One of the most common errors that occur when visiting websites is the “500 Internal Server Error” error message. This message indicates that the web server is experiencing a technical problem.
This article will explain what the “500 Internal Server Error” error means, why you are getting an HTTP 500 code, and how to troubleshoot the error.
What is an HTTP 500 Error?
Every time you open a web page, your browser sends a request to the server hosting the site, which returns the requested data and response code. The HTTP response status code indicates whether the request was successful or not.
Responses were categorized into five classes. A code in the 500 to 599 range indicates a server error.
The HTTP 500 status code is a generic error response returned by the server when no other error code matches. This can be caused by a number of issues preventing the server from completing the request.
If the page you’re visiting shows 500 Errors, there’s not much you can do as the error isn’t caused by your browser or Internet connection. Even though the error is server-side, you can try the following options:
- Please reload or refresh your web browser or try another browser. The likelihood that the page will load when you refresh your browser is low, but still, it’s worth a try.
- Try clearing your browser cache. If a page showing 500 errors is cached, once the cache is cleared, the browser will request a new version of the page. Read → How To Clear Cache On All Popular Browsers
- Please visit the website in a few moments. Meanwhile, the webmaster might fix server problems.
- Contact the website owner. The last remaining option is to contact the person responsible for maintaining the website you are visiting.
How to Troubleshoot 500 Error
A number of different reasons can cause “500 Internal Server Error”. The following are the most common:
- Permission issues. If the web server doesn’t have permission to access the site files it might throw an HTTP 500 error. The solution to this problem is to recursively change the website file permissions.
- Syntax error.
htaccess. If you use Apache as web server, most likely you have a
.htaccessin your site’s root directory. Invalid syntax or missing module directives can cause a 500 error.
- Database related problems. HTTP Error 500 can also be caused by incorrect database server information or a corrupted database.
- Problems with plugins and themes. If you are running WordPress or other similar CMS, 500 Internal Server Error may appear after updating or modifying plugins / themes.
- Server problem. A corrupted or out of memory file system can also cause 500 Error.
- Js Module. If you have a Node.js based site, updating modules can cause 500 Internal Server Error.
- Hacked site. Quite often malicious code injected into your website results in error 500.
- Incompatible modules. Loading incompatible PHP or Apache module throws an error 500 Internal Server Error.
- External Resource Deadline. If the server is communicating with an external service and if the service is unreachable, the server will display the error message 500 Internal Server Error.
The best way to determine why the 500 error occurred is to examine the server log files. Log file location depends on Linux distro and the web server you are using. The most common locations for Apache and Nginx are as follows:
If your app is built on Node.js, check the Node.js logs.
Usually server logs contain detailed information about errors that will help you identify and correct errors.
500 Internal Server Error is a generic HTTP status code which means that something is wrong with the web server hosting the site you are visiting. And above are some of the reasons why 500 internal server errors occur and how to deal with these errors.
And if you are a website owner and not a server or hosting owner, if you encounter this problem for no apparent reason or if it is not your fault, then the best solution is to ask for help at the support section at web hosting that you use. Hopefully this article is useful and good luck :).