When compared to other HTTP error codes and status codes, internal server problems in WordPress are the worst (also known as http error 500). They don’t give you any useful information about the problem, and they’re almost never really server faults (ie: usually your server is working fine).
I’ll attempt to explain what this internal server problem in WordPress means and how to fix it in this article:
What is the meaning of the 500 internal server error?
The definitions of the 500 internal server error on the internet are a little hazy. In other words, there’s no clear evidence of what went wrong and produced the issue.
The only thing that is clear is that the problem is the result of a website activity gone wrong. This can signify that a script in a theme or plugin performed something it shouldn’t have done, causing your server to crash, especially in the case of WordPress.
But don’t worry, there are several viable options…
How to Fix Internal Server Error 500
In most cases, the 500 internal server issue can be resolved in six steps:
I recommend turning on debugging if WordPress gives you a white screen of death or a server error. While this may not solve the problem, it will provide you with more information about what is going on.
Debugging can be enabled by modifying the wp-config.php file on your site. Look for WP DEBUG in this file once you’ve accessed it. You should be able to set it to “true” if you discover it. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ll have to make it yourself. In any case, you should have a line that looks like this at the end of the day:
define("WP DEBUG", true);
Reload your site after saving to see if anything has changed. If you’re lucky, the server error will go away and be replaced by a new message that will tell you exactly where the problem is.
If this is the case, investigate the source of the error. Disable the plugin if it’s in a plugin folder, and the error should go away.
Even if enabling debugging does not yield positive results, it is a good idea to keep it on until the problem is remedied. It will provide you and any developers with a better understanding of what’s going on. Remember to switch off debugging once everything is in order and you’ve completed the maintenance!
Turn off all plugins and change themes.
If you have access to your dashboard, deactivate all of your plugins to see what’s going on. If your website loads without the server error, it’s likely that one of your plugins caused the problem. You can turn them on one by one to see which one is causing the problems.
I’ve discovered that plugins are to blame for a lot of these issues, so that’ll be your best bet.
Take a look at your .htaccess file.
If one exists, the .htaccess file contains a set of rules that inform the server what to do in specific situations. It’s widely used to rewrite URLs or block malicious users from accessing your site.
Check your WordPress root folder using your FTP editor to see if you have an.htaccess file. Before you do this, check sure your FTP editor allows you to see hidden files.
If an.htaccess file exists, make a backup before deleting all of the contents or the entire file. This may delete some vital rules, but it will tell you if the internal server problem was caused by a file error.
If the error is no longer there, the problem was most likely with the.htaccess file. Attempt to restore the file and then delete sections of it. If the site starts operating again, you’ll know which block the problem is in. Usually, you may condense it to a single line like this. You can then remove that line or seek further advice from your developer or host.
Boost your memory
I’ve never had this problem, but I’ve heard that boosting your memory limit can help — I’m guessing this is more of a problem in shared situations. To do so, look for WP MEMORY LIMIT in your wp-config.php file in the WordPress root directory. Change the value to something like “64M” if it exists. If it still does not work, add the following line to the file:
define('WP MEMORY LIMIT', '64M');
If this succeeds, you’ve just temporarily addressed the problem. Most likely, you have a malfunctioning piece of code (which could be a third-party plugin) that is using up all of your resources. Take a look at your resource use with various plugins on/off if your host offers monitoring to get a better understanding of what’s wasting those valuable megabytes.
Inquire with your host
There are a few odd issues that can cause internal server failures with WordPress, but it’s probably better to question your provider at this point. They can look into things like file permissions and other sources to see if the problem is a genuine server issue, which they can at least confirm.
Alternatively, you might simply choose to upgrade to a better host with WordPress-optimized servers. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on this. For as low as $0.8 per month, you can get an adequate WordPress experience.
Install WordPress again.
In most cases, I don’t think this would assist, however there are a few exceptions where a reinstall of WordPress might help. Along the process, it might even fix file permission issues.
To accomplish this, I recommend using the WordPress Codex’s manual WordPress Update instructions.
In most cases, internal server failures in WordPress are not caused by genuine server errors. The majority of the time, they can be simply remedied utilizing the procedures indicated above. If in doubt, always ask your host; they have far more advanced capabilities for locating and resolving difficulties than you have.
I usually advise turning on debugging while troubleshooting and ruling out plugin and theme issues, as this is what any support technician would ask you to do first, or do themselves.