Fixing the "HTTP 500 Internal Server Error" Message

Fixing the "HTTP 500 Internal Server Error" Message
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
March 21, 2024
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
10 min to read
Aleeza Aleem

Even the most experienced or seasoned web developers can become upset when it comes to encountering this very inconvenient server error. Whenever this “HTTP 500 Internal Server Error” message appears on the screens, it means that there might be something really wrong with the server that needs to be fixed right away. However, identifying the issue that causes this error can be like finding your way through the maze. 

With that being said, we have come up with some excellent solutions that may help you to fix this error easily. From understanding what this error actually is to knowing its causes and then its solutions, this guide will help you out through everything. With the right knowledge and approach, any issue can be fixed and so can this HTTP 500 internal server error. 

What is the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error

What Causes the HTTP 500 Server Internal Error

Solutions for the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error

  • Clear the Browser Cache
  • Backup Your Site
  • Clear the WordPress Cache
  • Check .htaccess File
  • Plugin & Theme Audit
  • Increase PHP Memory Limit 
  • Fresh wp-admin and wp-includes

Understanding What is a HTTP 500 Internal Server Error

HTTP 500 Internal server error is a very common server status code that clearly indicates an issue on the web server’s page. So, whenever you encounter this message on your screen, it means there is an unexpected issue i.e. configuration problem that needs to be resolved. This Error 500 is one of the many HTTP server codes. However, they all tell you that there is something wrong on the server’s side but each one of them is caused by a different problem. 

Some different variations or messages regarding this Error 500 that you can see on the screen are: 

  • 500. That’s an Error
  • 500 Internal Server Error
  • HTTP Status 500 - Internal Server Error
  • Internal Server Error 500
  • HTTP Error 500
  • Error 500 Internal Server Error

What Causes the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error

This cryptic message, however, doesn’t tell you about what the problem really is, and can affect any website. Therefore, knowing what causes this error is really important in order to fix it. Some common issues that can cause this message to appear on your screens include plugin or theme issues, browser cache, php memory limit, and many more. 

Out of all the reasons, the major problem can be corrupted .htaccess files. This can be the reason if you see the message, especially in the wp-admin area. In order to resolve this problem, you will need a systematic approach. Following are some other minor issues that can be the reasons for this error. 

Server Misconfiguration: An incorrectly configured server may be the cause of the HTTP 500 error. This could involve problems with server modules, or incorrectly configured server software (such as Apache or Nginx).

Programming Error: Web programs or scripts with bugs in their code can cause the HTTP 500 error. This covers logical, runtime, and syntactic issues that result in unexpected application failures.

File & Directory Permission: The HTTP 500 error might occur when the server cannot access or execute specific files due to incorrect file and directory permissions. Making sure that directories and files have the appropriate permissions set is crucial.

Database Issue: If there are issues with the database server, web applications that use databases may get the HTTP 500 error. This could be problems with queries, database server outages, or difficulties with database connections.

Server Overload: The HTTP 500 error can be caused by an overloaded server or by too many concurrent requests for the server to handle. 

Simple Solutions for the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error 

Here are some really easy solutions by implementing which you can easily fix the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error. From simply clearing your browser cache to fixing the corrupted .htaccess files, we have mentioned all the solutions for some major issues that can cause this error. 

1. Get the Browser Cache Clear

The very first step that you can perform, when you face this HTTP 500 internal server error in your website, is clearing the browser cache. This is a quick fix to this error, just clearing out the cookies and cache. Moreover, this step can also help you t fix the 404 server error, as well. This quick fix is because sometimes cache files can get corrupted, and prevent you from accessing your desired website. 

Before you clear your browser cache, check out if your website is down for anyone. For this you can go to the website “Is it down right now”, and check the status. If the error is showing only on your screen then it can be most probably a browser cache issue. Clearing the cache and cookies method is different for every browser. You can do this step simply by going to your browser settings. 

2. Don’t Forget to Backup Your Site

It's a good idea to create a backup of your website, especially if you're dealing with issues like the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error. Before making any significant changes or attempting corrections, you must have a recent backup of the files and database on your website so you can ensure that, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, you can restore it to a stable state.

There are multiple ways to back up your website, depending on how it's configured. If you use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, you may utilize plugins to automate the backup process so that you can create regular backups and securely store them on your server or in the cloud. Your website could be brought down by a simple coding error. You have two options to back up your WP site: manually or using reliable WordPress backup plugins.

