Wordpress 500 Errors

When you manage a site, it involves a lot of hard work and dedication. All the time that you have spent to make it reach its current level of success suddenly goes down the drain when you see the 500 server error message pop up on your screen.

Life seems to stop. Did I just delete my whole site? I’m crying just typing this.

It leaves you panicked to the core with the thought that you have ruined it all. However, it is never the case. These server errors could be for any reason, all you need to do is troubleshoot them correctly. If the problem is diagnosed, fixing it will not take much time.

Reasons that could cause 500 internal server error:

The 500 Internal Server Error doesn’t mean that the server has crashed and has ruined all the hopes of getting your WordPress up and running. This error can pop-up for a lot of reasons. Some of the most common are;
• Corrupted .htaccess file
• Exceeding your PHP memory limit
• Having improper file permissions
• Outgrowing your hosting plan
• Known issue with your hosting provider

So what do you do?

Here are some possible solutions.
Given below is a short guide to helping you restore your WordPress, if you are dealing with a 500 Internal Server Error.

  1. It is always wise to have a backup ready for your site at all times. Even when it is working fine. This will help you restore it back when something as unexpected as a 500 internal error is displayed. If you do not have a backup, you may work to restore the site manually. I highly recommend Backupbuddy. It allows you to backup your site on a schedule that you choose and remotely send backups to destinations like Dropbox, ithemes Stash, and others.
  2. 500 internal error means that you have made some changes to your WordPress that didn’t go along with the whole theme and hosting plan. In such cases, it is better to uninstall the few recent changes that you have made to your WordPress; the plugins, the themes etc. This might fix the issue entirely. With this server error, you will not be able to access your site’s dashboard, so you will have to do it manually. If you ever have that issue please contact us and we can help.
  3. Fixing the .htaccess file can fix the issue too. With the backup you have created for your site, replace the current file with a fresh one. There are chances that your .htaccess file is corrupted. Replacing it with a fresh copy might do the trick.
  4. Contacting your local host is your last resort. This means that all your efforts failed and you couldn’t come up with a solution. If nothing else fixed the issue then, your hosting provider can further guide you if there are any other issue that he is aware of.
    Sometimes, contacting the local host helps you resolve the issue since he can help you figure out the source of the mysterious error better than anyone.

This short guide might save your day when you have to tackle server errors on your WordPress. However, it is always advised to have a backup ready for your WordPress all the time to help you out in situations like these. If you want a more detailed look at some of these issues WPMU has an excellent article that addresses other possible solutions.

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