HTTP Error 500 WordPress
The 500 Internal Server Error is an HTTP error code that indicates that something is wrong with the server. The exact nature of the issue is not mentioned here. The cause usually occurs where your WordPress files are, which would be in the root directory. Besides that, there could also be an issue with your host’s server. This is another issue that could be seen in WordPress. Very rarely would you be able to find the solution to your troubles? This is why we are going to help you understand how you can fix HTTP Error 500 WordPress.
How to Fix the 500 Internal Server Error on Your WordPress Website
Before delving into the solution which would require you to make some changes to the root directory, it is highly advisable that you take a backup. There are plenty of efficient plugins that you can use for this.
Create New .htaccess File
After you make a change or install a plugin, the .htaccess file could get corrupted. To put this right, all you would need to do is to create a new .htaccess file. Use FileZilla or any other FTP client to open your WordPress root directory, most likely called public_html. If you don’t see .htaccess files, you might have to make the hidden files viewable. Once you find it, rename it as “.htaccess.bak”.
Now, head over to the WordPress admin area. If you hover over Settings, you will see options pop out, select Permalinks. Scroll down and click on Save Changes. Try opening the website on your browser. If the 500 internal server error is no longer seen, the corrupted .htaccess file was the cause.
Increase PHP Memory
PHP memory limits could also occur due to poor programming and an increase in plugins. When the PHP memory limit allowed by your host starts exceeding, it could end in a 500 internal server error. If you have a shared hosting plan, the limit could on the memory could be even lower. To deal with this, first, open your root directory and find the wp-config.php file and download it. You will have to make some code changes and now, you can upload the file. Once you upload this updated file back to the root directory and refresh the client, the website should load properly.
Besides the above mentioned two options, there are plenty of other things you could do with these plugins. Access the WordPress admin section and deactivate your plugins. Try refreshing your site every time you deactivate a plugin. If the error goes away, it could have been caused by the plugin that you deactivated just before. Now that you know the cause of the error, you would be able to better prevent it. Delete the problem-causing plugin and find something else in its stead. However, if you cannot access the WordPress Admin section, open the root directory via your FTP client. Within the wp-content folder, you will find a folder containing the Themes, Plugins, and more. Try renaming the files to deactivate the plugin and see if the problem is solved. Don’t forget to name it properly again!
Debug WordPress Website
This option, although quite effective, is not ideal for those who don’t have much coding knowledge. However, if you want to debug your WordPress website, you can use the built-in debugging feature. All the errors found would be logged into your directory.
Check File Permissions
Chances are that this should not cause this trouble, but we can always check to make sure. In your WordPress directory, you will notice that the permission for files and folders should be 644 or 755. Anything else could be a reason for the trouble, and this could be seen in the form of 500 internal server errors. FileZilla or other FTP clients will allow you to open your root directory. Go to the Permissions tab and check the permission of each file. Ensure they are either 644 or 755 and nothing else.
Upload New Versions
Before you get down to trying this option, take a backup of your site first. After that, download a new version of WordPress. Extract the files from the compressed ZIP file and open the folders. Open the root directory in any FTP client and upload the new wp-admin and wp-includes into the site’s directory. This will overwrite all the old versions. Now, before checking, refresh the client. Check if the error shows up. If not, it could have been due to a corrupt file.
Get In Touch With Your Host
If you have gone through all or most of the solutions give above and none of that has worked out, you have one last option. Try getting in touch with your host. Do note that it is important that you have tried the above solutions to make sure that the problem is not occurring in your root folder. Most web hosts have a good customer support team in place that is used to answering these kinds of issues efficiently. However, there are also some hosts out there who would just put the blame of the site’s files rather than see if any of their servers are at fault. Unfortunately, any third-party themes and plugins you use could easily sort this cause of the issue. However, if you have performed all the above checks and explain it to them, they might take a look at their server logs to see if there could be any problem there.
The 500 internal server error is one of the most despairing error, especially since it doesn’t point to a clear problem. One would have to spend a lot of time troubleshooting to arrive at the solution. We hope this post has helped you clear the 500 internal server error. There is no need to panic if you regularly take backups of your site and update your plugins and themes. As soon as you financially are able, it is advised that you move up from a shared hosting plan as it could have an impact as well.