500 Internal Server Error: What Is It?

500 Internal Server Error: What Is It?

Error messages displayed on the website can be extremely annoying under any circumstances. The subject of today’s article is one of the errors that your website may encounter. Today, we will be talking about “500 Internal Server Error, ” in which almost every website owner experiences the error message on their website.

500 Internal Server Error

500 Status Code (internal Server Error) is an error code that occurs when the user’s request cannot be fulfilled through browsers due to server-side problems. When a user encounters an error message, it is clear that something is wrong with your server.

In general, 500 error codes can be rooted in server problems, but it takes a lot of thought to figure out the underlying cause. However, it should be noted that dealing with 500 Status Code based error messages is like solving a puzzle. All that needs to be done is to reach the software owner or the server administration to which the website is connected. Afterward, the error will be easily resolved, although it depends on the severity of it. 

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500 Internal Server Error, Why Does It Occur?

When you have a website, it is quite possible that you might experience 500 status-codes-based errors. If you get the error, it means that some processes cannot be resumed or started on the server-side of your website. In short, the order given for the desired action cannot be completed by your website’s server.

If your server is misconfigured or the improper PHP version has been selected for your server, the error may be displayed on your website. Also, the status code may be due to incorrect PHP extensions being selected. On top of that, if wrong file permissions are given, it can also be related to reasons such as incorrect encodings due to the .htaccess file, PHP session time-related problems, or insufficient PHP memory-based problems.

As you can see, the 500 internal server error is not due to a single cause and may appear as a result of various factors.

Apart from the reasons we have listed, different situations that cause 500 internal server errors may be one of the following factors.

  • Errors due to incorrect coding due to website software,
  • The server does not respond for any reason,
  • Server overload for any reason,
  • When something goes wrong with WordPress maintenance, 
  • The server becomes dysfunctional as a result of software attacks like DDOS/Botnet,
  • Inappropriate WordPress updates.
  • Deleted/corrupted plugins,
  • Invalid or corrupted filenames.
fix 500 internal server error

How to Fix 500 Internal Server Error?

To fix the HTTP 500 internal server error, you must first identify the source of the error. What you need to do for this is to access the Logs section of the control panel, where you are permitted with ID and password. Afterward, you should investigate the “Errors / Error Log” section. After reviewing the error logs and identifying the main cause of the error, you can apply the correct solution based on the main problem.

Errors In .htaccess Files

.htaccess files are very functional files included in Linux hosting packages. However, an incorrect line or missing code in the file will cause the “500 Internal Error” error message to be displayed.

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.htaccess, aka Hypertext Access-based errors, are one of the most common causes of 500 internal. They occur due to corruption in the .htaccess file. If you encounter such a situation and your site’s .htaccess file leads to the error, you can solve the problem by creating a new .htaccess file.

To create a new .htaccess file, you need to connect FTP with your WordPress. After that, you should right-click on the .htaccess file that is linked to the Home or public_html folder. Then, create a new name for the file by clicking “Rename” through the drop-down menu.

Finally, what you need to do is open your website in a browser to check if the error still exists. So you can check whether the 500 internal server error has disappeared or not. If the problem persists, re-creating the .htaccess file instead of renaming it may provide a solution.

php memory limit

PHP Memory Limit

PHP memory comes with a narrow border limited by the hosting company and WordPress. WordPress will try to increase this limit as you attempt to exceed the memory limit, where the error arises.

When WordPress tries to increase the limit, it causes a conflict with the limit provided by the hosting company. As a result, memory limit errors occur due to WordPress and hosting provider mismatch.

When you get 500 internal server errors, testing if PHP memory limit is the cause may solve your problem. If the error is due to PHP memory, you can follow the steps below.

  • Access WordPress root directory via FileZilla or FTP
  • Access the wp-config.php file
  • Once you find the wp-config.php file, right-click on it. Then click “Download” to start the download process.
  • You have to open the file downloaded to your computer with a text editor. You can use NotePad++ or Atom programs for this. 
  • After, you should add the following code above “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */” line.

define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘300M’);

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This will increase your PHP memory limit by 300 MB. Though 300 is just an example. You can set the limit as much as you think it is good to go with. After saving the changes, you should overwrite the new file on the existing wp-config.php file and then reload it to the WordPress root directory.

If you still see the 500 internal server error after this process, the problem may not be caused by your PHP memory limit. Or your PHP memory limit might not be enough when it is increased over the file. For this reason, you should contact your hosting company and request a limit increase.

Edit File Permissions

Your site files that need to be saved and run on your website may not work properly due to missing or incorrectly granted permissions. As a result, your website might have the 500 Internal Server error that will be displayed on your page because the desired action cannot be performed.  

To solve this, you should review all folder and file permissions. You should detect the wrong or missing ones and rearrange the permissions. 

plugin errors

Plugin Errors

It is also common to encounter a 500 error after installing or updating any plugins on your site. If you think your error is related to the plugins, you should undo the last changes you made by disabling or removing them. Therefore, you can solve the problem.

To remove add-ons, follow the steps below.

  • Login to the WordPress admin panel.
  • Find the Add-ons menu.
  • Afterwards, select and disable the plugin that is causing the problem through Installed plugins.

Restore Site Backup

For this solution, you need to have a backup of your site. Supposing you backed up your site before facing with 500 internal server error, you can fix it by removing all WordPress site files and restoring the backup. 

Contacting the Hosting Company

Although you have tried all the steps above and still could not bring a solution to the 500 internal server error, you may want to contact your hosting company. Therefore, you can request technical support for a deeper examination and a more expert approach.

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Frequently Asked Questions About 500 Internal Server Error

Now, we are going to examine frequently asked questions about 500 Internal Server Error.

Is this error a vulnerability?

If there is a security issue, it may be classified as a vulnerability.

Does 500 Internal Server Error impact my SEO ranking?

Yes, it does. When not fixed as soon as possible, it can negatively influence your SEO ranking. Especially if your site is down for hours, Google considers your website not-to-list-it-on-high since it is down. 

What triggers a 500 Internal Server Error?

500 Internal Server Error is triggered when an action request has been delivered to the server without being completed successfully.

Why do I Get 500 Internal Server Error messages?

This error have different causes that require different solutions. Login to WordPress to find out which error is causing it.

Should I pay to fix 500 Internal Server?

No, you can fix the problem yourself. If you cannot solve it yourself, the hosting company is responsible for solving it under your agreement. 

500 Internal Server Error in Short

500 Internal Server Error is one of the status code errors. The 500 errors displayed on your website may depend on different reasons, and each reason has its own solutions. Besides,  the server error, which is extremely deadly, especially for the e-commerce world, negatively affects your income and reputation. To avoid this, you can apply one of the solutions we mentioned above.

500 Internal Server Error is like a non-fatal harmful disease for your site and needs to be fixed right away.

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Diego Manson

Posts: 222

My name is Diego Manson, or as people call me, Seodiego. I'm an SEO enthusiast and blogger. Because of my interest in the internet, I wanted to make it a better place for myself. That's why I'm into SEO. I try to share all I know and learn with everyone to help people improve their online skills.

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