How To Quickly Fix 500 Internal Server Error On WordPress?

How do I fix the internal server error in WordPress? – It is one of the most commonly asked questions by WordPress users, especially by the newbies and yes, it is an awful moment for them. So, how to solve this usual WordPress error?

What needs to have a look? What are the ideal fixes to get rid of this painful site unavailability situation?

As I deal with WordPress theme and plugin customization for the past five years, I could explain the reasons for getting this error in WordPress and how to fix it!

Let’s see every possible cause for the 500 Internal Server WordPress issue in detail, and I’ll offer the solution for each fault!

Let me begin with the basics!

What Is Internal Server Error In WordPress?

As the name implies, when the server is unable to show the requested page, then we will get the 500 Internal server error. It is an unexpected condition encountering by the server to fulfill the request of the users that typed your site URL in their browser. 

This “Site Unavailable” error can also be called “HTTP 500 error” which can happen not only due to the issue in the server side but also due to the fault at our end.

This WordPress 500 error can be fixed easily. However, you need to be patient as it requires the troubleshooting to find out the exact cause.

What Causes 500 Internal Server Error In WordPress?

Several factors can raise the internal server error in WordPress, and hence I would suggest you analyze the problem and catch the root cause.

Following reasons might lead the issue!

  • Corrupted .htaccess file
  • 3rd Party plugin or theme confliction
  • Insufficient PHP memory limit
  • WordPress core files corruption
  • Incorrect file permission value
  • Your hosting server 

Now, let’s see the ideal solutions to fix the WordPress 500 Internal Server Error.

Before executing any change to solve this WordPress error, it’s better to get a complete backup of the site as you are going to deal with the root access of the server.

5 Useful Tips To Resolve Internal Server Error In WordPress

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1. Recreate .htaccess File

One of the primary reasons for getting the 500 Internal server error in WordPress is due to the corrupted .htaccess file, and hence it needs to be changed.

You can find out the .htaccess file which located at the root of WordPress package on your server. Just use your FTP or Cpanel to access your .htaccess file.

How to access your .htaccess file via FTP server?

Use your FTP login details to connect your server and modify your .htaccess file on your server with the help of the software like FileZilla or Fire FTP.

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I assume now you have located the .htaccess file with the help of my guidelines and now just rename it as .htaccess_old by right-clicking on the file.

Now, you have to recreate the .htaccess file. To do so, just visit your WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks.

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Don’t do anything, just click “Save Changes” and yes, now the new .htaccess file will be created on the Root file of your server.

Hopefully, your site is now loading fine without the error. However, if your problem is still unresolved, then you may try the other solutions listed below.

2. Deactivate Plugins & Activate Default Theme

Any of the 3rd Party WordPress plugins that you have installed might interrupt your site loading and it is due to mismatch with other add-ons. Hence you need to deactivate them and find out the offender that let your site face the 500 server error.

To deactivate all the plugins, try to log in your WordPress site and reach the plugins area. If you are not able to access your site, then don’t worry; you can do this task through the FTP server.

Connect your FTP server and find the wp-content folder. Open it, there you can see your site plugins folder.

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After finding out the plugin folder, you have to create a new folder with the new name (Say “plugin_backup”) by right clicking on white space as shown below!

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Now, you have to move all your plugins from plugins folder to the newly created plugin_backup folder and move the plugins one by one back to the old folder and activate the plugin to see if the site unavailability error is fixed or not.

As you are moving and activating every plugin and checking whether your site is loading or not for each moved plugin, you can catch the culprit that causes the internal server WordPress error.

Like plugins, it would be better verifying the theme as well. Yes! A corrupted theme can create the internal server issue in WordPress, and hence it would be better activating the default WordPress theme.

For deactivating the theme, locate the wp-content folder with the help of the FTP server; click it.

You can see the themes folder and now, open it for renaming (Ex: if your theme named – wptheme, then rename it as wptheme_old by right-clicking on the theme folder, and yes, you will get the rename option)

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Renaming your current theme will let the default WordPress theme to activate. So, you need to just rename the active WordPress theme. 

If the plugin or theme has raised the internal server error issue in WordPress, then it should be cleared now. If not, you have to implement suitable fixes listed below!

