Fixing the “500 Internal Server Error” in WordPress can be a bit challenging because it doesn’t provide a specific cause. However, there are several common issues that lead to this error. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you troubleshoot and fix the issue:

  1. Enable Debugging: First, you’ll want to enable debugging in WordPress. This will display any PHP errors on your site, which can help pinpoint the issue.
    • Edit the wp-config.php file in your WordPress root directory.
    • Find the following line:
      define( 'WP_DEBUG', false );
    • Change it to:
      define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );
      define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
      define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
    • Save and close the file.

    This will log errors to a debug.log file inside the wp-content directory.

  2. Check .htaccess File: The .htaccess file can sometimes get corrupted or misconfigured, leading to the 500 error.
    • Backup your .htaccess file.
    • Rename your current .htaccess file to something like .htaccess_old.
    • Go to your WordPress admin > Settings > Permalinks. Without making any changes, just click “Save Changes”. This will generate a new .htaccess file.
  3. Increase PHP Memory Limit: Sometimes, the 500 error can occur due to insufficient PHP memory.
    • Edit the wp-config.php file again.
    • Add the following line:
      define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );
    • Save and close the file.
  4. Deactivate Plugins and Themes: A faulty plugin or theme can also be the cause.
    • Via FTP or cPanel, navigate to the wp-content directory.
    • Rename the plugins folder to something like plugins_old. This will deactivate all plugins.
    • Check your website. If the error is gone, rename the plugins_old folder back to plugins. Then, activate each plugin one by one until you find the one causing the issue.
  5. Check Server Logs: Check the server error logs. These logs might provide more detailed information about what’s causing the error. If you’re not sure where to find them, contact your hosting provider.
  6. Re-upload Core Files: Sometimes, core WordPress files can get corrupted. Re-uploading fresh copies of WordPress can help.
    • Download the latest version of WordPress from the official website.
    • Via FTP or cPanel, navigate to your WordPress root directory and delete the wp-admin and wp-includes directories.
    • Upload the new wp-admin and wp-includes directories from the fresh WordPress download.
  7. Contact Hosting Support: If you’ve tried the above steps and are still encountering the issue, it might be a server-related problem. Contact your hosting provider and provide them with any relevant details you’ve gathered during your troubleshooting.

Remember to always backup your WordPress website before making significant changes. This ensures that you can restore it if something goes wrong during the troubleshooting process.

If you have questions, Please feel free to put it in the comments below

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