How to Fix Internal Server Error for a WordPress Website

fix WordPress internal server error

Internal Server Error, also known as a 500 Internal Server Error, is a common issue that can occur on a WordPress website. This error is frustrating for website owners, as it doesn’t provide specific information about the cause. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to resolve this issue. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of fixing the Internal Server Error for your WordPress website.

Step 1: Backup your website

Before making any changes, ensure you have a complete backup of your website. This will allow you to restore the website to its previous state if any issues arise during the troubleshooting process.

Step 2: Check for plugin conflicts

Plugins are often the cause of Internal Server Errors on WordPress websites. To determine if a plugin is causing the issue, follow these steps:

  • Deactivate all plugins by navigating to the ‘Plugins’ section in your WordPress dashboard.
  • Refresh your website to see if the error persists. If the error is gone, a plugin conflict is the cause.
  • Reactivate each plugin one by one, refreshing your website after each activation. When the error reappears, you’ve identified the problematic plugin.
  • Contact the plugin developer for assistance or find an alternative plugin to use.

Step 3: Check your theme

If the error persists after checking plugins, your theme may be the culprit. To test this, switch to a default WordPress theme, such as Twenty Twenty-One, and see if the error still occurs. If the error disappears, contact your theme’s developer for assistance or consider using a different theme.

Step 4: Increase PHP memory limit

Insufficient PHP memory can cause Internal Server Errors. To increase the PHP memory limit:

  • Access your website’s files using an FTP client or cPanel’s File Manager.
  • Locate and edit the ‘wp-config.php’ file.
  • Add the following line of code just before the ‘/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing. */’ line: define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’);
  • Save the file and refresh your website to see if the error is resolved.

Step 5: Check .htaccess file

A corrupted .htaccess file can also cause Internal Server Errors. To check for this issue:

  1. Access your website’s files using an FTP client or cPanel’s File Manager.
  2. Locate the ‘.htaccess’ file and rename it to ‘.htaccess_old’.
  3. Create a new ‘.htaccess’ file and add the default WordPress .htaccess rules:
    # BEGIN WordPress
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
    # END WordPress
  4. Save the file and refresh your website to see if the error is resolved.

Step 6: Contact your hosting provider

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, contact your hosting provider for assistance. They may have additional insights into the cause of the Internal Server Error and can help you resolve it.

Hopefully you are now internal server error free!

Fixing the Internal Server Error on a WordPress website can be a daunting task, but by following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve the issue. Remember to always create a backup before making any changes to your website, and seek assistance from your hosting provider if necessary.

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