How to Fix 500 Server Errors on Your WordPress Website

There is never a good time to encounter errors on your WordPress site. Whether in the admin section or on the frontend, website errors are bothersome. Especially if you don't know what causes them or how to fix them.

Unfortunately, the internal 500 server error is no different. In fact, the internal server error may be one of the most annoying errors as it is very vague. It doesn't give you any additional information about the error, making it nearly impossible to resolve without a lot of time, patience and of course troubleshooting.

Add to that an internal 500 server error that creates a lot of downtime for your site and you may find yourself pulling your hair out when your reputation fades and you lose sales.

Fortunately, we are here to help if you encounter an internal server error on your WordPress site. Read on to find out what the internal 500 server error is and how to fix it so you can get your site up and running immediately.

What are 500 internal server errors in WordPress?

An internal 500 server error is a general error that you or your site visitors encounter on your site. It tells you that there is a server level error.

In other words, that means your server cannot display your site to site visitors the way it should. It also has the potential to wreak havoc on your WordPress admin area, like a scary white screen of death.

500 examples of internal server errors

Ironically, the internal 500 server error often Not The error occurred on the server of your website . Most of the time the problem can be traced back to the root of your WordPress site. That said, you will never know what caused the error until you investigate. And this means a lot of trial and error on your part.

An internal server error can show up on your site to site visitors in different ways thanks to different web servers, operating systems and browsers.

Here are some of the most common terms ( all mean the same thing ):

  • 500 internal server errors
  • Internal server error
  • 500 internal server errors
  • Error 500
  • HTTP 500 error
  • HTTP Error 500 - Internal server error
  • Temporary error (500)
  • HTTP 500
  • 500 Internal server error. Sorry, an error occurred.

It can even say something like the Error code Error: 500, very similar to the code seen above Airbnb .

500 examples of internal errors - airbnb

No matter what the internal 500 server error of your WordPress site looks like, the truth is still: the error that causes downtime is bad for SEO and bad for businesses.

To minimize downtime of your website experience due to an internal server error, see troubleshooting tips designed to help you pinpoint the problem and fix it as soon as possible. good.

How to fix internal server error in WordPress

Before we learn how to fix internal server errors in WordPress, let's do one thing: create a backup of your site ( if you are not locked out of administrator part ).

To fix the problem, you may have to make some important changes to the website's root directory, where all your WordPress files are located.

And always it's safer to apologize when you make drastic changes to your site, especially if you are trying to fix the error.

For help choosing a backup solution, see our article about these Best WordPress backup plugin around.

And whatever you do, make a manual backup of your site before attempting to fix internal server errors. If by chance happening error on the server of your website , the most recent automatic backup that your server makes may not be possible.

Now, let's see some things you can do to fix 500 internal server errors on your WordPress site.

1. Reload the web page

This may seem obvious, but sometimes your web server or server may just need to refresh a bit to remove any temporary errors. This is most likely when you update a theme or plugin on your site. If the server is overloaded because of the update (s), it may experience a timeout issue that is fixed by reloading the page.

If you see this happening to your WordPress site multiple times, then you should be looking for a better WordPress hosting solution.

Check out our in-depth comparison of the best managed WordPress hosting out there if you need a better hosting solution.

2. Clear the browser cache

Another simple solution to a common error on your site is to clear your browser's cache. Sometimes there's just a problem somewhere in the system that prevents your website from loading properly.

It makes no sense to dive into internal error solutions if clearing the active cache.

3. Check the WordPress admin area

Again, before wasting a lot of time fixing the 500 internal server errors, try logging into your site first and see if you are locked out of the admin area.

To do this, visit and see if you can login. If you cannot, the error is probably due to the plugin or theme installed on your site.

4. Disable WordPress Plugin and / or Theme

If you are unable to access the WordPress admin area, you may be viewing a plugin or theme error. Although this is a relatively simple fix, it can be a time-consuming fix.

To get started, you will have to use FTP to access the files of your website. There are many FTP clients available for both Windows and Mac, but for this example we'll use FileZilla .

Click on it Download FileZilla Client .

Download filezilla

After downloading the FileZilla software, you will need to connect to your website.

Connect with ftp customers
  • Server: The exact URL of your website
  • User name: username for your FTP account ( usually the username used to log into your cPanel )
  • Password: password for your FTP account ( Usually the password used to log in to your cPanel )
  • Gate: leave this blank unless your server specifies a port

Press QuickConnect .

