500 Error

A 500 Internal Server Error is an HTTP status code which indicates that the server encountered an unexpected condition and was unable to recover and complete the request. This is a generic catch-all error code for server errors and is used when the server cannot identify a more specific 5xx status code to use instead.

Since this is a catch-all error code, the possible causes are numerous and diverse. A brief list of a few of the common causes of a 500 error includes:

  • An error in the website's server side code (often PHP).
  • For WordPress websites, this could include issues with (or conflicts between) the theme and/or plugin files.
  • For sites using PHP, this could be caused by the server using the wrong version of PHP for the code in use by the site.
  • Corruption of website files or database.
  • An issue with the server configuration (such as an error in the .htaccess file of a site using an apache server).

500 errors are a frustrating experience for website visitors and can have a negative impact on a website's SEO.

Since the potential causes of 500 errors are so broad, there isn't a quick and easy "how to fix a 500 error" description for every situation. Often the best way to start looking for a fix to a 500 error is to look at any recent changes, including version updates, the addition of new plugins / apps / extensions / etc., changing the current theme, or changes in the hosting / server environment. If you are not technically inclined and/or you haven't made any obvious changes that you can easily undo to fix the error, you may need to get in touch with your website's hosting provider or developer (or both).

Want to work with us?

Speak to one of our digital marketing specialists and we can design an online marketing growth plan for you.

Get A Free Quote