How to Fix the 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress – Step By Step

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Are you encountering the frustrating 500 Internal Server Error on your WordPress website? This error can be caused by various factors, such as server misconfiguration, plugin conflicts, or corrupt files. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to fix the problem.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to troubleshoot the 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress. We’ll cover some common causes of the error, and provide solutions such as checking your server logs, deactivating plugins, and resetting your .htaccess file. By following these steps, you can get your website back up and running smoothly.

What is an Internal Server Error in WordPress?

An Internal Server Error in WordPress is a generic error message displayed when something unexpected happens on the server-side and the server is unable to display the website properly. It can occur due to various reasons such as conflicts with plugins or themes, corrupted files, insufficient memory limit, or server misconfiguration. It is a frustrating error as it doesn’t provide any specific information about the cause of the issue, making it difficult to diagnose and fix the problem.

There are several reasons why an Internal Server Error can occur in WordPress, including:

  1. Plugin or theme conflicts: Sometimes, plugins or themes can conflict with each other or with WordPress itself, causing server errors.
  2. Corrupted .htaccess file: The .htaccess file is an important file that controls various server settings for WordPress. If this file is corrupted, it can cause an Internal Server Error.
  3. PHP memory limit: If your website’s PHP memory limit is too low, it can cause an Internal Server Error.
  4. Server overload: If your server is overloaded with requests, it may not be able to process your WordPress site, leading to an Internal Server Error.
  5. Corrupted core files: If the WordPress core files are corrupted or damaged, it can cause an Internal Server Error.
  6. Database connection errors: If there are issues with the database connection, it can cause Internal Server Errors.

How to Fix the Internal Server Error in WordPress

Here are some steps you can take to fix the internal server error in WordPress:

  1. Check for corrupted .htaccess file: Rename your .htaccess file located in the root directory of your WordPress installation, and try accessing your website again. If the error is gone, it means the .htaccess file was corrupted. Generate a new .htaccess file by navigating to Settings > Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Disable plugins: Deactivate all plugins and check if the error disappears. If it does, reactivate the plugins one by one to find the problematic one.
  3. Switch to the default theme: If the error persists after disabling plugins, switch to a default WordPress theme. If the error disappears, it means your theme was causing the issue. Consider updating or reinstalling the theme.
  4.  Clear the Caches: At times, the cause of the Internal Server Error in WordPress can be related to caching issues. To fix this, you can clear your website’s cache. If you’re utilizing a caching plugin like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache, you can clear the cache by accessing the plugin’s settings and clicking on the “Clear Cache” button. This should help resolve the issue caused by cached data.
  5. Increase PHP memory limit: Edit your wp-config.php file and increase the PHP memory limit by adding the following code:
define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );
  1. Check server logs: Consult the server logs to identify the root cause of the error. You can contact your web host provider if you need assistance with this.
  1. Reinstall WordPress: If all else fails, you can reinstall WordPress. Backup your website data and database first, then reinstall WordPress from the official website.
  2. Enabling WordPress debug mode can help you identify the root cause of the Internal Server Error. To enable debug mode, add the following code to your website’s wp-config.php file:
define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );

Remember to take a backup of your website before making any changes.

In conclusion, the 500 Internal Server Error is a common issue that WordPress users may encounter due to various reasons such as plugin conflicts, theme problems, corrupt .htaccess files, insufficient memory, etc. To fix the error, users can try different methods, including deactivating plugins, switching to the default theme, fixing .htaccess file, increasing PHP memory limit, and contacting the hosting provider. It is important to backup the website before making any changes and to follow the troubleshooting steps carefully. With the right approach and patience, users can successfully fix the Internal Server Error and keep their WordPress site running smoothly.

Heather R Kent

Heather R Kent is the Chief Operating Officer of Easy Tech Tutorials and has over 10 years of experience in the web hosting industry working for and owning web hosting companies. Heather’s expertise is in SEO, WordPress, marketing, business development, operations, acquisitions and mergers.

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