[5-Min Fix] 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress


Are you stuck with 500 Internal Server Error in your WordPress website?

Need not to panic.

Off course, internal server errors are the worst but these errors can be solved easily.

Here is a solution if followed properly, will definitely solve this error. All it needs is little patience and a few minutes.

HTTP 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress

What is 500 Internal Server Error?

Internal server error is one of the most common WordPress errors. It is a server-side error, which means there is something wrong with the internal structure of your website that includes your WordPress and the Hosting on which your website is hosted.

The worst thing about 500 internal server error is it doesn’t give any information on the reason behind the error.

Due to this nature of the internal server error, first, we have to identify the most probable reason causing the error, then apply the solution.

So, let’s start with the ‘reason’ behind the internal server error.

What Causes Internal Server Error in WordPress?

If there is a website, means there is a server associated with it. And the server has numerous components, there can be an error with one component or more than one.

But the good news is if you’re using WordPress, identifying possible reasons and fixing them is easy.

Here is the list of all possible reasons for internal server error in your WordPress Website.

  1. Website Hosting Resource Limit
  2. Theme Error
  3. Plugin Error
  4. Corrupt .htaccess File
  5. Low PHP Memory Limit

One of the above components is causing the error; Here I will apply fix according to the most frequent troublemaker.

Step by Step Guide to Fix Internal Server Error in WordPress

1. Check your Hosting Resources Statistics:

If you have access to your hosting cPanel, that’s great.

Note: Don’t have cPanel access? Contact your hosting provider, they will assist you in checking your hosting resources.

People with cPanel access, follow the below steps.

Login to cPanel/ Login to your hosting and navigate to cPanel. On the cPanel dashboard, there is a separate dialogue box for statistics.

Here, you have to check for the File Usage, MySQL Databases, Disk Usage, Physical Memory Usage, Number of Processes, CPU Usage and Entry Processes.

These are the hosting resources which have the limit set by the hosting provider according to your plan. I have attached a screenshot below for your reference.


If any of the resources is exceeding the set limit, you’ll get the Internal Server Error.

You can see there are number of factors due to which resources can exceed but the most common factor is the number of concurrent visitors on your website exceeding the average expected number.

Either you may wait for few minutes decrease the number of visitors or it’s time to upgrade your hosting plan.

Everything looking good with the statistics, still getting the error? Then before moving on to the second method, please contact your host to make sure everything is okay with the hosting.

2. Increasing the PHP Memory Limit:

There are several ways to increase PHP memory limit. I am not going explain all these methods here. If you don’t find the below method easy.

You should read our guide on How to increase PHP memory limit (5 Ways).

Here, I will only explain the most common method used to increase php memory limit i.e. Using wp_config.php file which can be accessed using cPanel or FTP.

If you are a cPanel user, this is for you.

  1. Login to your website cPanel.
  2. Locate file and click file manager inside it. 
  3. In the next window, click on that setting icon present on the extreme right corner.
  4. Here check the “show hidden files” box.
  5. Make sure public_html is selected.
  6. Click save.
  7. Then search for wp_config.php file.
  8. Once you find, click this and the file will be automatically downloaded. Open this file in Notepad++ /Notepad.
  9. Next, you need to paste this code in wp-config.php file just before the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.’

define( ‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’ );

This code tells WordPress to increase the PHP memory limit to 256MB. 

Once you are done, you need to save your changes and upload your wp-config.php file back to your server.

For FTP users, login to your FTP client.

  1. Go to WordPress root folder
  2. Find the wp_config.php file
  3. Edit the file
  4. Next, you need to paste this code in wp-config.php file just before the line that says ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging.’

define( ‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ‘256M’ ); 

You need to save changes here and upload the file back to your server, overwriting the original file.

Now, refresh your website to see if it fixed the error.

Still no luck? Move to the next method then:

3. Fixing Corrupt .htaccess File

Renaming .htaccess file fix the corrupt .htaccess file. Let’s do it

You can find .htaccess file in cPanel’s file manager / root folder in FTP .

For cPanel user – cPanel Dashboard > File Manager > Click Setting > Check Show hidden files > Check public.html > Save

For FTP user – Login to FTP > Navigate to root folder

  1. Find the . htaccess and rename it to .htaccess-new
  2. Save change.

Check if the internal server is gone.

If yes. There was a problem with your .htaccess file which is fixed now.

Tried all the 3 methods above. Still getting the internal server error? Then I am sure the problem is with a specific plugin.

4. Deactivate All Plugins

Sometime major trouble lies in a bad coded plugin, a theme or a plugin might not be compatible with each other and causing a conflict.

The bad thing is you don’t know which plugin is causing the trouble. In this case you’ll have to deactivate all the plugins using FTP or  cPanel > PHP_My_Admin.

Follow the instructions in our complete guide on how to deactivate all WordPress plugins without WP admin dashboard.

Once you deactivate all the plugins and it fixes the internal server error. Go to WP admin and activate plugins one by one to check which plugin is causing the error.

Uninstall that plugin and report plugin author about the issue.

Note: Deactivating plugins won’t do any harm to your website setting or customization. When you reactivate them, you get the plugin settings back.

Hope this helped fix the internal server error. Read some other helpful articles and share:

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