Error 503 Service unavailable in WordPress – Error 503 Unavailable service is not inherently related to WordPress websites, it is an error that can appear for any type of website. In this article, we have chosen to discuss potential fixes if this error appears on the WordPress website, so you will be prepared and know what to do if you encounter this error.
There are a lot of issues that can lead to Error 503 Service unavailable and some of these errors may be related to the content management system you're using (in this case WordPress), while in the In other cases, the error is due to some problem with your server.
Before we explore the different ways to fix Error 503 Service unavailable, let's see what it is.
Error 503 What is unavailable service?
Contrary to Error 404 Not Found, pops up when the server cannot find the resource being accessed, the 503 Service is unavailable when the resource is being accessed and the server is temporarily unavailable. Therefore, the resource being accessed exists only as the server is currently not available to process the request.
For potential causes, here are the most common causes of a 503 error:
- PHP scripts: normally, the plugin or theme cannot load at the request of the server will return Error 503;
- Custom scripts: recently added custom scripts to your WordPress website could be another possible cause;
- Server downtime: depending on your web server, your server may be temporarily unavailable due to maintenance or overload;
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: if your website gets into a DDoS attack, flooding your website with traffic, thus making the website unavailable due to traffic counter too big.
Next, see how to fix the 503 Service unavailable error in WordPress and what to do to avoid future problems.
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How to fix error 503 Service unavailable?
If the possible cause of the 503 Error Service is not a problem with WordPress, here are some workarounds you can try to resolve the issue:
Like most people, you're probably using multiple plugins, which can cause incompatibility issues. By disabling your plugins, then re-enabling them one by one while checking to see if your WordPress website is still running, you'll run into the plugin that is causing the problem.
But how do you get into your plugins if you can't get to your dashboard by logging into the WordPress admin area? You will need to use an FTP client like FileZilla, which means you will need to look up your FTP credentials to be able to transfer files to and from your server.
Once you have managed to log in to your server from FileZilla, follow the steps below to turn off the plugin:
- Locate and open the public_html directory (WordPress root directory)
- Navigate to the wp-content directory
- Right-click on the plugin directory and select the Rename option
- Rename your plugin directory to the deactivated plugin
This will deactivate your plugin series and you will still access your WordPress website if Error 503 occurs due to a plugin incompatibility issue.
Next, you will need to go back to FileZilla, access the wp-content directory, and rename the folder that turned off your plugin to its original name. This will not reactivate your plugins, it will only make WordPress recognize them, so you can reactivate them one by one in your WordPress dashboard until you find the culprit. When you do so, go back to FileZilla and delete the corresponding plugin in the wp-content / plugin directory.
Now, see what to do if Error 503 is caused by your active WordPress theme.
Disable your WordPress theme
If the issue of incompatibility with the plugin is error free, the culprit may be your WordPress theme. Here too, you will need to rely on the FTP client to get the job done.
Access the wp-content / Themes folder and locate the active theme directory, then when you rename the plugin directory, do the same for the theme folder, which means disabling and trying to access the website. with you. If you succeed and at this point you will see the default WordPress theme instead of the old one, it means that Error 503 Service is unavailable because of your theme.
Make sure you download the latest version of the theme from the developer and if the problem persists, even if you are using the latest version of the theme and the developer is unable to provide a fix, you will unfortunately find another topic.
Debug custom code
If it's not the plugin, not the theme that is causing the error, it's time to enable the Debugging Feature in WordPress to see if any of your custom code additions could be causing the problem.
To turn on Debugging Feature, follow the steps below:
- Visit FileZilla and find WordPress root directory
- Find the wp-config.php file
- Right-clicking on it, then selecting View / Edit, will open the file in your text editor
- Locate the line That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging
- Add the following code to that line: @ini_set (‘display_errors’, 1)
- Save changes and close the file
This will activate the error correction feature and will display error messages often detailed on the file and even specific lines of code interrupt everything. Therefore, you can locate the file using FTP and make the necessary changes to bring things back to normal.
The debugging feature of WordPress is disabled by default for security reasons, so if you complete the changes, you should disable this feature.
Contact your web host
If you suspect that you are under a DDoS attack or you have legitimate traffic causing the outage, contact your web host's support team as they will be able to assess the situation. and give solutions.
Your web host may recommend upgrading your hosting plan, or they may temporarily increase the size of your resources so that you can handle traffic flow or act as a defense against an attack. DDoS if the problem is caused by a DDoS attack.
If the web host doesn't proactively help you solve the problem, you might want to consider moving another hosting company. For WordPress websites, we recommend Bluehost because they offer many WordPress hosting packages built on VPS technology and designed to meet the characteristics of WordPress website in terms of speed optimization, security Confidentiality and performance. Read our Bluehost review if you want to learn more about this company.
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When your website receives a lot of traffic and you may notice that it will slow down or you may be completely faced with downtime issues.
Therefore, we recommend that you upgrade your hosting plan to a better plan to avoid such problems from occurring.
You also want to think about integrating the Content Distribution Network with your WordPress website (we recommend MaxCDN), which will reduce the load on your server and make your website faster and more secure.
Error 503 Not Available Service might seem like a difficult thing to crack at first, but if you follow our step-by-step instructions, you'll be able to take action quickly.