Knowledge Base

500 Internal Server Error Explained

A 500 Internal Server Error is also known as a generic server error. It means that there was some problem on the server, but that the server isn't able to give any more details about what specifically went wrong.

The 500 Internal Server Error message could be seen in any number of ways because each website is allowed to customize the message. Here are several ways that you might see the HTTP 500 error:

  • 500 Internal Server Error
  • HTTP 500 – Internal Server Error
  • Internal Server Error
  • HTTP 500 Internal Error
  • 500 Error
  • HTTP Error 500

There are a number of common causes for a 500 Internal Server Error to display in a web browser. Here are some possibilities.

Permissions Errors

Most of the time, a 500 error is caused by incorrect permissions in a file or a folder. Luckily, if this is the case, then the fix is usually simple - it's an incorrect permission set on a PHP and CGI script. These should usually be set at 0775.

Syntax or Coding Errors in Your CGI/Perl Script

This is an error in a CGI script that caused it to fail or output an error message before it started producing valid HTML. It happens all the time if you have a syntax error in one of your Perl CGI scripts.

  • When editing your CGI script, use a plain text editor. DO NOT use Microsoft Word as it doesn't save files in pure ASCII text format. Use Notepad only.
  • Upload your CGI scripts in ASCII mode into the cgi-bin directory.
  • Set the file permissions on the CGI script file and directories to be chmod 755. If you use an FTP program to transfer files, right-click on the file and select change file attributes.
  • Double-check that the Perl modules you require for your script are supported.

Error With an .htaccess File

If you are using an .htaccess on your site it could be interfering with the site page. Double check the .htaccess configuration. Any syntax errors will cause a 500 Internal Server Error message to be displayed instead of your website.

If you are having a problem with a WordPress site, please check our guide on how to fix internal server errors in WordPress.

Solutions to Fix 500 Internal Server Error

As stated above, the 500 Internal Server Error is a server-error side. This means the problem isn’t with your computer but with the website’s server end.

But there’s a possibility that it could also be on your end, we can suggest trying these following options as a solution:

  1. Reload the web page. Sometimes, it only takes a page refresh to fix 500 internal server error. You can do that by selecting the refresh/reload button, pressing F5 or Ctrl+R on your keyboard, or re-enter the URL again from the address bar.

    Even if the 500 Internal Server Error is a problem on the webserver, the issue might just be temporary. Trying the page again will often be successful.

  2. Clear your browser's cache. If there's a problem with the cached version of the page you're viewing, it could be causing HTTP 500 issues.

  3. Delete your browser's cookies. 500 Internal Server Error issues can be corrected by deleting the cookies associated with the site you're getting the error on.

  4. Contact the website admin directly. Reaching out to the website administrators helps both you and them, and everyone else visiting the web page.

There you have it! If all of these options do not work, and you’re still getting 500 internal server error. Please contact us for further assistance. We’d be glad to help you!

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