If you get a 500 Internal Server Error when you visit your website, there are a few possible causes. Unfortunately, the 500 Internal Server Error is a vague error message, since it is used generically when no other error message is valid.

What is a 500 Internal Server Error?

The three common causes of this error message are:

  • Incorrect permissions settings, usually due to having a file as "world" writeable.
  • Incorrect permissions settings for use by another script (this is common with manual installs of forums or blogs)
  • Incorrect coding in the .htaccess file

How to Fix a 500 Internal Server Error

First, it is important to track down the exact cause of the error. To do this, log into your account's cPanel. Once in your cPanel, under Logs, click on Error Logs.

500-1

In this example, I have set a .php file to have permissions of 777 (world write-able), which is one of the causes of a 500 Error. In my Error Log, the following error was given:

[Fri Apr 08 06:08:14 2011] [error] [client 174.77.92.170] SoftException
in Application.cpp:264: File "/home/username/public_html/magento/index.php"
is writeable by others

To correct this error, I would go to the index.php file and change the permissions to 644. Also, here is a link to our guide on Managing Files on Your Server.

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Comments

2012-02-10 4:32 pm
Receiving error message on blog site 503 resolving after refreshing site link 5 times. Message sent from a message left from a customer
please advise for a solution
Staff
13,688 Points
2012-02-10 5:22 pm
Hello art2day,

I'm sorry to hear your customer was having difficulty navigating your site. The 503 error is an error that can be caused by a number of issues.

One thing I noticed when reviewing your PHP error log (error_log inside public_html) was many errors caused by the WP Social Slider plugin (wp_socialslider in the error log). I would recommend checking the settings for that plugin or disabling it.

I hope this helps to resolve this issue. I know intermittent issues such as this can be very frustrating and we want to help you resolve that as quickly as possible.

Regards,

Christi N.
2012-02-10 5:41 pm
The social slider was udated recently. Maybe it was the update
Thanks
n/a Points
2014-04-27 8:37 pm

I was getting a 500 Internal Server Error in new Wordpress default installations. The support guy Nick K. has a quick fix! My version of php was 5.2 and when I changed to 5.3, the problem went away!

 

Hope this helps a few people.

Staff
12,680 Points
2014-04-28 1:53 am
Hello Mark,

Thank you for your comment! Yes, if your account has a default .htaccess file that is trying to use php 5.2 your WordPress will likely give a 500 error. Removing that .htaccess file from your HOME directory (the one above public_html) will take care of the issue.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
2014-06-07 10:43 pm
Please help me with an Error 500, and non-technical terms would be most helpful. For instance, how do I know what version of php I have? How do I change it? Is that the problem, because my Error Log is empty even though I'm getting this Error 500 message.
n/a Points
2014-06-08 5:35 pm

Hi,

I keep getting the Error 500 message when trying to access my blog. Went into the Error Logs folder in CPanel but no errors were displayed. How can i fix this?

Regards,

Wendy

Staff
9,051 Points
2014-06-09 12:18 pm
Hello Wendy,

Thank you for your question. We are happy to help, but will need some additional information. Have you checked the file permissions as described above?

Also, make sure the files are all there, and not missing.

Can you provide as link to your site, so we can help troubleshoot further?

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

-John-Paul
n/a Points
2014-06-10 11:50 am

I keep getting an Error 500 notice but I checked my error log and it's empty.  My file permissions look correct to me but I'm not a developer so I could definitely be wrong.  Can somebody provide assistance please?  My website is www.sippycupsandstilettos.com 

Staff
9,051 Points
2014-06-10 1:55 pm
Hello Meagan,

Thank you for your question. I spent quite a while investigating, and was able to determine your 500 error is caused by your settings within the php.ini file.

I tested this successfully by renaming the php.ini file in your public_html folder to: php.ini.old

When I tested your website, it loaded successfully. Then I renamed your php.ini.old file back to php.ini.

The php.ini file is used to change the PHP settings in your account. Here is a link to our full article titled How do I Change my Local PHP Settings?.

If you modified the php.ini file recently, I recommend commenting out the lines you added, then testing your website again.

If you need help, Live Support can copy a default php.ini file back to your account.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

-John-Paul
n/a Points
2014-06-10 2:08 pm

Thank you so much! I havent made any changes to any settings on my website.  One day it was working and the next it was down.  If I didn't make any changes, do I just need to rename that file or what would you recoommend?  I really appreciate your help!

Staff
9,051 Points
2014-06-10 4:09 pm
Hello Meagan,

No problem! Yes, just re-naming your existing php.ini will stop the 500 error from happening. But keep in mind, it may have other affects on your site, based on the themes/plugins you are using.

Your original php.ini file contained a lot of additional settings, so it is difficult to determine which one is causing the issue. But it is possible you were hitting a limitation that was preset in the php.ini file. Using the default server setting reverts to the standard PHP limitations that can be changed at any time.

You can also configure error logging to log/display errors, which can provide specific evidence of the cause.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

-John-Paul
n/a Points
2014-06-11 9:16 pm

Hi, First off I am very very new at web design so I have no technical background.  I started my web page a few weeks ago and tried to get themes with Wordpress.  I did log on for a week or so and now I keep getting the error 500 message when I try to log onto my wordpress admin page. I have been searching on how to fix this. I tried to rename the plugin folder at the htaccess . It didn't work , but I don know if I even did that correctly. I tried deleting themes and probably made it worse. May I please get help? My site is misssexed.com . Please help me fix it. 

