What Is a 500 Status Code?

The server encountered an unexpected condition that prevented it from fulfilling the request.


Rails HTTP Status Symbol :internal_server_error

Go HTTP Status Constant http.StatusInternalServerError

Symfony HTTP Status Constant Response::HTTP_INTERNAL_SERVER_ERROR

Python2 HTTP Status Constant httplib.INTERNAL_SERVER_ERROR

Python3+ HTTP Status Constant http.client.INTERNAL_SERVER_ERROR

Python3.5+ HTTP Status Constant http.HTTPStatus.INTERNAL_SERVER_ERROR

What does a 500 status code mean?

The HTTP 500 status code is used when the server encounters an unexpected problem that prevented it from returning a request.

When you visit a website, your browser sends a request to the server that hosts the website. The server then receives this request, processes it, and send back the requested resources.

When the server can complete a request successfully, you’ll receive the 200 OK status code. If the server encounters a problem and can’t complete the request, you’ll receive the 500 Internal Server Error status code.

Common causes of 500 status codes

Wondering what causes an HTTP 500 status code?

Like we mentioned above, a 500 Internal Server Error code indicates that something went wrong with the website’s server. In most cases, this indicates there is an issue with the website’s programming.

Here are some common culprits:

  • Permissions error
  • Broken or corrupted .htaccess file
  • Exceeding the PHP memory limit
  • Faulty themes or plugins

How to fix a 500 status code error on your website

Here’s how to fix a 500 status code error that’s appearing on your website in five steps:

1. Deactivate or uninstall new plugins or themes

Sometimes third-party plugins and themes can be faulty and cause an issue with your server. To make sure your new plugin or theme isn’t the culprit behind your 500 error, try uninstalling or deactivating it.

If the 500 error goes away, you’ll know your third-party plugin or theme was the cause.

2. Use the WP Debugging plugin to find the cause

If you have a WordPress site, consider using the WP Debugging plugin to quickly find the cause of your server error.

3. Make sure your PHP setup is configured correctly

Wrong permissions or files with scripts won’t allow the script to run correctly. Double check your permissions and make sure everything is looking correct on your server.

4. Check your .htaccess file’s code

If your .htaccess file has incorrect coding or an improper structure, it can cause a 500 status error.

You can try editing the file to change how long resources are stored in a browser’s cache to see if this will fix your error.

5. Make sure new software has been installed correctly

If you recently installed a new program or software, it’s essential to make sure everything went according to plan if you’re seeing a 500 status error on your site.

Check to see if it failed to install or update, if it has, reach out to the vendor for instructions on how to fix it.

Additional resources

Return to List of HTTP Status Codes