Don’t panic, we’ve all been there. Just editing a page or updating a wordpress plugin – then suddenly wham – a white screen is delivered in front of your eyes – HTTP 500 Internal Server Error 500. Most likely you have probably seen this error whilst browsing before – thankfully it is a common error that is fairly easy to troubleshoot regardless of your wordpress skill level!
The HTTP 500 Server Error is not something that can happen to any website and framework and isn’t something that just effects wordpress websites. Even though it is the most common it doesn’t give much away in regards to the issue. [See our post next week on Enabling your WordPress Error Log].
Usually this error can be drilled down to a few things:
plugins or theme conflictions
php memory limit
a corrupt .htaaccess file
This can be found by using an FTP client such as Filezilla
You will need to go to your Public_Html Directory into your wordpress directory and scout for a file named .htaaccess
Rename your file by clicking like you would when you rename a file through your computer and name is following the same structure – .htaccess_trash
Once done it will rebuild a fresh .htaaccess – if you can now refresh and load your site – well done you fixed it (now go to Settings>Permalinks and resave)
If not… continue…
Next up lets check your PHP Memory limit see if the website is timing out because of the limit and processes on site. Usually this will only flag the 500 error if you have done something like upload an image. If its down to Memory limit is usually only really effects the back end of the website due to this being the place you are updating, changing, uploading and configuring.
Connect to your FTP again
Open a new file on Notepad or any text file program and save as php.ini
Paste in the following:
Upload by dropping and dragging it into your wp-admin folder. (This is in your Public_html folder and located in your wordpress directory)
Still not working?… don’t give up on us now!
If you have come this far, it is more likely down to a plugin extension or a theme function. To troubleshoot, the best place to start is to deactivate all your plugins. Naturally this has to also be done through your FTP.
Open up your FTP connect to your website
Open the WP-Content Folder (this is where your plugins are kept)
Find your Plugins folder
Rename this folder to something such as plugins.old
Refresh the website and clear cache.
If you can now see your website this issue is related to a plugin confliction. You will need to login to your wordpress website and deactivate each plugin one by one. This way you can work out which plugin is causing the internal server error.
Once you are logged in to wp-admin – go back to your ftp rename your plugins file back to ‘plugins’ as it was before. When the file name is back as it was, you can start troubleshooting each plugin one by one until you find the cause.
Sadly if you have got to this point and are still none the wiser in regards to the wordpress 500 internal server error its time to speak to your hosting company or pop us a message or support ticket here