Nov 9, 2013

Solution for a 500 Internal Server Error.

Anyone who has worked with WordPress for long enough would be familiar with the dreaded 500 Internal Server Error error. If you encounter one, try the steps below to get your site back online.

Corrupt .htaccess File

A corrupt .htaccess file is a common culprit. To determine fault, connect to your FTP server and navigate to the root directory. You will know you’re in the correct directory if you see folders such as wp-content and wp-admin.

Once there, rename the .htaccess file to .htaccess_stop and reload your website.

If that worked, fantastic. You can now regenerate a new .htaccess file by navigating to Settings » Permalinks in your WP admin and re-saving the settings.

Increase the PHP Memory Limit

Another potential fault could be the PHP memory limit maxing out. To determine this, try the follow:

  1. Open the file wp-config.php
  2. Add the following line of code
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '64M');

Save the file, reload the website and see if that’s fixed the issue.

Deactivate Plugins

It’s possible that one (or more) plugins could be the cause of the error. A quick way to diagnose this is to deactivate the plugins and reactivate them one-by-one until you find the culprit.

To do so, connect to your FTP server and navigation to wp-content. Once there, re-name the plugins folder to plugins.stop. Now simply reload your website to see if it’s fixed.

If it has, re-name plugins.stop back to plugins, login to the WordPress admin and re-activate each plugin one-by-one until the error appears. That’ll tell you which plugin is at fault.

Re-Upload Core Files

If you have no luck with the above, download a fresh WordPress installation and re-upload the wp-admin and wp-include folders.

It’s a last resort, but it may have to been done.