3. Increase PHP Memory Limit 

If the PHP memory limit is inadequate, then it would cause the 500 internal server issue in WordPress. Therefore, you should increase your PHP Memory limit by adding the following code to your wp-config.php file.

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

Let’s see how to paste the above code on your server wp-config.php file.

Connect your FTP server and find the wp-config.php file which located inside your WordPress directory and yes, it is at the root folder of your site server where .htaccess file is present.

You can identify this PHP file easily, and it is something like this – /public_html/wp-config.php. Download the file by right click on it as you will get the option to download the file from your server.

download-wpconfig.php

As you are now editing the wp-config.php file, I would suggest you check whether the Debugging is turned on Or not because it would tell you what’s going on! 

You should have this line 

define ('WP_DEBUG', true);

After downloading the wp-config.php file from your server, you have to edit it by pasting the above code just after the debugging code. 

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Save the changes and re-upload the file to your server.

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If this debugging step didn’t help you, then you may follow the last trick and solve the inaccessible site trouble.

4. Re-Upload WordPress Core Files

So, if the above strategies didn’t work for you to fix the WordPress HTTP 500 error, then you may try to re-upload the core folders – wp-admin & wp-include to your server.

To re-upload the folders, visit WordPress.org and download the latest version to your local system.

After downloading the recent version of WordPress, extract it to get the wp-admin and wp-includes folders from it.

Find out and move the fresh folders – wp-admin & wp-includes via the FTP server.

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Now, move the wp-admin,wp-includes folders to the server, and you will get a notification with the option “overwrite the files”; select it and save. 

Reinstalling the WordPress core files even help you fix the file permission errors. I hope your site is accessible by your readers!

5. Ask Your Hosting Provider 

If the ideas mentioned above aren’t working and you still experience the same trouble, then you should contact your hosting provider.

They could help you know what’s causing the error and suggest the ideal solution to remove HTTP Error 500 from your WordPress site.

Especially if you are on Managed Hosting instead of cheap shared hosting, then they will help you solve the trouble for sure.

WordPress 500 internal Server Error After Changing URL

Sometimes, when you put the incorrect URL in the WordPress admin dashboard, then you would experience the Internal server error in WordPress. Let’s see how to solve it!

You can change the site URL through the wp_options of your database

login to your cPanel admin and find

phpMyAdmin >select your database >wp_options >

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Go to – siteurl & home >Edit >paste URL in site URL & home URL -> click go

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Enter your site URL in both and save changes. Now, the internal server error after changing the URL will get disappeared and your site will ready to access. 

Wrapping Up

You should understand that the Internal Server error is not caused by the server! The exact reason can be caught by turning on the debugging mode (It can be done by adding the debug code in the wp-config.php file – I have explained in this post) 

Your WordPress theme, plugin, core files, an incorrect .htaccess file or host server may be the culprit. Don’t get panic! Just spend some time to find out the accused that raises this frustrating trouble in WordPress

If there is any confliction among the WordPress extensions that you have installed, then it may corrupt the .htaccess file and causes this error to happen. 

Likewise, if you’re using any unreliable hosting server, then consider moving your site to reputed host so that you can grow and manage the site traffic without any interruption. 

I hope you have learned some helpful troubleshooting ways to resolve the 500 Internal Server Error In WordPress. Are these simple tweaks useful? Did you overcome the bitter experience? Share your experiences in the comment section. 

4 thoughts on “How To Quickly Fix 500 Internal Server Error On WordPress?”

  1. Hi Nirmala
    I have never seen 500 internal server error due to memory limit.or due to plugin or theme. most of the time this error occur due to file permission and when you exceed the modify limit assigned to your shrared host. .htaccess may be possible cause for this otherwise theme and plugins just leave your site blank. what is your opinion on my comment.

  2. Hi Nirmala,

    Thanks for such a comprehensive post. I have see the WordPress Internal Server error before but never known what to do about it. (Luckily I got help from my hosting company.)

    But for anyone without such a helpful hosting company, your step-by-step approach is excellent.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

  3. Nice post, here great efforts share I really appreciated your crucial work. You have share effective and efficient work thanks again.

  4. Very Informative and Useful Article about WordPress. Thanks a lot for sharing this. Waiting for your next article.

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