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How To Fix The WordPress Internal Server Error

Posted by on 5th Jul 2009 | 19 comments

WordPressI was writing an article earlier today on Blogging Tips and I received the famous Internal Server Error. When this happens you can still access non WordPress pages on your site and see your favicon however the site is unusable and you cannot access any pages, including the WordPress admin area,

This is the kind of message you will see if you have an Internal Server Error :

Internal Server Error
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@yoursite.com.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

9 times out of 10, this is a simple htaccess problem and is easily resolved. For whatever reason, the .htaccess file can become corrupt (perhaps due to a plugin however many things could cause it). So all you have to do is correct your .htaccess file and you should be able to see your site again.

How To Fix The WordPress Internal Server Error

Here is what you need to do :

  1. Back up your current .htaccess file.
  2. Delete all of the information from your .htaccess file and save it i.e. upload a blank .htaccess file.
  3. Your blog should now be usable again so go into the admin area and set your permalink structure again.
  4. Open your new working .htaccess file in an editor. Now copy over all the non WordPress .htaccecss information from your old backed up .htaccess file eg. any search engine htaccess information, ip blocks etc – basically everything Non-WordPress that you added before.

If you find that adding all the code from the previous .htaccess file is causing an Internal Server Error again then remove it all and enter the information back to the working .htaccess file line by line to see what is causing the problem.

Bear in mind, this might not resolve every Internal Server Error you get though if you suddenly get this error on your WordPress blog, this is the first thing I recommend doing before contacting your host or looking for an alternative solution.

Best of luck,
Kevin


Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

19 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by iman on 6th Jul 2009

    hi..

    thanks for sharing :D

  • Posted by Cliff Leonard on 6th Jul 2009

    Hi Kevin – Good tip. A 500 error usually means a messed up .htaccess. However, when you said "For whatever reason, the .htaccess file can become corrupt" – I chuckled because in my experience, 9 times out of 10 it's not a plugin or the software that corrupts it, it's because somebody has been tinkering with it :-)

  • Posted by Kevin Muldoon on 6th Jul 2009

    That's a fair point Cliff, it is usually the blogger who causes this.

    I wrote that because that is exactly what has happened to me both times. I was in the middle of writing an article and it got corrupt. I'm still not sure what caused it.

  • Posted by Abu Farhan on 14th Jul 2009

    I always have this message, I thought from the server. Thanks for solution

  • Posted by sam on 4th Sep 2010

    It did not work from my side.

  • Posted by Abhishek on 15th Sep 2010

    Thanks I received the same error and this information was really helpful
    My recent post TinyURL Encode and Decode with the help of PHP and CURL

  • Posted by znupii on 19th Sep 2010

    thanks for this post.
    i was definitely decisived to reinstall the whole blog site :p

  • Posted by Peter on 22nd Oct 2010

    HI Kevin,
    Thanks for your suggestion. I am hosted by GoDaddy on Linux. Encountered this out of the blue. I'm a little slow here. How do you back up the .htaccess file.

    I connected via FTP to my blog via Dreamweaver and saw the file but when I tried Cyberduck, I don't see it. How do I back it up when I can't seem to make a local copy? I'm on a Mac and Finder doesn't show it.
    My recent post Life expectancy of a DSLR

  • Posted by Mike on 10th Nov 2010

    Wow, this was a lifesaver and it worked perfectly. Strangely all the navbar links with the blank .htaccess work fine, when with the corrupt .htaccess they didn't.

    It's okay to leave the .htaccess file blank then? I'm not quite a WordPress master yet.

    (As an aside, and also mysterious, is that I set up two sites nearly exactly the same and one was fine while this other was not).

    Thanks!
    Mike

  • Posted by sami ben gharbia on 29th Nov 2010

    thanks thanks thanks, man, You saved my life :) I don't have any error now, hope it will last. Keep on the god work

  • Posted by A Morris on 27th Dec 2010

    If you're using something like xCache or eAccelerator for PHP, if you start getting 500 errors and see nothing wrong with plugins or .htaccess, also make sure you clear their opcode caches. I've been caught by this a few times – once upgrading WordPress, and another time, I'm still not sure what triggered it (maybe just a fluke). No errors in any logs, removed entire plugin directory (renamed it), barebone .htaccess, PHP still returns blank. Cleared out the eAcclerator cache, and viola all worked perfectly again (even after restoring everything else).

  • Posted by Victor on 19th Jan 2011

    Hi Kevin, This error appear when i try to enter to my wp-admin page. Thanks for your aswer. Victor.

  • Posted by andrewgoldy on 4th Feb 2011

    Did not work for my error —-

    Server Error
    The following error occurred:

    [code language=”SERVER_RESPONSE_CLOSE”][/code] The server closed the connection while reading the response. Contact your system administrator.
    Please contact the administrator.

  • Posted by jiri on 22nd Feb 2011

    Hi, I thought maybe since you'd written about this and were on first page of google for the phrase ''Internal Server Error localhost wordpress'', you might be interested in my case, if you scroll down you'll quickly see my step by step process:
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/how-to-change-

    I'm pretty much perplexed at the fact that my localhost can't tolerate wordpress subdomains. The problem must be in the .htaccess because that's precisely when it stops working. So I just wonder how one writes .htaccess when on localhost…

  • Posted by sachin on 1st Mar 2011

    Really worked like a charm for me. Thinking of contacting to Host for a problem but you solved my problem.

    God bless you.
    My recent post 9 Best Godaddy Coupon codes for February 2011

  • Posted by alex on 24th Mar 2011

    It workd thanks

  • Posted by Willie on 27th Mar 2011

    Thanks for fix !

    Rebuilding the permalink structure is the key thing to fix the wordpress error!

  • Posted by Dipa jasa web on 1st Apr 2011

    Thanks Jiri for the .htaccess solution, that's fixed internal error server instantly

  • Posted by sagive on 5th May 2011

    Thanks man :) started thinking i was in touble but its actually an easy fix