How To Fix 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress (2020)

There is not a single person who has not heard of WordPress. After all, it is by far the most popular and oldest blogging platform on the internet. It is often chosen by novice and professional bloggers alike because of its well organized structure and functions. Regardless of its flexibility, it encounters a lot of errors. But before proceeding to the solutions, you must know a bit about the most common errors and why they

How To Fix 500 Internal Server Error

Before you proceed with any solution, it is highly suggested that you should backup your data as any faulty fix can lead to complete loss of data.

500 Internal Server Error


This is the most frequently occurring WordPress error which is a very general HTTP server status which implies that there is some major issue in the website’s server but the server could not specify where exactly the problem originates from.  The 500 Internal Server Errors is not only displayed as it is but can appear in a lot of ways since every website is allowed to customize their messages. Some of how the 500 error manifests itself are as follows:

  • 500 Internal Server Error
  • HTTP 505 – Internal Server Error
  • Internal Server Error
  • 500 Error
  • Temporary Error (505)
  • HTTP Error 500
  • 500. That is an error

HTTP Internal Server Error

This error usually manifests in the browser window and can appear in any browser, operating system, and devices. It is usually difficult to fix since the exact origin of the problem cannot be found. However, if you look at its probable causes, you can also seek its probable solutions. The causes for such errors can be attributed to:

  • Sometimes when a new plugin is added, it causes conflict with the other plugins and hence can cause interference in the server’s script which results into this error. No amount of well tested plugin can ensure that this plugin would not appear.
  • Applying a new theme which has a damaged code or a bad script can cause conflicts and result in this error. In this case, it is best to revert whatever changes you have made.
  • There can be interruptions in the installation of software or when the software gets an upgrade. The unfinished and interrupted installation can lead to this error.
  • Sometimes the host may not have adequate permissions, or the permissions are not properly set up. Moreover, at times there might be problems with the .htaccess file. Since the scripts, files, and other resources cannot be accessed, the host starts displaying such error.

Since this is not an easy error to solve, it involves a lot of trial and error, which in turn involves a lot of changes. Hence it is important that you should backup your website’s data before you begin applying the solutions. Now once you have done your backup, you can proceeds reading about the possible solutions.

Solution 1: Increase Your Site’s Memory Limit

Certain PHP limits are set by your web host client and WordPress. It will have a fixed memory limit, and if you exceed it, it will expand but only till the limit your web host has placed on your server. For this, you will need to expand your PHP memory limit and then refresh your website to see if the problem persists or not. To do this, open your root directory and then find the wp-config.php file. Right click on this file and then download it. Now open this file in an editor and add a part in the following code: define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT,’ ’64M’);  

Then save this file and re-upload it to your directory. Refresh your site and see if the problem persists.

Solution 2: Try To Deactivate All Plugins

Deactivate all the plugins of your site by choosing `deactivate’ from the `bulk action.’ If you cannot do it by yourself, then you should contact the developer directly. If you cannot access the admin area, open your FTP client and then open the wp-content folder which will contain the plugins and themes. Now go back to your website and hit refresh to check if the error is fixed. Then activate one plugin at a time to check which one caused the error.

Solution 3: Create A New .htaccess File

Sometimes the .htaccess file gets corrupted when you install a new theme or plugin or make any changes in your WordPress scripts. In this case, you need to create a new .htaccess file to replace the corrupted file. First, you need to open your WordPress’s root directory by logging into your site’s FTP or cPanel. This is usually named as ‘ public_html.’ If you cannot locate your .htaccess file, then try to click on Server and selected ‘Force show hidden files.’ Then right click on file and rename it as ‘.htaccess.bak.’ This deletes the entire.htaccess file of the website and enables you to create a new one. If the website works again, then you have successfully fixed it. From this, you will know that the corrupted .htaccess file was the cause. If it is not fixed, proceed to the next solution.

Solution 4: Set Your Theme To Default

The theme’s functions get corrupted at times and hence start creating this error. Try switching to your default WordPress theme. If this fixes the problem, then you would know that it is time to change to a better theme.

Solution 5: Checking File Permissions

changing file permissions

You can check your WordPress directory for the permission folders which should be named as 755 or 644. Then open your FTP client and search for the FTP client. You can check the permission tab to see permissions for each file and folder. Now make sure that they are not set to anything else other than 755 or 644.

If these don’t fix your problem, then you can look into the issue further by reading about it in blog post for fixing the 505 Internal Server Error.


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