Troubleshoot a WordPress internal server error

An 500 internal server error is a generic message given by the server when it cannot display a website. They can occur for many reasons, but often it is not an issue with the server. Let's look at how you can determine the cause of a 500 error.

You should always make a backup of your site before performing any troubleshooting.
  1. Temporarily disable your .htaccess or web.config control file by renaming it. (cPanel / Plesk).

    Note: If your hosting acount does not have a control panel, then you will need to rename the file using FTP.

  2. Load your website again to see if the error has disappeared.
  3. If not, then continue to the next step. If so, then reset your site's Permalinks. This will recreate your control file, and you can review the disabled control file for scripting issues.
  4. If the error isn't visible on your website, then you'll need to expose the error:
  5. If the detailed errors or logs show a problem with the theme or plugin folders, then to begin fixing the error you can disable your plugin or your theme.
  6. If you can't locate an error, then you should disable all of your plugins, if you haven't already done so.
  7. If that fixes the problem, then enable the plugins one at a time until the problem or error occurs.
  8. Once an error occurs, then you have likely identified the plugin causing the problem. You can then move on to fixing it.

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