The “HTTP 500 – Internal Server Error” is a generic error code response that indicates the server’s failure in fulfilling the client’s request. The HTTP status code 500 error is generic because it indicates that the server could not find a better 5xx code to match the response.
This failure could be the result of any unexpected condition that occurred on the server side. While it may sound pretty intimidating and ambiguous at first, resolving a 500 error is often manageable with some common troubleshooting skills.
Here is a simple example of how a typical HTTP Status Code 500 error is displayed on the browsers.
HTTP error 500
You can fix the 500 Internal server error, with some minor work. In most cases, it can be resolved by refreshing the page, but you can only try major steps like clearing the cache, changing the network or changing devices. We have also mentioned the steps you can take as a website owner to fix this issue.
5 Main Causes For 500 Internal Server Error
You must be thinking why does 500 error occur? We have mentioned 5 main causes for getting error 500.
1. Problems with database servers
Most of the websites follow Web 2 models, meaning they rely on a database to store or retrieve the information. Error 500 in this case, can be a result of various issues with the database such as the database being slow or offline, or encountering errors while executing the queries.
It can also be the result of invalid credentials, a misconfigured database server, or if the user has exceeded the total number of available requests.
2. Permission Errors
Permission error occurs when the program does not have permission to access certain resources, including read and/or write access to files or databases. When this kind of error occurs, the program is not able to perform the required action leading to a 500-server error. Making an effort to access the resources with correct permissions is a crucial part of managing the issue.
3. Large files on the websites
Large files such as videos or any other large, downloaded resources can often cause 500 errors, by overwhelming the server resources. This can occur when too many users try to access these large files simultaneously, leading to resource exhaustion. Using CDN (Content Delivery Networks) or optimizing file sizes can be a good way to mitigate the problem.
4. Issues with configuration
Incorrect configurations are the most common cause of the server encountering unexpected situations and thus throwing Error 500. These errors may include incorrect server configuration files, or corrupted . Htaccess file or misconfigured virtual hosts. This type of issue can generally be solved by contacting the server administrator.
5. Temporary Connectivity problems
Another common cause of Error 500 is connectivity problems. Connectivity problems can lead to disruption in the communication between the client and the server. For example, if a server is relying on a database of external resources and due to some connective problems the resource is not available, it can lead to a 500 server error.
An effort to pick good reliable servers or monitoring and ensuring the reliability of the server can help mitigate the problem.
Some Other Causes for “500 internal Error”
500 internal errors are majorly caused due to server issues, but that is not only the only case. Here are some other causes that can cause 500 server errors.
- Conflicts between different software components
- Problems with the MySQL server
- Problems with WordPress themes and plugins
- Exhausted PHP memory limit
- Incorrect file and folder permissions
- Bugs in custom code or scripts
- Incorrect database login credentials
Now that we have gone through some potential causes for HTTP 500 – internal server error, let’s now go through some ways on how as an end user one can fix the error.
Fix Error 500 – Internal Server Error as an End User
As a visitor, you cannot do much to fix the issue since this is likely a technical problem from the server’s side. However, you can try these basic methods to address the problem:
1. Refresh the page
Refreshing the webpage is very simple and obvious thing to do, when facing temporary glitches and errors like 500. You can easily refresh a webpage pressing f5 key or manually refresh it by pressing the refresh button.
2. Clear browser cache and cookies
Cookies and Browser cache help websites remember information about your visit, which can make it easier to visit the site again. But in some cases, they can sometimes store outdated or corrupt data that may cause conflicts with the web server. Clearing your browser’s cache and cookies and refreshing the page again can often resolve these conflicts. Also Read: Difference between Cache VS Cookies
3. Try accessing the page later
Sometimes a minor glitch can be the cause of the Error 500. The error can also be the result of a temporary high server load or server maintenance. In such cases being patient and accessing the page later is the key to solving the problem.
4. Visit the webpage using another network
Sometimes you might face 500 internal errors across your entire network. Since this might be a network issue, you will face it on all the devices connected to that network. To resolve this minor issue, just switch your network connection. For eg. switching between Wi-Fi and personal hotspot.
5. Contact the website support team
As the last resort to fix error 500 on a web page, you can try contacting the website owner or the customer support team. They can check for issues on their side and get it resolved fast.
Fix HTTP Error 500 – Internal Server Error as a Website Owner
If you don’t want Error 500 to ruin your website experience, you can try the following methods to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
1. Reset Permissions
Users might be facing error 500 on your website, if you have put the wrong permissions on files and folders, preventing users from accessing the content contained in it. You can change these permissions from the File Manager in your hosting panel or from an FTP Client.
2. Increase PHP Memory Limit
Your website might be getting an HTTP 500 error because of the limited PHP memory limit, due to which some scripts might be running out of memory. You can raise your PHP memory limit in configuration files and it will solve error 500 due to memory exhaustion.
