The 500 Internal Server Error is one of the HTTP status codes specifying that something has gone wrong on a website’s server. However, it does not define what the specific problem is. This generic HTTP status code implies that the server has encountered an unexpected event that is preventing it from fulfilling the client’s request. 

You can get the 500 error in different ways. For instance, Google services, like Gmail, provide you with the message Temporary Error (500) or simply 500

500 internal server error

Here are some typical ways you might get the 500 error: 

  • 500 Internal Server Error
  • HTTP 500 – Internal Server Error
  • Temporary Error (500)
  • Internal Server Error
  • HTTP 500 Internal Error
  • 500 Error
  • HTTP Error 500
  • 500. That’s an error

There are numerous reasons for the 500 Internal Server Error to occur. However, troubleshooting this error is similar to solving a mystery. The reason is that you are not aware of what has happened or why it has happened. You simply know that something is wrong on the server side. 

To help you out in fixing a 500 Internal Error Server, I have curated this article with some essential ways that you can try as a visitor and website owner. But before proceeding, I want you to get familiar with some common causes for the 500 error. 

You can also read our articles on 404 Not Found Error, 403 Forbidden Error and 502 Bad Gateway Error.

Potential Causes of a 500 Internal Server Error

The following are some major causes of the 500 Internal Server Error: 

1. Corrupted or Broken .htaccess File

The .htaccess file is a text file that consists of server instructions that instruct the application or web server about either enabling or disabling particular features. These instructions also provide you with the option to bound user access or safeguard your passwords in a directory. 

If the .htaccess file corrupts or breaks, you may receive the 500 status code. There may be various reasons for the .htaccess file to get corrupted. Some of them might be the installation of a plugin, file configuration, or working on a server.  

2. Faulty Third-Party Plugins or Themes

As a website owner, you may use or install a few third-party plugins to extend your website’s functionality. Though these plugins may serve your purpose, they may have an impact on your website’s security and performance, resulting in bugs. 

When you use any faulty plugin or theme for your website unknowingly, you may receive an error with the 500 status code. As these plugins and themes are developed by individuals or small groups, there are certain chances that they may be faulty or erroneous. 

3. A Permission Error

Another cause of the 500 error is a permission error. A permission error occurs when there are files with protection or restriction. This error specifies that a specific user is restricted from performing certain actions on a restricted or protected file. 

4. Exceeding the PHP Memory Limit

PHP, or HyperText Preprocessor, is a server-side scripting programming language used for managing databases, content, session tracking, etc. Each PHP process consumes a certain amount of memory, and your hosting account sets the memory limit for each PHP process. 

If your website exceeds the memory limit set by the hosting provider, you encounter the 500 error. 

How to Fix a 500 Internal Server Error? 

Though the 500 Internal Server Error is a server-side error, many times, the problem may be on the end users’ or visitors’ end. I will share essential tips to fix the 500 Internal Server Error on both ends: client-side and server-side. 

Let us explore!

How to Fix a 500 Internal Server Error as a Web Page Visitor? 

Go through the following 5 ways to fix the 500 error you encounter while accessing a particular web page or website. 

1. Reload the Page

The first option you can try is to reload the web page you are trying to access. You can do this by hitting the reload/refresh button, pressing F5 or Ctrl+R, or entering the URL again in the address bar. I have listed this solution because the 500 error you encounter may be temporary, and reloading a web page may sometimes fix the error. 

2. Clear the Browser’s Cache

Clearing the browser’s cache is one of the most common solutions to troubleshoot any internet issue. So, you can clear browsers cache, and this solution may work if there is an issue with the cached version of a web page you are trying to access. 

Note: The browser cache is not often a cause of the 500 error. But occasionally, clearing the browser cache may help you get rid of the internal server errors. 

3. Delete the Browser’s Cookies

There may be a chance that the cookies associated with the website or web page you are accessing may result in the 500 error. So, you can opt for this solution to fix the 500 error. When you delete the cookies, make sure to restart the browser. 

4. Contact the Website Owner

It may be a case that the website administrator may know about the 500 error. So, try contacting the website owner. Even if the website administrator is not aware of this error, they may know about it when you tell them. You can reach out to the website owners either through social media accounts or email. 

5. Come Back Later

If none of the above solutions work, wait for some time because the 500 error may be an issue that is completely out of your control. Visit the same website or web page a few moments later. 

How to Fix a 500 Internal Server Error as a Website Owner?

As a website owner, it will be your responsibility to fix the 500 error. This error may have a negative impact on your website ranking and traffic. Here are some solutions you can follow to fix the 500 error. 

1. Deactivate Faulty Plugins and Themes

There is a chance that newly activated plugins, themes, or other add-ons may conflict with the server configuration. So, deactivate them all and check the cause of the 500 error. 

2. Use a Plugin to Detect the Cause

This solution is useful if you have a WordPress website. WordPress provides plugins to identify issues with the server. WP Debugging is one of the WordPress plugins that help you know what is wrong with the server. 

3. Make Sure to Configure the PHP Setup Properly

Configure the PHP setup correctly. Make sure to create the error handling mechanism or timeout rules in your script to handle unexpected errors. 

4. Check the .htaccess File

If your website’s .htaccess file contains incorrect code or has an improper structure, you and your visitors may encounter the 500 error. So, make sure to check that this file has the proper code and structure. 

To Sum It Up: 500 Internal Server Error 

Here ends our discussion on solutions to fix the 500 Internal Server Error. This error code defines that there is something wrong with a website’s server you are trying to access. Also, the status code does not define what exactly the problem might be on the server. 

As a result, you can try the aforementioned ways to fix the 500 error as a visitor or website owner of a website. I hope that one of the above solutions will help you get rid of the 500 error. Good Luck!

A passionate freelance technical writer with several years of experience specializing in crafting engaging technical content for a diverse range of businesses and platforms. With a track record of developing original, client-centric content, I excel at tailoring my writing to meet the unique needs of each project. Thorough research and attention to detail enable me to deliver content that not only meets but exceeds client expectations.


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