How to Fix the Internal Server Error in WordPress

You must have come across HTTP 500 Internal Server Error at least a few times while surfing the web. Internal Server Error is one of the common WordPress errors that can frustrate a WordPress beginner. The cause most likely occurs in the root directory, where your WordPress files are, but it can also be caused by a problem on your host’s server.

Internal Server Error in WordPress

Internal Server Error

Internal Server Error in WordPress

Internal server error is not specific to WordPress, and it can happen with anything else running on your server as well. Due to the generic nature of this error, it does not tell the developer anything. Internal server error in WordPress is often caused by plugin and/or theme functions. Other possible causes of internal server error in WordPress that we know of are: corrupted .htaccess file and PHP memory limit. We have also heard internal server error only showing up when you are trying to access the administrator area while the rest of the site works fine.

Lets take a look at how to go about troubleshooting the internal server error in WordPress.

Increasing the PHP Memory Limit

Sometimes this error can happen if you are exhausting your PHP memory limit.

If you are seeing the internal server error only when you try to login to your WordPress admin or uploading an image in your wp-admin, then you should increase the memory limit.

If increasing the memory limit fix the problem for you, then you have fixed the problem temporarily. The reason why we say this is because there has to be something that is exhausting your memory limit. This could be a poorly coded plugin or even a theme function. We strongly recommend that you ask your WordPress web hosting company to look into the server logs to help you find the exact diagnostics.

If increasing the PHP memory limit did not fix the issue for you, then you are in for some hard-core trouble shooting.

Check for Corrupt .htaccess File

The first thing you should do when troubleshooting the internal server error in WordPress is check for the corrupted .htaccess file. You can do so by renaming your main .htaccess file to something like .htaccess_old. To rename the .htaccess file, you will need to login to your site using the FTP. Once you are in, the .htaccess file will be located in the same directory where you will see folders like wp-content, wp-admin, and wp-includes.

Once you have renamed the .htaccess file, try loading your site to see if this solved the problem. If it did, then give yourself a pat on the back because you fixed the internal server error. Before you move on with other things, make sure that you go to Settings » Permalinks and click the save button. This will generate a new .htaccess file for you with proper rewrite rules to ensure that your post pages do not return a 404.

Deactivate all Plugins

If none of the above solutions worked for you, then this error is most likely being caused by a specific plugin. It is also possible that it is a combination of plugins that are not playing nice with each other. Sadly, there is no easy way to find this out. You have to deactivate all WordPress plugins at once.

If disabling all plugins fixed the error, then you know it is one of the plugins that is causing the error. Simply go through and reactivate one plugin at a time until you find the one that caused the issue. Get rid of that plugin, and report the error to the plugin author.

Re-uploading Core Files

If the plugin option didn’t fix the internal server error, then it is worth re-uploading the wp-admin and wp-includes folder from a fresh WordPress install. This will NOT remove any of your information, but it may solve the problem in case any file was corrupted.

sarah ali

sarah ali

Sarah is a passionate writer and blogger. As an early adopter, she enjoys trying out new social media and Internet tools along with WordPress plugins and Web apps.
sarah ali

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