an
action by the server, showing that the user doesn't have the privilege to
authorize the website, resulting in a 500 error message.
Corrupted .Htaccess File
files are text-based files with crucial server instructions enlisted in them.
They are known to save passwords and provide authorized access to users by
allowing the software to activate the functions required to act or set up
So, if an .Htacess
file is corrupted during file configuration or plugin installation, the server
won’t be able to act, resulting in the HTTP error 500.
PHP Memory Limit
PHP is a server-side scripting language that undergoes tasks such as
content, session tracking, databases, etc. Each of these processes occupies
some memory space. However, the server only has limited memory.
So, if a website you are trying to access requires more storage
space than is available on the PHP, the server will be unable to act, resulting
in the 500 Internal Server Error.
Using third-party plugins and website themes is common practice to
increase its functionality, features, and performance. Although plugins can do
wonders for sites, they can harm the website’s security, performance, and bugs.
They are often created by unknown third parties, which can be risky.
It also means that it can be challenging to assess their authenticity, and the
server may require more time to address any issues with the plugin. So, the
server may run into a time-out and fail to perform the task resulting in the
Other Causes of the 500 Internal Server Error
As mentioned earlier, a wide range of causes can cause HTTP 500
Internal Server Errors.
●Incorrect rules or syntax errors in .Htaccess
●Wrong PHP version of the website
●PHP timing errors with third-party plugins
●CGI and Peri scripts error
●Large media and files on your website
●No more disk space on the server
●Corrupted WordPress core files
●Corrupted files in WordPress Installation
●Incorrect log-in credentials for the database
●Incorrect file permissions
●Problems with the MYSQL server
● Changes made by a hosting company
Fix The HTTP 500 Internal Server Error: 17 Proven Fixes
There are always troubleshooting methods for every error, but the
fix may depend on the cause. You may not know if the error 500 occurred from
the user side or error origin is the server.
To know which side is the culprit for giving perplexed signs to the
server, we have to check the website status.
the Website Status
Checking the website is the foremost troubleshooting method when you
don’t know the main cause of the error preventing you from accessing the
You can also check if the website is down for you or others in the
1.Access the website on
If you can access the website on a different browser, the issue
might be with your current browser. You can try clearing the cache and cookies
of your browser or resetting the browser settings to default.
2.Try to access another
website on the same browser
If other websites load immediately on the same browser, the issue is
likely with the website's server. In this case, you can wait for the server to
If the abovementioned checks indicate that the problem stems from the
website's backend, you should check the server status and troubleshoot the
Now that you know
the root cause, you can apply the relevant fixes.
Fixes as a Guest User
Force refresh the webpage
Switch To Other Network
Fixes as a Website Owner
Clear WordPress cache
Check for any Malware
Check for other software
Check the Large files
Check File and Folder Permissions
Check Error Logs of Website
Check the .Htaccess File
Alter the PHP Version
Increase PHP Memory Limit
Repair the Database
Check WordPress Plugins
Change the WordPress Theme
Restore the Backup of the website
Reinstall WordPress core
500 Internal Error as a User
Let’s first discuss the
fixes you may apply if you are exploring the site as a guest user.
1. Force Refresh the Page
Force refreshing a
webpage can be tested to check whether the error is temporary. The website may
go down temporarily when the server or host may
be experiencing high traffic, causing a temporary disruption in the website's
availability. However, the website should be accessible again in the near
future as the load subsides.
You can reload the web page with the keyboard shortcut combinations
below for whichever browser you use for web surfing and fix the 500 internal
Windows: Hold down the Ctrl key and press F5 to
do a hard refresh.
Mac: Hold down the command + shift + R keys
simultaneously on Mac to reload a page.
down the Ctrl and Shift keys, then press R to refresh the
Mac: Hold down
the command + shift + R keys simultaneously on Mac to
reload the page.
Use this shortcut combination Command
+ Option + R on Safari browser to refresh the webpage.
Press Ctrl + F5 keys
simultaneously if you are using Microsoft Edge.
