What is 500 internal server error and how to fix it?

What is 500 internal server error and how to fix it?

How do you fix a server error? You would not use the same steps as troubleshooting a Microsoft SQL Server error 18456. But, with any error you receive, you first need to know why the error occurred before you can try to fix it.

Let’s say you see an error message that says 500 Server Error or something similar (Error Code 500, Temporary Error (500), HTTP Error 500, 500 Internal Server Error, etc.). In that case, something went wrong with the website you are trying to view.

The 500 internal server error message indicates that something went wrong on the server side of the website. While various issues can cause this error, it is usually related to a problem with the website’s code or server configuration.

What Causes a 500 Internal Server Error?

The cause of a 500 internal server error can be very simple or very complicated. If you are a visitor to the website, something is wrong and your best bet is to simply try again later.

A 500 internal server error could be very complex if you are expected to fix it. That’s because the server gives a generic message when it can’t tell what’s wrong.

All it knows is that the web page that was supposed to be displayed is down. You may have a long troubleshooting journey ahead of you or something that a simple server restart can resolve.

Solutions to internal server error 500

Finding a solution to a 500 internal server error is challenging due to the high uncertainty of the error. Until you know exactly what went wrong, there isn’t much you can do to fix it or make it less likely to happen again.

Consider looking at the permissions on files and folders on the server, among other tools to troubleshoot server connection errors, to discover and fix the problem. This guide provides a list of places to start your troubleshooting journey.

How to fix a 500 internal server error on a website

If you are a website owner or developer, then you or one of your users might have faced a 500 internal server error. This error is annoying as it prohibits users from accessing your website. However, it is not the end of the world because there are several solutions.

1. View relevant server logs

The first thing to do when you encounter a 500 internal server error is to check the server logs. The logs will give you more information about the error, helping you determine the cause. You can access the logs through your server’s control panel or by contacting your hosting provider.

2. Check your .htaccess file

If the server logs don’t provide any useful information, the next thing to check is your .htaccess file. A misconfigured .htaccess file can cause the error. Try changing the file name to see if the error goes away. If so, create a new .htaccess file and add the necessary code, or edit the existing file if you can locate the problem.

3. Make sure PHP is configured correctly

If your website runs on PHP, you may need to increase the memory limit, as a low memory limit can cause a 500 internal server error. You can increase the limit by adding the following code to your wp-config. php:

define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’);

4. Deactivate a plugin or theme

A plugin or theme incompatibility issue may be the source of the 500 internal server error, and you may need to disable one or both. Try disabling your plugins and themes individually to determine which, if any, are the culprits.

5. Contact the server administrator

If the server is part of your organization, but you are not the administrator of the server, it is a good idea to contact them. Let them know right away so they can start fixing the problem as soon as possible.

What to do if it starts showing a completely different error

If your website shows a different error, such as an HTTP response code, the steps to fix it may vary depending on the generated code. Checking the logs is still a great place to start, but you should investigate the code to determine how to fix the problem.

Assuming you need to access this page and the webmaster is not part of your organization, all is not necessarily lost. The person responsible for keeping a website healthy and happy is often a matter of public domain.

Many websites offer a convenient contact section. Most of the time, this will be a link to someone hoping you’ll want to buy something, but if you can communicate with a human, you can pass the information along.

If you can’t see the contact page, use your favorite web search engine and search for the phrase: whois for (URL). If you’re trying to access a site’s subdomain, use the main domain, not the subdomain.

The whois result will usually include an email address for the owner of the website. This could be labeled Administrative Contact, Registrant Email, or something similar.

You can inform them of the error through that email. However, please note that the email address listed might be old and not monitored. There is no guarantee that someone will read or act on your email.


A 500 internal server error can be frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to fix the error and get your website up and running again quickly. If you are not in control of the website, your only option is to try contacting the hosting provider or website administrator and try again at a later time.

For server administrators having trouble troubleshooting their servers, there is still hope. Liquid Web offers 24/7/365 support to help you with server-side issues. Get in touch with Liquid Web and find out if our managed hosting is the right solution to keep your server and website up and running.

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