A 500 internal server error looks super exhausting. The thing that makes it look hard is that it doesn’t show any information about the error.
And, this is where most of the beginners get stuck. But in this post, I will explain an easy way to fix the 500 internal server errors in WordPress 😃.
Table of Content for Guide
Before fixing the error, we’ll first see the HTTP 500 error, its possible causes, and then fix it.
So, here’s the table of content for the post.
- What is the HTTP 500 error?
- The possible causes of the error
- And how to fix the error
Most Important Step to Take:
Before you try to do anything that could mess up your site, it’s better to backup the entire site.
What is the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error?
You visited a web-page of your site (or your website), and you saw a 5XX error message. I know it looks like the world is falling apart. But don’t worry! We’ll fix that.
The 500 Error can Appear in These Forms
The possible ways the 5XX error can appear are.
- HTTP Error 500
- 500 Internal Server Error
- Internal Server Error
- HTTP Internal Server Error
- 500 Internal Server Error
- 501 Not Implemented
- 502 Bad Gateway
- 503 Service Unavailable
- 504 Gateway Timeout
- 505 HTTP Version Not Supported
- 506 Variant Also Negotiates
- 507 Insufficient Storage
- 508 Loop Detected
- 510 Not Extended
- 511 Network Authentication Required
- 599 Network Connect Timeout
All of these terms lead to one single error type, the 500 internal server error. What’s bothersome is that it doesn’t give you any information like other errors do.
It’s not specific to only WordPress, which means we have to get into the troubleshooting to find the fix.
Troubleshooting the 500 Error
Let see what’s causing the error 500 and fix it.
1- Refresh the Page
Sometimes, the error will go away with a simple refresh.
If it’s working, congrats. If not, don’t worry and follow along to the next steps.
2- Checking the Plugins
The first thing I will do for troubleshooting is checking the plugins. Becasue plugins have the grasp over the website’s back-end, and they can mess up your site easily.
So, we’re going to check if they are plugins what’s causing the problem.
There are two ways we can do that one is through the cPanel, and the other one is through the FTP server.
If you have no idea about FTP, here’s a complete step-by-step guide on FTP.
Choice (1)- Accessing the Website Files Through FTP Client
After you log in to the host files. Go to the root folder of your website. Mostly it’s in Var.
BTW, i'm using WinSCP on my PC.
Then, go to the www folder.
Then, locate the website files, mostly under (Public_html).
The next step is the same for both the cPanel and through the FTP access.
First, let me show you how you can do the same with the cPanel access.
You can also jump to this section: Troubleshooting the Plugins.
Choice (2)- Accessing the Website Files Through cPanel
To access the cPanel of your website. Go to File Manager.
Like FTP access, you can access all of your website files from cPanel.
Go to the root folder of your website.
And locate the website files, mostly under (Public_html).
Then, do the following steps to troubleshoot the plugins.
Troubleshooting the Plugins
Go to wp-content and rename the plugins folder to plugins-old.
It will de-activate all the plugins on your site.
If we refresh the page and the error goes away, we know it was the plugin causing an error.
Then, rename the plugins folder to the original name.
Then, access the WordPress dashboard and activate the plugins one-by-one. That way, we can find the specific plugin causing an issue.
3- Exceeded PHP Memory Limit Issue
Now, there are two ways to troubleshoot this problem.
First, you can check if it’s the issue from the WordPress dashboard.
Second, we can use php.ini to fix the error.
Choice (1)- Using WordPress Site-Health to Troubleshoot the 500 Error
First, go to the WordPress dashboard. Then, go to Tools >> Site Health.
And, underneath the ”Site Health”, click on Info.
Scroll down the page, and from the Server section, check the PHP Memory limit. If it’s like mine, then you need to increase the PHP memory limit.
Again, go to FTP client, and access your website files.
Locate the wp-config.php file. And open it with your favorite text editor.
Now, add the following line of code, just below the <?php.
define( ‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’ );
Save changes, and visit the website. It should have fixed the problem by now.
Choice (2)- Checking the php.ini File
Search the folder “php.ini” in the root directory of the website.
If you can’t find it, then create a new folder, and name it php.ini.
Inside that folder enter ”memory=128MB” (without the double-quotes).
Then, refresh the page and see if the error is gone. If it’s fixed, you know it was a memory causing an error.
Afterward, you can contact your website host and ask them why your website uses that much memory.
If your website still wants you to do some work 😄, then follow along to the next step.
4- Corrupted .htaccess File
You might have an internal server error due to a corrupted .htaccess file.
To check that, go to cPanel >> root folder of your website. Again, you can also use FTP for this step.
Locate the .htaccess file and rename it to ”.htaccess-old”.
Save the changes, and refresh the page.
If that fixed the error, you need to create a new .htaccess file.
Creating a New .htaccess File
To create a new file, go to the WordPress dashboard >> Settings >> Permalinks.
Scroll down the page, and click on Save Changes.
So, that would have fixed the error.
Covering Up the 500 Error Guide
I hope you might have fixed the error by now. If so, then congratulations.
And, if you still seeing 500 internal server error, you can get support from a developer.
You can hire a freelancer developer from, Fiverr or Upwork, and they would help you fix the problem.