If reloading the page doesn’t work,
the error is long-lasting due to some potential reason. Now, you have to try
2. Switch To Other Network
If page reloading doesn’t work, there might be an issue with the
network. In that case, switching to a different network may resolve the error.
To switch to a different network, you may try connecting to a
different WiFi network or switching the WiFi to mobile data o your smartphone.
If you still cannot load the web page, you can follow the next
method of clearing the browser cache and cookies.
3. Flush the Browser Cache
Your browser saves cookies and cache data,
including the passwords, websites you visited, files and downloads etc., to
provide a better user experience in your next browsing. Moreover, this also
protects you from the hassle of entering the complete URLs or remembering the
However, this browser cache also causes glitches
while browsing, or sometimes outdated or incorrect cache information may be
causing connection errors that prevent browsing. And one of those frustrating
errors is a 500 internal server error.
So, one possible solution to fix the error is to
flush the browser cache and history.
To clear the cache in Chrome, simply click
on the three dots at the top right corner of the homepage and select More
tools > Clear browsing data.
From there, select the time range and
checkmark all relevant boxes.
Then, click Clear data.
You can also use a shortcut
by entering “chrome://settings/clearBrowserData” in the address bar.
You can flush the Edge cache with these steps.
Click on the three horizontal dots at the top right
corner of the home page of Edge and click on History.
History will open a browsed data tab. From there, click on three
dots and click Clear Browsing Data.
Select the Time Range and other boxes, such as cached
images and files.
Click Clear Now.
Firefox has the same method as Chrome to clear the cookies and
Click on the three-line icon at the top right corner and
go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Cookies and Site Data.
Click Clear Data.
Now, checkmark the boxes and again click Clear Data.
For Safari, click on Safari at the
top left corner of the homepage and select Preferences > Advanced.
Now checkmark the Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
Then, go to the main page of Safari, click Develop,
and select Empty Caches.
If clearing the cache doesn't fix the error,
another cause may be at play, and you should try other troubleshooting methods.
Always ensure the website is not undergoing maintenance or experiencing
Internal Error as a Website Owner
now discuss how to fix HTTP 500 error if you own a site.
1. Clear WordPress Cache
Clearing the cache in WordPress can sometimes help resolve
a 500 internal server error.
You can follow the given
below steps to clear your WordPress cache.
Log in to your WordPress dashboard and click WP Super
Cache or W3 Total Cache under plugins tab, depending on which
caching plugin you use.
Look for an option to clear the cache. In WP Super Cache,
you can find this under the Delete Cache tab. In W3 Total Cache,
you can find it under the Performance tab > Dashboard > empty the
Wait for the cache to clear
completely. This may take a few minutes.
Refresh your website and
check if the 500 internal server error is resolved. If clearing the cache
doesn't work, other issues may be causing the error, so apply another fix.
for Any Malware
Malicious software infections can wreak havoc on
your site's code, leading to server timeouts, slow performance, and 500 errors.
Certain types of malware, such as cryptominers,
can consume significant server resources, resulting in degraded performance and
errors. Meanwhile, black hat SEO infections can generate thousands of spam
pages, which can continue to be crawled by search engines long after they have
been removed. This can also contribute to a reduction in site performance and
Nevertheless, by staying vigilant and employing
effective troubleshooting techniques, you can help ensure your website stays up
and running smoothly. Moreover, you can contact us to clean up your website
with infected malware.
for Other Software
One common cause of the
500 internal error is a recent installation or upgrade of the software on your
website that failed to install correctly.
●To fix the error, it's
important to investigate any recently installed or upgraded software on your
website, what it is, how long it has been installed on your site, and whether
or not it is legitimate.
●It's best to immediately remove the software or
any component, whether a plugin or reinstall, to fix the error.