3. Clear Your WordPress Cache

The next possible thing is that your WordPress website has a 500 internal server issue, thus preventing the site from loading correctly. If your cache is holding an old version of your website, you may continue to experience problems even after fixing this error. To ensure that you and your visitors can see the most recent version of your website, you must ensure that your WordPress cache is cleared. 

Here are some steps mentioned to clear your WordPress Caching Plugins Cache:

  • Enter the WordPress Dashboard and log in.
  • After installing, turn on the Breeze plugin.
  • Proceed to the Settings area of the Breeze plugin.
  • Mark the choices you want to use in the Settings section.
  • The webpage will be reloaded after the cache is cleared. 

4. Always Check for .htaccess File

The setting of your website is managed by a crucial file found in all PHP-based applications: the .htaccess file. A 500 internal server error may occur if your .htaccess file is corrupted. This file is typically impacted by an improperly installed theme or module. Here is how you can access and modify these files as it is a potential solution for this issue. 

  • From your website's root directory, open the .htaccess file.
  • Make a backup of the file to ensure you can undo modifications if needed.
  • Edit the file with a text editor and check it for errors.
  • Check that the rewrite rules for URL redirection have the correct syntax.
  • To denote that the code is dubious, use a # symbol.
  • Once the file has been edited, submit it and visit your website.
  • If the restore doesn't work, restore the original file from the backup.
  • Ask a developer or your hosting provider for assistance if you need it.

If you do not have access to the cPanel, you can simply install “File Manager Plugin“, and can easily access .htaccess files. 

5. Do the Plugins & Theme Audit

Another thing you can do is make sure your website is using the latest recent plugins by doing regular plugin audits. Incompatible or out-of-date plugins can result in errors on your WordPress website due to compatibility problems. You can follow these simple steps for manual auditing. 

  • Access your WordPress dashboard.
  • Make a note of the plugins you wish to disable.
  • Select Deactivate from the drop-down menu by clicking on it.
  • Refresh your website. 

Even with the greatest WordPress themes, there are situations when they can cause a 500 internal server error. However, you can follow these mentioned steps to perform theme auditing and fix this issue. 

  • Access your WordPress dashboard.
  • Select Themes under Appearance.
  • Turn on the theme Twenty Twenty-Four.
  • When a new theme is activated, your old theme will be instantly deactivated.

6. Increase PHP Memory Limit

PHP workers begin to accumulate a queue when they are already overworked on a site. The queue begins to push out older requests once you've used up all of your PHP workers, which may lead to 500 errors or incomplete requests. Changing the code in any of the following files is one of the most popular methods for raising the PHP RAM limit for a WordPress website.

  • Adjust the Function.php file OR you can go to “.htaccess files” from the “File Manager” Plugin
  • Edit your .htaccess file
  • Tweak the WP-config.php file 
  • Customize the php.ini file for advanced settings

7. Fresh wp-admin And wp-includes

With third-party themes and plugins, a typical WordPress website is difficult to audit its source code. If none of the above solutions work, you can try this one as a last resort. All of your data will be lost, though, so keep that in mind. It is therefore advised to back up your website before doing this procedure. The new wp-admin and wp-content directories must be downloaded and uploaded over FTP to the live host. 

  • Go to the homepage.
  • Select "Get WordPress."
  • Click "WordPress 6.4.3" to get it.
  • With this, the most recent version of WordPress will begin to download.
  • Take out file.
  • Use an FTP client to connect to your WordPress website.
  • Locate the wp-admin and wp-includes files by going to the root folder.
  • From the extracted files, pick the wp-admin and wp-content files, then drop them into the FTP client window.
  • Choose overwrite and make sure to use this operation consistently.
  • To proceed, click OK.

To Curl Up!

After completely understanding this HTTP 500 Internal Server Error, its causes, and the solutions, you can now easily fix this issue, for sure. These are very simple solutions to fix this problem that web developers usually face on their website. Any of these solutions can work, you just need to give them a try. Moreover, this will not require more than 15-20 minutes and you have your website in perfect condition and visuals, again.

Start from scratch, or grow your team?
The choice is yours

Get Started
AED 0.00
From 200+ CRM Projects Delivered
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
2 hours of research
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
Implementation steps
Databeys CRM Consultant in Dubai
Get free proposal and quote