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How to Fix the 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress

Are you seeing 500 internal server error in WordPress? Internal server error is one of the most common WordPress errors. Since the error doesn’t give any other information, many beginners find it quite frustrating. In this article, we will show you how to easily fix internal server error in WordPress.

How to fix internal server error in WordPress

What Causes Internal Server Error in WordPress?

Internal server error is not specific to WordPress. It can happen with any website running on a web server. Due to the generic nature of this error, it does not tell the developer anything.

Asking how to fix an internal server error is like asking your doctor how to fix the pain without telling them where the pain is.

Example of a WordPress website showing internal server error

Internal server error in WordPress is often caused by plugin or theme functions. Other possible causes of internal server error in WordPress that we know of are: corrupted .htaccess file and PHP memory limit.

We have also heard internal server error only showing up when you are trying to access the admin area while the rest of the site works fine.

That being said, now let’s take a look at how to go about troubleshooting the internal server error in WordPress.

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Checking for Corrupt .htaccess File

The first thing you should do when troubleshooting the internal server error in WordPress is check for the corrupted .htaccess file.

You can do so by renaming your main .htaccess file to something like .htaccess_old. To rename the .htaccess file, you will need to login to your site using FTP or File Manager app in your hosting account’s cPanel dashboard.

Once you connected, the .htaccess file will be located in the same directory where you will see folders like wp-content, wp-admin, and wp-includes.

Editing .htaccess file in WordPress

Once you have renamed the .htaccess file, try visiting your site to see if this solved the problem. If it did, then give yourself a pat on the back because you fixed the internal server error.

Before you move on with other things, make sure that you go to Settings » Permalinks page in WordPress admin area and click the save button without making any changes. This will generate a new .htaccess file for you with proper rewrite rules to ensure that your post pages do not return a 404 error.

If checking for the corrupt .htaccess file solution did not work for you, then you need to continue reading this article.

Increasing the PHP Memory Limit

Sometimes internal server error can happen if you are exhausting your PHP memory limit. Use our tutorial on how to increase PHP memory limit in WordPress to fix that.

If you are seeing the internal server error only when you try to login to your WordPress admin or uploading an image in your wp-admin, then you should increase the memory limit by following these steps:

  1. Create a blank text file called php.ini
  2. Paste this code in there: memory=64MB
  3. Save the file
  4. Upload it into your /wp-admin/ folder using FTP

Several users have said that doing the above fixed the admin side problem for them.

If increasing the memory limit fixed the problem for you, then you have only fixed the problem temporarily. You still need to find the cause that is exhausting your memory limit.

This could be a poorly coded plugin or even a theme function. We strongly recommend that you ask your WordPress web hosting company to look into the server logs to help you find the exact diagnostics.

If increasing the PHP memory limit did not fix the issue for you, then you are in for some more troubleshooting.

Deactivate all Plugins

If none of the above solutions worked for you, then this error is most likely being caused by a specific plugin. It is also possible that it is a combination of plugins that are not playing nice with each other.

Sadly, there is no easy way to find this out. You have to deactivate all WordPress plugins at once.

Follow the instructions in our guide on how to deactivate all WordPress plugins without WP-Admin.

Deactivate all WordPress plugins

If disabling all plugins fixed the error, then you know it is one of the plugins that is causing the error.

Simply go to the WordPress admin area and click on ‘Plugins’. Now you need to reactivate one plugin at a time until you find the one that caused the issue. Get rid of that plugin, and report the error to the plugin author.

Re-uploading Core Files

If the plugin option didn’t fix the internal server error, then it is worth re-uploading the wp-admin and wp-includes folder from a fresh WordPress install.

This will NOT remove any of your information, but it may solve the problem in case any file was corrupted.

First you will need to visit the WordPress.org website and click on the Download button.

Download WordPress

This will install WordPress zip file to your computer. You need to extract the zip file and inside it you will find a wordpress folder.

Next you need to connect to your WordPress website using an FTP client. Once connected go to the root folder of your website. It is the folder that has wp-admin, wp-includes, wp-content folders inside it.

In the left column open the WordPress folder on your computer. Now you need to select wp-includes and wp-admin folders and then right-click and select ‘Upload’.

Upload fresh WordPress files

Your FTP client will now transfer those folder to your server. It will ask you whether you would like to overwrite the files. Select ‘Overwrite’ and then select ‘Always use this action’.

Overwrite files

Your FTP client will now replace your older WordPress files with newer fresh copies. If your WordPress files were corrupted, then this step will fix the internal server error for you.

Ask your Hosting Provider

If all methods fail to fix internal server error on your website, then it is time to get some more help. Contact your web hosting support team and they will be able to check the server logs and locate the root cause of the error.

If you want to continue troubleshooting on your own, then see our ultimate WordPress troubleshooting guide for beginners.

We hope this article helped you fix the internal server error in WordPress. You may also want to see our complete list of the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

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Reader Interactions

655 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thanks for this article. Just want to add an extra tip:
    Also check for additional .htaccess files in other folders like for example the ‘uploads’ folder. This may cause a partial 500 internal server error for images and everything that is in that folder. I experienced this recently and was caused by a rigid setting in a security plugin.

  2. A most excellent tutorial, watched to keep me on the ball so to speak, but
    one issue that you missed, and I recently had, was a corrupted wp-config.php file – that was also causing me 500 errors.

    I urge everyone to copy this particular fie to their own machine for safe keeping, My own hosting provider (though brilliant), couldn’t hep me.

