The 500 Internal Server Error is a general server-side error that can have several causes. To fix this issue in WordPress, follow these troubleshooting steps:
- Check the .htaccess file issue in your .htaccess file may cause a 500 Internal Server Error. To check if this is the problem, access your website’s root directory via FTP or cPanel File Manager and locate the .htaccess file. Rename it to something like .htaccess_old. Now, try reloading your website. If the error is gone, the problem was in your .htaccess file. To create a new .htaccess file, log in to your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks, and click “Save Changes.”
- Increase PHP memory limitInsufficient PHP memory can cause a 500 Internal Server Error. To increase the memory limit, edit your wp-config.php file located in your website’s root directory. Add the following line of code before the “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */” line:
Save the changes and try reloading your website. If the error persists, revert the changes and try the next step.
- Deactivate pluginsA problematic plugin can cause an error. To deactivate all plugins, access your website’s root directory and locate the wp-content folder. Rename the plugins folder to something like plugins_old. This will deactivate all plugins. Now, try reloading your website. If the error is gone, one of the plugins was causing the issue. Rename the folder back to plugins and reactivate the plugins one by one to identify the problematic plugin.
- Switching to a default theme issue can also cause a 500 Internal Server Error. To check if this is the problem, access your website’s root directory and locate the wp-content/themes folder. Rename your current theme’s folder to something like my-theme_old. WordPress will now use a default theme. Try reloading your website. If the error is gone, the issue was with your theme. Contact the theme developer for assistance.
- Check file permissionsIncorrect file and folder permissions can cause a 500 Internal Server Error. Ensure that folders have permissions set to 755 and files have permissions set to 644. You can update permissions using an FTP client or cPanel File Manager.
- Enable debug mode to get more information about the error, enable WordPress to debug mode by editing your wp-config.php file. Add the following lines before the “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */” line:
define('WP_DEBUG', true); define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true); define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
Save the changes and try reloading your website. Check the wp-content/debug.log file for any error messages that can help you identify the issue.
- Contact your hosting providerIf you have tried all the above steps and the error persists, contact your hosting provider. They can check server logs and provide more information about the issue and how to fix it.
Remember to create backups before making any changes to your website files, so you can easily restore your site if something goes wrong.