4. Check Large Files
Large files on your website may also cause 500
internal server error. When hosting on shared servers like SiteGround, there's
a limit of 8GB for files that can be opened via the web. To determine if this
is the issue, check your website's files via SSH, FTP, or File Manager to
locate the problematic file. You'll often find that these are logs with PHP
servers, PHP error logs are automatically created if your site's PHP scripts
produce non-critical errors or warnings during execution. The log file is named php_errorlog and is located in the same directory as the script that
generated the errors. Typically, this is your website's root folder.
●If you identify a large file
as the culprit, you can try to reduce its size or split it into smaller
●Alternatively, you can contact your hosting
provider for assistance in increasing the size limit for files on their
If large files are not the
culprit, then check the file permissions.
5. Check File and Folder Permissions
Incorrect files and folder
permissions may cause 500 internal server errors. Ensuring the correct
permissions for files and folders is crucial for WordPress sites.
●Typically, all files should be set to 644
(-rw-r–r–) or 640, and all directories should be 755 (drwxr-xr-x) or
750. However, it's important to note that no directories should ever be
given 777, even upload directories.
●To further strengthen the
security of your site, you could also harden your wp-config.php file by
setting it to 440 or 400, preventing other users on the server from accessing
If the error is not gone, you
can try another method.
6. Check Error Logs of the Website
Error logs can provide valuable information
about misconfigured files, scripts, or exceptions that occur during operations
of sever causing issues, which can help you detect and fix the problem more
easily. It provides important information, such as details about which folder
or file may be causing the problem, a description, and the date and time.
You can check the error logs om cPanel by
logging in to your hosting account and click Errors under Metrics. This will
display the latest web server error messages.
If you are still unable to access the website,
then hop on to the next fix.
the .Htaccess file
One common type of error that can be identified
in the error log is related to the .htaccess file. This file is located in the
root folder of your website and can cause issues if there are syntax errors.
error log and identifying the issue with the .htaccess file allows you to
navigate to the folder in question and correct the problem. If not, then you
need to regenerate it.
8. Repair the Database
An incorrect database login credentials, a corrupted
WordPress database due to missing or individually corrupted tables, corrupt
files in your WordPress installation, or issues with your database server, such
as overloading due to a traffic spike or unresponsiveness from too many
concurrent connections may cause 500 internal server error. This will generate
a 500 HTTP status code in your server logs, which may appear differently
depending on your browser.
can fix HTTP 500 error by restoring the database from a backup or repairing it
with these general steps.
Login to your hosting account and go to
Open wp-config.php file anddouble-check
that the database credentials are correct, including the database
name, username, and password. You can also create a new user with full
privileges and update the wp-config.php file to use these new credentials.
Click edit and add the following line to
your wp-config.php file: define('WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true).
Before making any changes to your database,
creating a backup is crucial in case anything goes wrong. If you cannot fix the
error, try another method.
the PHP Version
version plays a crucial role in running your website smoothly. If you encounter
the 500 Internal Server Error, it could be because of an incompatible PHP
●Firstly, check the minimum
and maximum required PHP version for your website’s CMS, whether WordPress,
Drupal, or any other. Ensure that your server has a compatible version
●If your website is already running on the
minimum required PHP version and still facing the error, try upgrading to a
higher version. SiteGround users can change the PHP version directly from their
cPanel, without contacting the support team.
Go to cPanel, search for the “Select
PHP version” icon, and choose the best version for your website. After
changing the PHP version, test your website to check if the error persists. The
issue is related to the PHP version if the error is gone.
the error still exists, it could be because of some other reason, and you
should try other solutions.
10. Increase PHP Memory Limit
libraries are essential to PHP scripts, requiring a sufficient memory limit for
optimal performance. If you encounter a 500 Internal Server error, your script
may consume all the available PHP memory limit or PHP workers.
●In that case, increasing the available PHP
memory limit from the Server and Packages tab may resolve the HTTP 500 error,
enhancing the website's performance and smooth execution of PHP scripts.
●Moreover, you can also avoid the dreaded “Allowed
memory size” error, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to
●Alternatively, if you have defined a memory
limit in the application configuration files, you can simply increase the value
in these files.
Check PHP memory in WordPress
First, check the
PHP memory in WordPress with these steps.