You will see local computer files in the left panel and files of your website in the right panel.

On the right side of the FTP client, go to the directory wp-content and find the labeled folder supplementary inside it. Right click on it and rename it to something like plugins_deac activate. This will deactivate all plugins on your WordPress site at the same time.

deactivate plugin in ftp

Next, go to your website and see if the error has been resolved. If so, you know it's a plugin on your site that causes internal server errors.

You can now access the WordPress admin area, login to your site. Then reactivate each plugin on your site one by one, refreshing each time you activate a plugin. When the error comes back, you know the plugin you've just reactivated is the culprit.

Delete the plugin and find an alternative or contact the plugin author immediately to fix the error.

And don't forget to rename the plugins_deac activate folder back to the plugin in your FTP client. This way, all the plugins of your website still work.

If disabling your WordPress plugins doesn't reveal the source of the 500 error, try following the same steps with the directory theme . Rename it and see if the problem is solved. If so, change the WordPress theme immediately.

5. Check the .htaccess file

Installing plugins or themes or making other changes to your WordPress site, can damage your .htaccess file and create internal server errors. Fortunately, fixing it is quite easy with your FTP client.

To get started, find the .htaccess file and right-click on it, select View / Edit and rename it to .htaccess_old. Just make sure that whatever you rename the file to include the .htaccess section, so you don't make another error on your site.

replace the .htaccess file

Check your website and see if the internal server error is gone. If yes, you found the problem.

Log in to the bottom of your website, go to Setting > Permalinks and press Save changes . This will recreate your .htaccess file and make sure your site works and there are no internal server errors.

6. Increase the PHP memory limit

If your site is using too much PHP memory ( placed by WordPress and your web server ), you may need to increase it to prevent 500 internal server errors from showing on your site.

To increase your website's PHP memory limit, start by opening your FTP client and looking for the file wp-config.php . Right click on it, select View / Edit and select submit edit By default, maybe like Notepad.

Just before Happy Happy's codebase, add this:

define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘64’);

Increase php memory

Save the file to your computer, find the file on the left side of your FTP client, right-click the file and select Upload . Make sure to overwrite the original file.

Refresh your FTP client and website and see what happens. If the error no longer exists, you realize that PHP memory exhaustion is a problem.

Next, you'll need to identify exactly what is taking up memory and using a lot of resources. It could be a poorly coded plugin or a theme function. The best way to find out this information is to contact your hosting provider and have them check the server logs.

7. Check file permissions

The files in your WordPress directory must be set to 755 or 644. If they are set to anything else, you might get a 500 error on your website.

To check file access of your website, log in to your FTP client and look in your website directory under Permission .

file access

Notice how all the folders are set to 755 and everything else is set to 644. If any of the directories in your WordPress directory are wrong, right-click on them and change them to the right number.

8. Reinstall WordPress

Do you remember when you initially set up your website and Install WordPress on it? Well, although rare, sometimes core WordPress files get corrupted and cause 500 errors on websites.

To fix this, you will need to replace the old files and download a new copy of WordPress on your website.

Get started by visiting and download WordPress.

Download wordpress

When you extract the zip file, you will find a folder labeled wordpress . Connect to your FTP client, find the wordpress directory and files named wp-admin and wp-merge. Right click on both and select Upload .

Upload wordpress core

When the prompt is displayed, select Overwrite . This will replace the wp-admin and wp-merge files on your site with new files.

overwrite file

If this is a problem that causes an error on your site, when you visit your site, everything will be back to normal.

9. Contact your host

If you've tried all of the above mentioned troubleshooting tips and your 500 internal server error is still there, it's time to contact your hosting provider. Your web host will be able to help you identify problems and solve them, as long as they have a knowledgeable support team ( and available ).

This is one of the reasons why choosing a high quality managed WordPress web server is important. In such times, you will need 24/7 support from WordPress experts if you want to minimize downtime and save any lost sales.

Final thought

This is not a complete list of troubleshooting tips to fix 500 internal server errors on your WordPress site. However, these tips are easy enough for even beginners to follow when a problem comes up and takes your site down. In addition, these strategies can help resolve an extremely vague website error that is easier to fix. Write this to fix the 503 Service unavailable error.

Nguyen Diep

My name is Nguyen Manh Cuong. I was born in a poor village in Ba Vi district, HA NOI province - windy and sunny land. Currently

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