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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

657 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thank you!!! this worked for me too. It was the corrupt .htaccess File. Deleting this one and giving a new one to my clients webfolder helped and prevented me from a new install (I thought of it in my despare)
    have a good time you all

    eduard

  2. We changed hosting and ran into the internal server error, luckely renaming the htaccess file worked perfectly.

    Thank you!

  3. Hello there … that internal server error is a strong problem since 10 days :-( I deactivated all plugins – so the wordpress installation worked again – BUT after activating ONE plugin (no matter which one) the error came back … can anyone give me advice?

  4. THANK YOU ! USED PHP.INI AND removed Jetpack!~ Shouting for joy as I learn I am not as old as I look !

  5. Hello,

    I tried to install a Child plugin in my WordPress site and after that I encountered an Internal Server Error. Problem is, I can’t locate the installed plugin in my wp-content folder. What I get is an error.txt file with the below details:

    PHP Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in /home3/kennelsf/public_html/bad-credit-solutions-now/wp-content/themes/uvctheme/functions.php on line 53

    I don’t understand if this error is somehow connected to the plugin that I installed but why can’t I see the plugin on my folder?

    I really, really appreciate your help!

    Thanks!

  6. Thank you thank you! Followed your instructions about the htaccess file and that solved not only my Error 500 problem trying to login to my admin panel but another problem I was having with thumbnail images not loading properly using Clockstone theme from CMSMasters.

  7. Thank you so much. I followed your directions for the 500 server error and the .htaccess.The steps worked for after I updated the Permalinks, which took a few tries since the page was loading so slow and the error page kept coming back up. Now all is fine and I also increased the php memory.

  8. Genius! Thank you. I was getting the 500 internal error when selecting menus and customise links inside the admin area, including when trying to live preview for other themes.

    I tried all of the steps one by one, and the one that worked was replacing wp-admin and wp-includes from a fresh install of WordPress on my desktop.

    Sorted it out completely! Many thanks indeed.

    Now if anyone knows a good code for an accordion menu, that includes the page text in the drop down, please let me know!

    Thanks

    Roxy

  9. Hey, changing the name of the htaccess is giving me 404 errors, and I cant access wp-admin to login, help!

  10. I am too having a problem with this. It says :
    Internal Server Error

    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

    It happened after I installed a plugin Hide Login. I clecked on Activate and all this started happening. It happens when I try to log in admin panel. Please help me.

  11. Thanks so much for the Tipps.

    I couldn’t get into my Admin Panal. After a few hours I fured out, that somehow my permissions on the wp-login.php file got set to 00… I switched them back and my problem was solved.

  12. I followed your tips 1(.httacess), 2(php.ini) and 4(core files) and the problem still is.

    If i deactived the plugins, ill need to configurate them later? (i meant, if they were Reset?)

    Tip 5, my hosting provider havent gave me any solution yet since long time.

    Just to say my blog is on a share server, do i need to chance to a dedicated server or change my hosting provider?

  13. Thanks Syed, I added something to my .htaccess file and I got the 500 internal message. Renaming the file in cpanel worked and fixed the problem.

    Thanks so much, I bookmarked this page for future reference. :)

  14. Thank you for this tutorial!

    You saved me!!!

    I solved it by deactivating the plugins.

    Best regards,

    Chris

  15. I backed up the .htaccess file then deleted it off the wordpress main directory then went to settings and permalinks and clicked saved and it fixed it!

  16. Thank you so much! I was in a stress. This is the last straw for me trying to manage my wp.org site on my own, I’m upgrading to a premium theme so I don’t have this stuff to deal with (I hope). Cheers

  17. I deactivated my plugins and it worked! Spent so much time trying to fix it by adding more php memory, but that was all i needed to do.
    Thanks!

  18. I got this same error message and solved it by changing the character encoding of wp-config.php from UTF to ANSI.

  19. Thanks, mate. The increased memory size fixed the problem. Now Google can index the website again!

  20. Nice article even I cannot find any solutions for Internal Server Error, but it really help me and enrich my WP knowledge. Thanks again!

  21. .htaccess was corrupted. I deleted it from my hosting FTP account and things were set to normal.
    thanks a ton.

  22. This didn’t fix the problem but it was extremely helpful & gave me a strategy, instead of spending hours reading forum posts that were all over the map. Thanks!

  23. I had this problem but it was my pages and posts that wouldn’t show and wp-admin and home were both fine.

    I tried everything suggested here to no avail. My host suggested checking my error logs in cPanel and there I found it was one of the pages of my theme, single.php, was spitting out an error.

    If you have a similar problem where the admin panel is fine – switch to another theme. If that fixes it you’ll need to either reupload your theme or check your error logs to see which file is causing the problem and just reupload that one.

    Hope that helps someone!

  24. Thanks buddy, you really helped me out on this one. Looks like my access file got screwed up (I reckon I know the plugin that caused it too). Once again, thanks!!

  25. Right in the pain! Complete! Clear!
    its just Perfect!

    Thx for sharing, and allow me to share the info..

    regards,
    /oifif

  26. I got the Corrupt htaccess file error and i fixed it by renaming the file and generate blank one. but the issue that i am getting this error every 2 – 3 days and i am doing the same treatment.
    any help one this please?

  27. Hi there, good article just want to expand upon it by sharing what I just went through. So I was getting a 500 error in chrome and firefox was just displaying a blank page.

    I added this code:

    ini_set(‘display_errors’, ‘1’);

    right in the second line of my index.php(after “<?") and it showed me that the actual error was happening because of

    require('./wp-blog-header.php');

    in my index.php file. Turns out that my host changed the way they handle the file system, and wordpress got burned because of it. Removing the './' before it solved my problem.

    Hope this helps someone.

  28. Hi there,

    When I tried to go onto my site yesterday I got the Internal Server Error. I went to the support forum of my host and found how to access my error logs, but … the button to access them wasn’t working.
    I did a database restore, which made the site work again, but today someone notified me the site had been down again. It seems to go on and off without me changing anything.
    I’ve now finally managed to get into my error logs and it lists 4 weird names that end on ‘-error.log’ AND the .htaccess.
    So I’m guessing that’s corrupt.
    However, when I tried to rename the .htaccess I got an error message saying that that filename didn’t exist and so the old name remained.

    Any idea on how I can work around this?
    I’ve already contacted my host multiple times and while they’re saying they’re looking into it, I’m guessing they aren’t really…

  29. Corrupt htaccess file after I tried to update an event calendar plug-in. I had it fixed in two minutes AFTER finding your article. Whew!!! Thanks for lowering my blood pressure!!!

  30. I get this error when I hit ‘publish’ on a new post a few times now.
    It looks like deactivating plugins would be the best way for me, right?

  31. For a dedicated server with a quite high traffic site what is the ideal settings for PHP memory limit
    Does 64MB does good?

  32. Thanks for this article. Error 500 in a common issue on WP. Unfortunately for is no real solution (except maybe paying for an expensive dedicated server with 2048Mo memory…). The plugin solution seems also to be relevant.

  33. I already tried doing the php.ini memory=20MB solution but it did not work. I uploaded it under the wp-admin/ folder.

    I’m not really sure what else to try. Help?

  34. I have faced this problem quite a few times, and re uploading core WP file solved problem for me twice and once it was .htaccess file was corrupt.

    Thanks for information about PHP memory increase.

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