Common Solutions for the 500 Internal Server Error
The two most common causes of this error are a corrupted .htaccess file and exceeding your server’s PHP memory limit. The.htaccess file in your WordPress directory can become corrupted after you install a plugin or make another change to your WordPress site. The fix is simple. All you need to do is create a new .htaccess file.
PHP memory limit issues often occur as the result of a poorly-coded plugin running on your site or a site that’s grown considerably over time and is using too many plugins. You’ll begin to exceed the PHP memory limits set by your hosting provider once either of these things happen. The result is a 500 internal server error.
We’re going to learn how to create a new .htaccess to get rid of the corrupted one as well as how to test whether or not you’re exceeding your PHP memory limits.
Creating a New .htaccess File
Open your WordPress root directory in FileZilla or your preferred FTP client. This is typically calledpublic_html. If you see folders namedwp-adminandwp-content, you’re in the right place. If you don’t see your .htaccess file or any dotfiles, make hidden files viewable by clickingServerand selectingForce Showing Hidden Files.
Once you find your .htaccess file, right-click it, and rename it “.htaccess.bak”. This essentially deletes your site’s .htaccess file, so we need to create a new one. Go into your WordPress admin area. Hover overSettings, and selectPermalinks. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and clickSave Changes.
Open your website in your browser. If the 500 internal server error is gone, it was caused by a corrupted .htaccess file and your issue is now fixed. If you’re still seeing the error, you have some more tests to run.
It’s also worth mentioning that an improperly named .htaccess file will cause this error to run on your site. Make sure this file is not named anything other than “.htaccess”.