Staff
13,269 Points
2014-06-12 12:51 am
Hello Mandie,

Sorry for the problems with the WordPress site. I looked at it briefly and in reviewing your account notes, the issue had already been assessed by the live technical support team. The problem was related to the version of PHP being used by your account. You can switch between PHP versions in cPanel. You will also need to reload the Themes in order for the WordPress site to work properly.

I hope that helps to clarify the problem! Please let us know if you have any further questions or comments.

Regards,
Arnel C.
n/a Points
2014-06-13 1:56 pm

Hi, we just started getting this message today, not sure why, or how to start reparing :S We did install a caching plugin on our Wordpress (W3), that is only real thing that has changed. Still, the site appeared to be working after activating it. Any help would be sooooo amazing, thank you!

"Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@feckingbahamas.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request." 

Staff
13,269 Points
2014-06-13 2:14 pm
Hello Nikk,

Sorry for the error! I found that the problem has to do with a modification to the PHP.INI (possibly by the caching software) that was referring to an older component. I went ahead set your site to use the default php.ini file on the server and the error no longer appears. The site should appear normal now.

If you continue to have problems, please let us know.

Kindest regards,
Arnel C.
n/a Points
2014-06-15 9:24 am

Hi guys

Just followed the idea of renaming the php.ini file after recieving an 500 Internal Server Error. The site works again, but I was wondering where I could get an appropriate and working PHP.INI file again.

Regards, Michael

 

Staff
9,051 Points
2014-06-16 8:41 am
Hello Michael,

Thank you for your question. If you do not have a php.ini file in your account, it will default to the servers php.ini file automatically.

If you want a copy to view/edit, please contact Live Support, so they can copy the default php.ini back to your account.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

-John-Paul
n/a Points
2014-06-18 11:23 am

Hello! I'm having the same 500 error as most people above. I checked my error log which showed no errors. I then checked my file permissions which look correct. My site is Fearlesslyfierce.com. Any chance you could help me trouble shoot? 

Staff
1,854 Points
2014-06-18 11:31 am
Try renaming any .htaccess and php.ini files within your account. You will need to show hidden files to see them.
n/a Points
2014-06-18 11:49 am

I'm not sure how to show hidden files within my file manager. Sorry, I'm brand new at this. Also, when I finally get to renaming what do I rename them? 

Staff
1,854 Points
2014-06-18 11:59 am
When you open the file manager, another box pops up in which there is a checkbox that you may select to show hidden files. As far as what to rename them to, you can name them absolutely anything as any other file names will make them inactive. I suaully name them something like .htaccess.old.
n/a Points
2014-06-18 12:05 pm

Got it! Looks like that all worked. Thanks so much for the help!

n/a Points
2014-06-18 12:34 pm

Wait, I take that back. Now that i've renamed my files I can log in and write post. However, when I publish I get another error message (Error 404). Now what?  

Staff
3,661 Points
2014-06-18 3:26 pm
Hello Alison,

I see that you were able to chat in with support and resolve this issue. It looks like it had to do with your .htaccess file missing the default WordPress rewrites. WordPress handles all traffic to your site through the index.php script.

So that's why when you have a URL like /food-drink in WordPress without the default .htaccess rules, because that folder or file doesn't exist on the server you'll get a 404 error. With the rewrite rules in place now, WordPress knows to direct that request to the index.php script instead of looking for a physical file that won't exist.

Please let us know if you're still having any issues at all.

- Jacob
n/a Points
2014-06-19 7:51 am

I keep receiving the Error 500 - Internal Server Error when trying to access my website, however there is nothing on my error log.  Help!

Staff
1,854 Points
2014-06-19 8:32 am
I recommend taking a look at your .htaccess and php.ini files. Renaming them to something else will make them inactive and help you determine if that is what is causing the issue.
n/a Points
2014-06-22 8:05 pm

I am getting the 500 Error on one of my websites/blogs.

www.*********.org is the faulty one

www.***************.com is working well

I have not changed any settings. One day it was working and the next not. I am not tech savvy and will need explicit step by step instructions to fix.

Staff
9,051 Points
2014-06-23 9:53 am
Hello Marsha,

Thank you for contacting us. We are happy to help, but when i went to the site you provided, I am not seeing a 500 error.

Are you still having issues at this time?

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

-John-Paul
n/a Points
2014-06-27 2:32 am

Hi I have the same php.ini file error on my site too I think.  www.crossgroup.co.nz.  I renamed the php.ini file to php.old which bought the site up but with a number of error line references.  Any suggestions?  Thanks  Jamie

Staff
9,051 Points
2014-06-27 7:38 am
Hello Jamie,

Thank you for contacting us. We are happy to help, but will need some additional information.

What specific errors are you getting?

If you are getting Strict standard errors, you can disable them in your php settings. Here is a link to a guide I found online.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

-John-Paul
n/a Points
2014-07-03 5:19 am

I haven't done anything to my website

but I have this: 500 internal server error I don't have any message in Error Logs.

How do i fix it?

Staff
3,661 Points
2014-07-03 5:43 am
Hello Alessia,

I'm not seeing any 500 errors on your website. Is this only happening on a specific page for you?

- Jacob
n/a Points
2014-07-16 3:40 pm
great article, very clear

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