How to Fix 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress Step by step

How to Fix 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress Step by step
5 min read

Your WordPress-based website was running smoothly; you woke up the next morning, and what is that! You get a 500 Internal Server error, and your website won’t open – it’s like a nightmare! It happened to me personally on one of my old sites; I tried to access my site from my mobile phone while going to the exam and got this error. My first job after the exam was to go to my computer and try to solve the problem 🙂 The source of the error message at that time was a new plugin I installed the night before. When I uninstalled that plugin, the problem was fixed; However, there may be other reasons for the WordPress 500 internal server error.

What is the WordPress 500 Internal Server Error?

The error message in question does not give factual information about what the error is. That’s why people who are just starting to use WordPress can return to the fish out of the water when they get this error. WordPress 500 internal server error occurs due to incorrect server settings or a faulty or conflicting file on the server (be it plugin, theme or another file). This error is not a WordPress-specific error, and any server can give this error with 500 codes. However, I will explain the error specific to WordPress.

In another article, i have solved DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error with step by step guide so that anyone can solve their issues ASAP. However, you can also visit our Blog categories and read the topics you are interested in.

What Can Cause the WordPress 500 Internal Server Error?

There are several reasons why you might get this error in WordPress:

  • A .htaccess file with errors
  • PHP memory limit
  • Theme files that work incorrectly or cause conflicts with other functions
  • Plugin files that work incorrectly or cause conflicts with other functions

I suggest you evaluate these possibilities in order; because it is getting more challenging to implement the solutions of the related problems in turn. While fixing a .htaccess file with errors is relatively easy, you may need to spend hours finding a malfunctioning plugin.

How to Fix the WordPress 500 Internal Error

1. Check Your .htaccess File Is Error Free

  • Log into your cPanel account and open File Manager.
  • Rename the .htaccess file located in the home directory where WordPress is installed ( you can make .htaccess_old ).
  • Try to access your website.

Simply, you can search .htaccess (make sure you have chosen show hidden files from setting on the right top corner) and select your location where you have installed your WordPress as the screenshot given below:

If you were able to access your website, the source of the error is the .htaccess file. Keep in mind; you solved the problem before trying it first 🙂 But wait, the .htaccess file needs to be re-derived correctly. For this:

  • Go to Settings> Permalinks page from your WordPress admin panel
  • Click the ” Save Changes ” button below without making any changes.

Thus, a new .htaccess file will be created automatically in the directory where WordPress is installed.

If renaming the .htaccess file didn’t solve your problem, continue with the other possibility.

2. Check PHP Memory Limit

Sometimes some processes may need more than the PHP memory limit defined on your server. Increasing the PHP memory limit may solve your problem.

Open your cPanel and click on the “MultiPHP INI Editor” to change PHP memory limit as shown below:

After increasing the memory limit, try to access your site. If you can reach it, you are lucky; your eyes are bright 🙂 Couldn’t you reach it? So, let’s continue with possibility 3.

3. Finding a Wrong Working Theme

The third possibility that can cause 500 internal server errors is bad theme files. Go to Appearance> Themes page in your WordPress dashboard, deactivate the theme you are using and choose a different theme. Try to access your site. If you can access your site after this step, the source of the problem is the theme you are using. Using a new and different theme will fix the problem.

Simply, click on the activate button of another theme it will deactivate your current theme and you can verify easily.

Is this not a goal either 🙁 Let’s go to the 4th possibility?

4. Finding the Incorrect Working Plugin

It takes some time and effort to make use of our last possibility. You need to go to the Plugins> Installed Plugins page in your WordPress dashboard, deactivate the plugins one by one and try to access your site each time to find the faulty plugin. You deactivated plugin A, tried to access your site, still get an error – then the problem is not plugin A, re-enable plugin A, deactivate plugin B, and try to access the site. Proceeding this way, you need to try all the plugins and find the faulty plugin.

After finding the faulty add-on, you must deactivate that add-on until the next update (the error may be fixed in the next update) or eradicate it and use another add-on that offers the same feature.

Has none happened?

If the four possibilities and solutions above did not solve your problem, there is one last option: Reload all WordPress folders except content to the server. For this,

  • Go to and download the latest WordPress .zip file to your computer.
  • Open the .zip file you downloaded. We will only need the wp-admin and wp-includes folders.
  • Zip these two folders again.
  • Login to cPanel and open File Manager.
  • Get a backup! Back up existing wp-admin and wp-includes folders. You can rename it or compress it.
  • Upload the wp-admin and wp-includes .zip files to the main directory, which you downloaded from WordPress and then zipped separately, open the .zip files. You have reinstalled these two folders.
  • Try to access your site.

If you have not solved your problem up to this point (which is very unlikely), you may need to seek paid assistance. There are WordPress experts who offer paid help on webmaster forums; you can contact them. But if you have hosted your website on the Temok’s server then you can contact us 24/7/365 to get this error fixed by our technical experts without paying any charges.

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