Navigate to WordPress dashboard and click on Tools
> SIte Health.
Click on Info > Server.
You will see PhP memory limit under the server section.
Increase PHP Memory in wp-config.php file
Login to your site account using SSH or
Then, search the wp-config.php file in the main folder of your WordPress website and download it as a
backup and right-click on the file and click Edit.
Edit it by adding the following code.
'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', 512 M)
It will then read, That's all, stop editing! Happy
Increase Memory Limit in php.ini File
only experiencing the internal server error when logging in to your WordPress
admin or uploading an image, follow the steps below.
Login to your site using SSH or FTH and
create a blank text file on your server named php.ini.
Add this code, memory=256MB.
Save the file, and upload it into your root directory domain.com/php.ini.
Increase PHP Memory in cPanel
If you are
using a host that offers cPanel, you can modify memory limit from the UI with
Login to your cPanel account and click Select
PHP Version under Software.
Then, click Options under PHP
Change the memory_limit attribute value to new
Increase PHP Memory in Apache
modify the server behavior from your .htaccess file for those using Apache.
Locate your .htaccess file via SSH orFTH.
Add the following line:
php_value memory_limit xxx (replace "xxx" with
your desired memory limit value in megabytes).
Save the changes and create a PHP test file to verify that the new setting is
active by passing the following code in the same directory.
Increasing the memory limit is just a temporary
fix. You must still identify the root cause of exhausting your memory limit,
which could be a poorly coded plugin or theme function.
If increasing the PHP memory limit doesn't
resolve the issue, don't panic. You may need to troubleshoot more, but you'll
eventually fix the problem with patience and perseverance.
Change the WordPress Theme
If you're experiencing a 500 internal server
error on your WordPress site, it could be caused by a problem with your current
theme. In some cases, a faulty theme or a theme that's not compatible with your
WordPress version can trigger this error.
Apply the following steps
to fix the internal 500 server error.
Log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance
Hover over the active theme you want to deactivate and click Theme
Click Delete on the theme details screen to remove the
theme from your site.
If you have another theme installed that you want to use, hover
over that theme and click Activate. If you don't have another theme
installed, click the Add New button to browse and install a new
Once you've activated a new
theme, reload your site to see if the error has been fixed.
If changing the theme doesn't fix the issue,
another problem may be causing the error. You can try disabling your plugins,
reinstalling the WordPress core or restoring your site from a backup to
troubleshoot the issue further.
Disable the WordPress Plugins
One potential culprit that can cause the dreaded
internal 500 Error is a misconfigured WordPress plugin. To troubleshoot this
issue, it is recommended to disable the plugins one by one until the problem is
Follow these steps to
disable WordPress plugins.
Go to the WordPress dashboard and
click Plugins > Installed Plugins.
From the drop-down Bulk actions menu,
Check the box next to Plugin and click Apply to disable all plugins.
the plugins, reload the website and see the error is fixed. If not, try another
13. Restore the Backup of the Website
If the above steps don’t work, restoring a backup of your
website might be the solution. This method can bring your website back to its
previous state before the error occurred. To restore a backup of your website,
you'll need a backup available. If you don't have a backup, you may need to
contact your hosting provider or use a backup plugin to create one.
general steps to restore your website backup.
Log in to your cPanel account and click Backup.
Locate the backup fileand Download the backup
file to your local computer and extract the backup file if it's in
a compressed format like .zip.
Open the file manager in your hosting account and navigate to
the root directory of your website.
Delete all the files and folders in the root directory and Upload all
the files and folders from the backup to the root directory of your
website, including the WordPress core files, themes, plugins, and uploads
The process may vary slightly depending on your hosting provider and
setup. Check if your website is functioning properly by visiting the site in a
new browser window or tab.
14. Reinstall WordPress Core
The core files of WordPress may have become corrupted,
which is causing the 500 internal server error. To fix the error, you can
reinstall the WordPress core files without affecting your themes or plugins.
