How to fix internal server error in WordPress - Internal server errors in WordPress are the worst. They do not provide real information about the problem and rarely occur actual server errors (that is, normally your server is working fine).
Through this article, I will try to help you understand the meaning of this internal server error on WordPress and guide you out of it:
What is internal 500 server error
The web definition of the internal 500 server error is unclear. Basically, there is no real indication as to what actually happened and caused the error.
The only thing that is undoubtedly the error is caused by some activity that happened at the bottom of the site. Especially in the case of WordPress, this could mean that a script is part of the theme or the plugin has done something not to do and now your server is down.
Most of the time, you can fix 500 internal server errors in 6 steps.
- Turn on debugging
Whenever WordPress throws you a blank screen of death or server error, I recommend that you turn on your Debugging. While this may not fix the problem, it can help you better understand what's going on.
You can enable debugging by editing the wp-config.php file in your website. Once you have accessed this file, search in WP_DEBUG. If you find it, you should be able to set it up according to your wishes. If you don't see it in there, you'll need to create it yourself.
After saving, reload your website to see if anything has changed. If you're lucky, the server error will disappear and be replaced with another error - one that actually tells you where the problem is.
If this is the case, see where the error is. If it's in a plugin directory, turn off that plugin and the error will go away.
Even if enabling debugging does not bring you a great result, it is still recommended to leave it on until the problem is resolved. It will give you and no developer a better understanding of what's going on with you. Don't forget to turn off debugging once everything is ok and you're done maintenance!
2. Disable all plugins and theme converters
If you have access to the dashboard, you should deactivate your entire plugin and see what is going on. If your website loads without a server error, the problem is probably due to one of your plugins. You can switch in turn to find out where the problem is.
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You can also change your theme to the default, unaltered WordPress theme like Twenty Fundred or Twenty Sixteen. If the website loads without an internal server error, the problem is in your thread.
I have noticed that some of these errors are actually caused by plugins, so this would be your best option.
3. Check your .htaccess file
The .htaccess file, if it exists, will contain some rules that tell the server what to do in certain situations. It is often used to rewrite URLs or prevent access to your website for malicious purposes.
Use your FTP editor and check if you have a .htaccess file in your WordPress root directory. You need to make sure your FTP editor lists hidden files before you do this.
If there is a .htaccess file there, create a backup and then delete all content inside or the entire file. This will remove some important rules, but if the internal server error is due to an error in the file, it will tell you where the problem occurred.
If the error is fixed, the problem occurs with the .htaccess file. Try restoring the file and then delete its blocks. If at some point the website starts working, you'll know what's going on. You can narrow it down one line. You can then delete that line or ask your developer or host for further assistance.
4. Increase your memory
I have never personally encountered this problem, but I've heard that increasing your memory limit may help - I think this is a common problem these days. To do this, open your wp-config.php file in the WordPress root directory and search for WP_MEMORY_LIMIT. If it exists, change the value to something like 64 64 64. If not, paste the following line into the file:
define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘64M’);
If this works then you are only dealing with the problem temporarily. Chances are you have a bit of faulty code somewhere (maybe a third-party plugin) that is draining your resources. If your host has built-in monitoring, look at your resource usage and the various on / off plugins for a better idea of what is wasting those precious megabytes.
5. Ask your server
There are a few minor issues that can lead to internal server errors on WordPress, but at this point, it's better to ask the server. The problem may be genuine server malfunction, at least they can confirm and they can also consider things like file permissions and other sources.
6. Reinstall WordPress
I shouldn't think this will help in most cases, but there are some cases where reinstalling WordPress can fix the problem.
To do this, I recommend following the manual WordPress Update instructions on the WordPress Codex or ThemeIsle's secure WordPress update.
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Internal server errors in WordPress are usually not due to actual server errors. Most of the time, they will be relatively easy to fix using the methods described above. If in doubt, always ask your server, they have far more sophisticated tools than you to locate and troubleshoot.
You should turn to debugging while you handle and eliminate plugin and theme issues as this is something any support technician will ask you to do first, or they will do it themselves.
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