How To Fix “wordpress Server Error 500

Sep 1, 2023 | Tech

If you’re a WordPress user, you may have encountered the frustrating “WordPress Server Error 500” message at some point. But fear not, because this article is here to help you tackle this issue head-on. In this guide, we’ll explore the causes behind this error and provide you with simple yet effective solutions to get your WordPress site up and running smoothly again. So, let’s jump right in and banish that pesky “WordPress Server Error 500” from your website once and for all!

Discover more about the How To Fix wordpress Server Error 500.

Understanding the WordPress Server Error 500

The WordPress Server Error 500 is a common error that occurs when something goes wrong with your website’s server. When this error occurs, it means that the server encountered an unexpected condition that prevented it from fulfilling the request. This can be quite frustrating as it can make your website temporarily inaccessible to visitors.

Causes of the WordPress Server Error 500

There are several potential causes of the WordPress Server Error 500. It can be daunting to pinpoint the exact cause, but some common reasons include:

  • Plugin conflicts: Incompatibility or conflicts between different plugins can lead to the server error.

  • Theme and file issues: The theme you are using or corrupted files and folders can also trigger the error.

  • Insufficient PHP memory limit: If your website exhausts its allocated PHP memory, the server error can occur.

  • Internal server errors: These errors may be caused by misconfigured or faulty server settings.

  • Outdated WordPress or plugins: Using outdated versions of WordPress or plugins can lead to compatibility issues, resulting in the server error.

  • File permission issues: Incorrect file permissions can prevent the server from accessing necessary files, causing the error.

  • Troublesome .htaccess file: Issues with the .htaccess file, such as incorrect configurations, can trigger the error.

  • Database problems: A corrupted or poorly optimized database can also contribute to the server error.

How To Fix wordpress Server Error 500

This image is property of

See the How To Fix wordpress Server Error 500 in detail.

Checking for Plugin Conflicts

Deactivating all plugins is an excellent first step to troubleshoot the server error. To do this, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Plugins section. Select all the plugins and choose the “Deactivate” option from the bulk actions dropdown. Once deactivated, check if the error persists.

If the error disappears after deactivating the plugins, it means that one of the plugins was causing the issue. Reactivate the plugins one by one, checking for the error after each reactivation. This way, you can identify the specific plugin causing the conflict and take appropriate action.

Reviewing Theme and File Issues

The theme you are using could be the culprit behind the server error. To test this, switch to a default WordPress theme, such as Twenty Twenty-One. If the error disappears after switching the theme, it suggests that your previous theme was causing the issue. You can then contact the theme developer for assistance or consider using a different theme.

Besides the theme, it’s essential to check for corrupted files and folders. Log in to your WordPress hosting account and navigate to the website’s directory. Look for any files or folders that appear to be corrupted or contain unusual characters. If you find any, you can try replacing them with fresh versions from a backup or reinstalling WordPress.

How To Fix wordpress Server Error 500

This image is property of

Increasing PHP Memory Limit

Sometimes, the WordPress Server Error 500 can be a result of the PHP memory limit being too low. To increase the PHP memory limit, you can follow two different methods.

First, you can edit the wp-config.php file in the root directory of your WordPress installation. Locate the line that says /* That's all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */ and add the following code just above it:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '128M'); 

Save the changes and reload your website to see if the error persists.

If editing the wp-config.php file doesn’t solve the issue, you can try modifying the php.ini file. This file is the main configuration file for PHP and is often found in the root directory of your server. Look for the line that sets the memory_limit parameter and increase it to a higher value, such as 128M. Remember to save the changes and restart the server to apply the modifications.

Debugging Internal Server Errors

Enabling WordPress debugging can provide valuable information about the cause of the server error. Open the wp-config.php file and find the line that says define('WP_DEBUG', false);. Change false to true:

define('WP_DEBUG', true); 

Save the changes and reload your website. If there is an error, you will see a detailed message indicating the problematic file or code snippet. Use this information to troubleshoot the error further.

Additionally, you can check for error logs generated by your server. These logs can offer insights into the specific error that caused the server error. The location of the error logs may vary depending on your hosting provider. You can consult their documentation or reach out to their support team for guidance on locating and interpreting the error logs.

How To Fix wordpress Server Error 500

This image is property of

Updating WordPress and Plugins

Outdated versions of WordPress and plugins can sometimes cause compatibility issues, leading to the server error. It’s crucial to keep your website up to date to ensure smooth functionality. To update WordPress, log in to your admin dashboard and navigate to the Updates section. If an update is available, click on the “Update Now” button.

Similarly, updating plugins is equally important. Go to the Plugins section, select all the plugins, and choose the “Update” option from the bulk actions dropdown. Alternatively, you can update each plugin individually by clicking the “Update Now” link next to each plugin.

Checking File Permissions

Incorrect file permissions can prevent the server from accessing necessary files, triggering the server error. To check file permissions, you can use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client such as FileZilla. Connect to your website using FTP and navigate to the root directory.

Right-click on the website folder and select the “File permissions” or “Change permissions” option. Ensure that the numeric value is set to 755 for folders and 644 for files. Click on the “Apply to directories only” and “Apply to files only” checkboxes, respectively. Save the changes, and the FTP client will set the correct file permissions for you.

How To Fix wordpress Server Error 500

This image is property of

Troubleshooting .htaccess File

The .htaccess file is a configuration file that controls various aspects of your website. If the file is misconfigured, it can lead to the server error. One troubleshooting step is to create a new .htaccess file. To do this, access your website’s root directory via FTP, locate the existing .htaccess file, and rename it to something like .htaccess_backup. WordPress will automatically generate a new .htaccess file with default settings.

If creating a new .htaccess file doesn’t resolve the issue, you can try modifying the existing file manually. Open the .htaccess file using a text editor, and ensure that the configurations within the file are correct. If you are unsure, you can find the recommended default .htaccess configurations on the website.

Contacting Your Hosting Provider

If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps mentioned above and the server error still persists, it may be time to seek assistance from your hosting provider. They have the technical expertise to analyze and resolve server-related issues. Contact their support team and provide them with detailed information about the error, the steps you have taken, and any specific error messages or codes you have encountered.

Additionally, your hosting provider may offer specific guidance or solutions tailored to their server environment. They can perform server-side checks, analyze the server logs, and make necessary configurations to resolve the server error.

How To Fix wordpress Server Error 500

This image is property of

Resolving Database Issues

If none of the previous steps helped in resolving the server error, it is possible that there are issues with your WordPress database. You can attempt to repair and optimize the database to fix any underlying problems.

To repair the database tables, you can use the built-in repair feature provided by some WordPress plugins, such as the WP-DBManager plugin. Install and activate the plugin, navigate to its settings, and select the “Repair Database” option. The plugin will attempt to repair any corrupted tables within the database.

Optimizing the database can also improve its performance and potentially resolve the error. Several plugins, such as WP-Optimize and WP Rocket, offer database optimization features. Install and activate the plugin of your choice, follow the instructions provided within the plugin’s settings, and optimize the database tables.

By following these steps and trying various troubleshooting techniques, you should be able to resolve the WordPress Server Error 500 and get your website back up and running smoothly. Remember to always keep a backup of your website before attempting any major changes or modifications to ensure the safety of your data.

Get your own How To Fix wordpress Server Error 500 today.