Before proceeding, it's always best to take a backup of your site, including
the database and all files. This is important in case something goes wrong
during the reinstallation process.
Here are the general
steps to reinstall the WordPress core files.
First, fully back up your WordPress site, download the
latest version of WordPress from the official website or cpanel
account and extract the WordPress ZIP file on your local computer.
In the root directory of your WordPress installation, rename
the wp-admin and wp-includes folders to something like wp-admin-old and wp-includes-old.
Next, upload the new wp-admin and wp-includes folders
from the extracted WordPress files to your website's root directory.
Finally, copy all files from the new WordPress folder
except the wp-config.php file and the wp-content folder, and
upload them to the root directory of your WordPress site.
Once the upload is complete,
log in to your WordPress dashboard to check if everything works properly.
The process may
vary slightly depending on your hosting provider and setup. Always refer to the
official WordPress documentation or seek help from a professional if you're
unsure about any step of the process.
Contact Web Hosting Provider
If the above solutions do not
work for you, it’s time for you to contact the web hosting provider company.
They would analyze the server logs and identify the exact diagnostics.
Regardingly, they would propose pr apply the fix to troubleshoot the 500
internal server error, allowing you to do error-free smooth web browsing.
500 Internal Error Impact the SEO of a Website?
The 500 Internal Server
Error can potentially negatively impact the SEO of your website if it is not
Your website experiences
consistent crawling by Google's web crawling algorithm, Googlebot. So, if the
error is fixed automatically fast enough or the site is dead for a few minutes due
to a 500 error, Google may not even need to recrawl it at times, and thus, it
would not pose a great impact on web crawling.
However, if the error
persists, Googlebot will decrease the crawling frequency and remove the URLs
from the search index altogether. Google detects that your site is infected
with malware or serves harmful content, and your website may be added to a block
list. This can severely affect your search engine rankings and organic traffic.
To prevent this from happening, it's crucial to
identify the root cause of the 500 error and take steps to rectify them. Doing
so will help mitigate the risks to your website's SEO and ensure your site
remains accessible and visible to users. The fixes listed above can be helpful
for your troubleshooting process.
500 Internal Server Error
can be annoying since it does not inform users about a specific problem. Plus,
it is capable of ruining the SEO ranking you have worked hard to achieve for
your site. However, the good news is you can use easy troubleshooting solutions
to quickly fix the error.
Mainly, the 500 Error
occurs due to permission errors, low PHP memory limit, excessive browser cache,
third-party plugins and themes, and a few other such reasons. So, you can
easily directly target these issues to fix the error altogether.
So, now that you know
about the 500 Error, don’t simply ignore it the next time you see it! Fix it
How Do I Fix a 500 Internal Server Error?
You can fix the 500 internal server error as a guest user by force
refreshing the page and deleting the browser cache. However, if the issue is
from the web end, you may try flushing the WordPress cache, increasing the PHP
memory limit, repairing the database, reinstalling the WordPress core, and
checking the error logs and folder permissions, etc.
What Causes 500 Internal Server Error?
The corrupted .Htaccess files or incorrect rules or syntax errors in
.Htaccess files are the common culprit for the 500 Internal server error.
However, many causes are at play, including PHP memory limit, permission
errors, third-party plugins, WordPress cache, CGI and Peri scripts errors, a
corrupted database or WordPress core files, etc.
What is Error 500 on Local Host?
The Error 500 message on the local host
means Apache struggles to process your request and offer a suitable response.
This Internal Server Error occurs when a server-side glitch interferes with
Apache's ability to perform its duties. The reasons for this could vary from
faulty code and insufficient file permissions to missing files referenced in
What is a 500 Internal Server in PHP?
500 Internal Server Error is when your PHP
script makes many external network connections that end up timing out in
several and ultimately fail to respond; it will cause this frustrating error
How To Fix Error 500 in PHP?
To fix error 500 in PHP, properly code your
PHP scripts with timeout rules. This will ensure that the script is not left
hanging for too long and that it can handle the potential network hiccups that
may occur and keep your website running smoothly.
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