    Simply copying my own backup via FTP to my /public_html folder – saw my own site miraculously appear again.

    Hope it helped.

  3. In my case, I was getting an “HTTP ERROR 500” and an “Internal Server Error”, particularly at my WooCommerce checkout. GoDaddy fixed the issue after looking at the error log and increasing the memory limit by inserting a .user.ini file and then adding “define (‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘2048M’ );” to my wp-config.php file.

  4. I have tried all these methods, the error goes away by re-installing wordpress or refreshing core files but it appears again and again when I try to update any plugin or perform any task in the dashboard.

    Please advice, what could be the possible reason that it is keep happening with me.

    • For that continued issue, please reach out to your hosting provider and they should be able to assist.

      Admin

  5. The issue for me was Wordfence security plugin installs an htaccess file in the wp-content/uploads file. Delete this an the internal error disappears! I hope this will help somebody :)

    • We would recommend reaching out to Elementor’s support if you are having an issue with Elementor.

      Admin

  6. Thank you so much. I
    ‘m an experience web developer but new to WordPress.
    Had a 500 error, found this guide and followed it and my problem was solved.

  7. Hello there!
    Error code 500 appears when I click on the browser. The page never opens up since I updated the theme!
    I cannot even open my website to update it according to your instruction here. What to do in that case? Thanks in advance!

  8. Hi. Thankful.
    for Error 500.
    My problem was after updating the template.
    The problem was solved by updating php version.

  9. Hello. I’m having the same problem on my site and it’s hosted on gcp. I tried installing some plugins before I got this error. Is there a way I can remove the plugin from mysql database or do I need to do it through the htaccess file. This blog is true great as it has helped me with most of my site issues. Hope this works also

      • thank you very much. it worked like magic. the thing now is should I delete the old .htaccess file or rename it back? Thanks once again

        • You can get rid of the old file if that was giving you errors and resaving your permalinks should create a new file for you.

  10. You save me every time! Renaming the .htaccess file and saving the page permalinks worked for me, the problem occurred after I updated all my plugins and cleared my cache. Thanks a lot!

  11. Hi,
    I followed your guidance and need to undo the .htaccess change. Should I delete the new .htaccess and thereafter rename the old .htaccess_old to its original name .htaccess to do so? Hope you see this note soon and can help. :)

  12. Well, this is nice information! Thanks for sharing this as it would help many users to know about important information about WordPress. Knowing about this, we are looking forward to implementing things accordingly.

  13. Similar issue my website disappeared while undergoing a major update from a commerce platform plugin. Coming from no experience with these things, this solution was easy to follow even from a different file manager.

    Thank you.

  14. Your blog was very helpful. I had to upload the core files and the steps given by you made it very easy for me. Thank you.

  15. In my case, the problem was that my PHP version was automatically updated by my host and my old WordPress version was incompatible with it. They themselves found the problem and fixed it after my contact through e-mail.

    • Thanks for sharing the issue you ran into and how it was fixed for others running into this problem :)

      Admin

  16. Hi, thank you very much for your help. You solve my problem. (broken plugin)

    Best regards from Germany,
    Stephan

  17. My site is on HTTP Error 500, I did all the steps to fix the issue, is not working at all yet :(

    • If you reached out to your hosting provider they should be able to give you a better idea of the source of the issue.

      Admin

  18. Thank you very much, one of the WP plugin was causing the error, i deactivated it made new installation of that specific plugin and it worked.

    Thanks

  19. You save my site. Can’t thank you enough. Your instructions were clear and easy to follow. You’re amazing!

  20. wp-includes/post.php File are missing my site and admin panel are not opening

    Error Message :- The site is experiencing technical difficulties

  21. Phew. the .htaccess fix worked – I am very relieved after thinking I had just broken my previous website by adding WordPress.

  22. re deleting .htaccess
    So say…

    You have permalink rewrites on, giving friendly page names.

    So you do the rename thing, and then click Settingts, permanlinks, Save.

    I assume this will stuff your menu? (Easily fixed I suppose).

    To fix, I would have thought to re add the rewrite lines in .htacess and click the desired permalinks setting and save that?

    • By resaving the permalinks WordPress will recreate the htaccess file without the need for manually adding the information in the htaccess file.

      Admin

  23. Thanks A lot for sharing this Post… that problem was occurring back to back and I was unable to do anything…Not only This Problem a lot of problems is solved by watching and reading your posts and video… I could not stop myself to comment here and subscribe.

  24. My homepage links are all returning 500 errors. My webhost says it’s because they don’t reference the WP subfolder under the domain name. I have code in my .htaccess that makes the site refer to it without the subfolder–written for me by the webhost, iirc. This hasn’t happened before. I changed themes recently–could it be that? Or is it the latest update? Pulling hair out over here!

    • If none of the methods in our article were able to fix the problem, you may want to try recreating the menu to recreate the links.

      Admin

  25. I moved a client site over from Singlehop to GoDaddy and for the most part it is fine. They were having problems with their old developer. Updated WordPress and plugins, got SSL going and everything looks great. I get a 500 error when I go to the site, not every time but sometimes. I use Wordfence for security. When I get the 500 error all I do is refresh the browser and the site comes up. It’s weird. Any thoughts on why this would happen intermittently and how to fix it?

    • You would want to reach out to the current host to see if there is a specific error they can see in their error logs.

      Admin

  26. You guys are the number one resource for everything WordPress in my book. Thanks for this useful post.

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