A 500 Internal Server Error

All Potential Cases Listed

Some server errors are inherent to WordPress websites, plugins or WordPress-based themes. It is conceivable that users face a 500 Internal Server Error just for once. It is the most common issue that is noticed. This article is devoted to key reasons that cause this server error. Not only WordPress website owners, designers, and developers can encounter it but Internet surfers as well.

5 primary causes of the 500 Internal Server Error appropriate for WordPress

What’s most important is a 500 Internal Server Error can be eliminated. First up, five main reasons for such a WordPress-type inherent web server situation should be identified. Look at the list of all potential options that cause 500 Internal Server Error and detailed description for each cause of error occurrence.

Web server misconfiguration

It does not matter what kind of server you have – it can be both Apache and IIS. If misconfiguration caused by improper directives takes place, a 500 Internal Server Error can occur. It is worth noting that hosting support often sends error notification without a data check. Be ready to find the resolution yourself. Try to fix the problem with the help of a web host diagnosis.

Wrong permissions for folders and files

In most cases, 755-permission for WordPress folders and 644-permission for files are relevant. Of course, there are exceptions to take into consideration. Nevertheless, WordPress-based permissions are usually highly regulated and 777 instead of recommended ones can cause a 500 Internal Server Error and other web host issues.

Broken files and PHP errors

If some files contain errors, the web server can mistake them for the primary cause for a 500 Internal Server Error. Sometimes users do not see the problem in file transfer proceeding but the web host detects some broken files that are unsuitable for server-based operations.

Pay attention to uploaded files that are considered as unreadable ones. Incorrect language of the text file or coding problems in WordPress items (sites, plugins, themes) can be a cause of a 500 Internal Server Error occurrence. Here is a list of variants for coding problem solving:

  • Run WordPress reinstallation.
  • Deactivate WordPress third-party plugins that may cause errors.
  • Reset a WordPress theme and reinstall it to do away with coding problems.

WordPress .htaccess file

One of the potential options that leads to a 500 Internal Server Error is the .htaccess file. It is used in WordPress together with custom permalink settings. Additionally, this file can be seen in some supplementary plugins for different server-based configuration options regarding web host directives.

If the .htaccess file is errorful, it can be the key factor of a 500 Internal Server Error occurrence. Note that this file is presented in the section of WordPress installation. The root folder is its exact location. Do not search for .htaccess file in the WordPress theme settings. Here is the simple algorithm that can you rectify a 500 Internal Server Error caused by WordPress .htaccess file:

  1. Use any FTP program (file transfer protocol) to open your website.
  2. Add the new version of .htaccess file. Having downloaded the copy of the file, rename it and save (for example, .htaccess-copy)
  3. Delete the previous .htaccess file from your web host.
  4. Produce a new .htaccess file on your PC – it should be blank.
  5. The new blank file should be uploaded to your web host instead of the previously-deleted one.
  6. Open your WordPress-based admin URL and log in.
  7. Navigate to the setting page of custom permalinks (it is located in the administration console) and click on Save.

Nothing more to do. If you have passed all steps as it was recommended before, the suitable variant of .htaccess would be created automatically. Open your WordPress website one more time to make certain that the error is redeemed.

Availability of conflict-riding plugins

Sometimes conflict-ridding plugins cause 500 Internal Server Error. You should deactivate these third-party agents to do away with web host problems. Here are several recommendations to take into account:

Run plugin deactivation through your admin panel. It is better to switch off all third-party plugins to detect where the conflict takes place. If after plugin deactivation no 500 Internal Server Error occurs, you have one or several conflict-riding plugins. Activate each plugin one after another. Do not forget to check your frontend page constantly. If the web host error arises one more time, the problem is in your last activated plugin. Do not use it to avoid server errors. Check all other plugins on the matter of your website conflicting.

Use FTP if a 500 Internal Server Error appears both on the frontend and backend administration areas. Make WordPress bypass your plugins with the following manipulation:

  • change the name of your WP-content plugin folder into another one (for example, /wp-content/plugins.old).
  • you will get access to your administrative section. Change the folder name back right after you manage to deactivate plugins and detect conflict-riding ones.

Insufficient PHP memory limits

It is worth mentioning the recommended PHP configuration limiting quantity specification. Memory should limit to 128 megabytes. Other technical PHP memory parameters should be equal to or greater than:

  • max_execution_time (180)
  • post_max_size (64M)
  • upload_max_filesize (64M)

Increasing the following values can be done with the assistance of your hosting company. If it is impossible because of ongoing restrictions, upload WordPress themes, images, and plugins using a file transfer protocol. The FTP client is your solution when your host provider cannot help with limiting changes.

Read our Theme Requirements here

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