3. Deactivate WordPress Plugins/Themes
Adding new plugins or themes to your website can also cause error 500. Try removing the installed plugins or themes one by one to filter out the faulty ones. You can also switch back to the default theme, for theme-related issues.
4. Check Server logs
You can also check your server logs to precisely check the cause of error 500. You can look at suspicious information like file paths, error messages, or recent changes. Most web-hosting providers will give you tools to check your server logs.
5. Check your .htaccess file
An error in the .htaccess file can also cause error 500 on your webpage. You can check the content of the .htaccess file using using FTP or SFTP client to access your server. After accessing the file, check for any file errors or if the file is corrupted. Fix the .htaccess file to solve error 500 on your page.
6. Contact Web Hosting Provider
As a last resort, if none of the above methods work, you can try contacting your web hosting providers and ask for possible solutions. Web hosting providers can provide you with more technical solutions for error 500.
Impact of Error 500 on SEO
As a website owner, if your webpage is getting 500 errors or any other error, it will have a huge negative impact on that website’s SEO. Here are some negative impacts of Error 500 on your website:
- Bad User Experience: If your webpage shows error 500 to the new users, it ruins their user experience and they will quickly return to the SERP(search engine results page). This will increase your bounce rate and your website will lose trust and engagement.
- Crawlability: Since the page has a 500 error, search engine crawlers might not completely access the content of a file and have a problem indexing it.
- Deindexing: If your webpage is frequently getting the 500 error, google can temporarily or permanently deindex your page.
Error 500 is very unpleasing for both users and google, and if you are trying to build the reputation of your website, an HTTP 500 error can ruin everything for you. It’s better to resolve everything as fast as possible.
Different Variations of Error 500
Here we have mentioned some variations of the HTTP error 500 message. You can use any of the following messages when you encounter an error 500 page:
- 500 Internal Server Error
- HTTP 500 – Internal Server Error
- Error 500 – Internal Server Error
- HTTP Error 500
- 500 – Internal Server Error
- Server Error 500
- HTTP 500 Internal Error
- 500 Error
- Internal Server Error (500)
- Website Error: 500 Internal Server Error
- Error Code 500: Internal Server Error
- 500: Server Error
Error 500 Code List
Here is the list of some Internal server error 500 codes:
|Generic Internal Server Error
|Module or ISAPI Error
|Configuration Data Not Found
|Module Not Recognised
|Invalid Error Code
|CGI Application Fault
|ASP Script Error
|Internal ASP Error
Other Common Error Codes like Error 500
There are many other HTTP status code 5XX Errors you can come across on a webpage:
|Unexpected error that prevented the server from fulfilling the request
|The server doesn’t support the functionality required to fulfill the request
|Communication issues between servers
|The website is currently unavailable to use
|The server can’t timely respond to your request because it relies on another server
|The server faces an infinite loop while processing your request
Error 500 can be a very frustrating barrier while navigating a website. This is a problem on the server side and can be caused due to various reasons including database issues, invalid file permissions, or even a temporary glitch. As an end user, you can also take several steps to understand and solve the problems.
In this article, we explored what Error 500 is and what it signifies. We also went through some most common causes of the error and ways through which we can solve the error.
FAQs – 500 Internal Server Error
Q1. How do I get rid of 500 internal server errors from my Website?
Here are some common methods you can try to get rid of 500 internal server errors from your website:
- Restart your web server and related services.
- Look into potential issues with third-party plugins or modules.
- Debug and correct any scripting errors present in your web application.
- Review your and correct file and directory permissions if they are set incorrectly.
- Reach out to your web hosting provider for further assistance.
- Refresh the webpage to see if the issue persists.
- Temporarily deactivate CDN services to determine if they are contributing to the error.
Q2. Is 500 internal server error permanent?
No, error 500 is not a permanent error, it just means the server encountered some unexpected condition that prevented it from completing your request. In most cases, HTTP 500 errors are temporary glitches that can be resolved quickly.
Q3. What is a 5xx Server Error on Instagram?
The 5xx server errors on Instagram indicate that there is some problem with the Instagram servers. You can wait for it to get resolved or you can try some basic troubleshooting methods like reconnecting to wifi, restarting your device, reinstalling the app, etc.
Q4. What is an Htaccess file?
The Htaccess(Hypertext access) file is a configuration file, used primarily by the Apache web server. This file can be used to make the server configurations for a specific directory. more information about the file can be found here.
Q5. How long should I wait before refreshing the page if I encounter an HTTP 500 error?
It is generally advisable to wait for an hour before attempting to refresh the page. Website owners are generally aware of such issues, and given a little time they’ll resolve the issue on the server side.
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