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How to fix an Internal Server Error in WordPress

Internal Server Error, or sometimes 500 Internal Server Error, is probably one of the most confusing WordPress errors. This error occurs without any explicit cause, making it hard to address the issue, and can require a lot of troubleshooting from your end.

Most of the time, this error is caused by a corrupted .htaccess file or an exhausted PHP memory limit. Some other causes include faulty plugins, corrupted core files, and incorrect file permissions.

We have compiled possible solutions to help you fix Internal Server Error, so your WordPress site runs again.

Important Note: The solutions given below require changes in your website files. We highly recommend you to back up your files before you proceed.

To back up your files, refer to:

Check corrupted .htaccess file

Most often, the 500 Internal Server Error is caused by a corrupted .htaccess fileTo check, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on My Account at the top of this page.
  2. Select Hosting Manager from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter your username and password and click Log In.
  4. On the Home page, click Files or the [ v ] arrow button on the right side, then click File Manager.
  5. Select Web Root (public_html/www) and tick the box that says Show Hidden Files (dotfiles).
  6. Click Go.
  7. Look for .htaccess file, right click on it, and select Rename.
    You may also click .htaccess and select Rename button on the upper part of the page.
  8. Rename the file as you desired.
  9. Open a browser and enter your domain to check if your site is running.
  10. If the error is gone, create a new .htaccess file by clicking + File button found at the top left side of the page.
  11. Name the file using ONLY the extension .htaccess.
  12. Click Create New File.

If the error remains, proceed to the next solutions given below.

Increase PHP memory limit

Internal server errors also happen if you have exhausted the PHP memory limit set by your hosting provider. To check if this is causing the error, increase the PHP memory limit. Please refer to:

Deactivate Plugins

As mentioned, faulty plugins may cause the error. To check, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on My Account at the top of the page.
  2. Select Hosting Manager from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter your username and password and click Log In.
  4. On the Home page, click the word Files or the [ v ] arrow button on the right side, then click File Manager.
  5. Select Web Root (public_html/www) and click Go.
  6. Look for the wp-content folder, then double click.
  7. Inside wp-content folder, right click on plugins folder, and choose Rename.
  8. Then, rename the plugins folder, as you desired. This will deactivate all of your plugins.
  9. Check if the site works.
  10. If the site works, change folder name to original name (plugins).
  11. Open plugins folder by double clicking it.
  12. Under plugins folder, rename the files one by one, and check if the site is affected as you rename. This should determine which among the plugin is causing the error.
  13. Change the file name back to original name again when you find a specific plugin is not causing the error.
  14. When you found the plugin causing the issue, deactivate that plugin.

If the issue is caused by a plugin, then it should be fixed by now. If not, continue reading.

Check File Permissions

Though unlikely, checking file permission is worth a try. Changing permissions can cause several errors, including an Internal Server Error. To check, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on My Account at the top of the page.
  2. Select Hosting Manager from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter your username and password, and click Log In.
  4. On the Home page, click Files or the [ v ] arrow button on the right side, then click File Manager.
  5. Select Web Root (public_html/www) and click Go.
  6. Look for the .htaccess, then click it to highlight the file.
  7. Under the Permissions column, check if permission for your .htaccess file is set to 755 or 644.
  8. If not, change the file permission by double clicking the permission number and changing it to 755 or 644.
  9. Click Save.
  10. Open a browser and enter your domain to see if your site is running.

Upload Latest Version of Core Files

Re-uploading core files (wp-admin and wp-includes) should be the last resort at your end. Again, please make sure to create back up before you proceed. It is recommended that you use an FTP client for this step for your convenience. To upload latest version of the core files, follow the steps below:

Via FTP client:

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress to your computer.
  2. Double-click the zip file downloaded and Extract it.
  3. Access your FTP Client, and provide the following on the necessary fields:
    Hostname ftp.yourdomain.com
    Username Hosting Username
    Password Hosting Password
    Port 21
  4. Once you have logged in to your FTP Client, upload wp-admin and wp-includes to public_html directory for the main domain.
    If it is for an Add-on domain or a Subdomain, upload it to the corresponding folder given for such domain.
  5. Overwrite old core files.
  6. After uploading, open a browser and enter your domain and any relevant subdirectory to check if your site is running.

Via cPanel File Manager:

  1. Click on My Account at the top of the page.
  2. Select Hosting Manager from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter your username and password and click Log In.
  4. On the Home page, click Files or the [ v ] arrow button on the right side, then click File Manager.
  5. Select Web Root (public_html/www) and click Go.
  6. Download the latest version of WordPress to your computer.
  7. Double-click the zip file downloaded and Extract it.
  8. Go back to your cPanel FIle Manager.
  9. On the upper part of the screen, click Upload.
  10. On the next screen, click Choose File. Upload either wp-admin or wp-includes, whichever you like to upload first.
  11. Overwrite old core files, then upload remaining files.
  12. Open a browser and enter your domain to check if your site is running.

Contact Us

By now, your WordPress site should be working. If none of the above solved the issue, you may contact our 24/7 Support for assistance.

To prevent a 500 internal server error from happening again, we recommend you back up your site regularly and update your plugins, themes, and core files as soon as update is available.

Congratulations! You just learned how to fix an internal server error.

If you want to know how to fix WordPress memory exhausted error, click here.

If you want to know how to fix blank page on WordPress, click here.

If you want to know how to fix database connection error in WordPress, click here.

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