The Ultimate Guide to Solving 500 Internal Server Errors and Blank White Pages in WordPress

MakeUseOf | 2/28/2019 | James Bruce
roxy2707 (Posted by) Level 3
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The 500 Internal Server Error is the most unhelpful bane of WordPress users everywhere. It’s a catch-all error message that means precisely: something somewhere went wrong. Even worse, your WordPress site may present no error at all and just show a blank white page.

So how can you figure out exactly what’s wrong, and fix it?

Fix - Debug - Process - WordPress - Internal

First: don’t panic, because it’s usually an easy fix! Then: follow this debug process and your WordPress Internal Server Error will be fixed in no time.

Are WordPress Plugins Causing Error 500?

Plugin - Site - Error - Core - WordPress

If you’ve just installed a new plugin or if your site is showing a 500 error after a core WordPress upgrade, the most likely cause is an incompatible plugin. There are many reasons a plugin can be broken:

WordPress may have removed some core functions the plugin uses.

Version - PHP - Years

It may have been coded for an old version of PHP, and not been updated in years.

It could just be coded incorrectly, such as referring to default database names rather than using prefixes. We’re all guilty of lazy coding sometimes!

Plugin - Error - Plugin - Area - Plugin

Identifying the plugin is easy if you’ve just installed one and the error has just emerged. But how can you disable the plugin if the admin area is inaccessible? And what if you don’t even know which plugin caused the error? You’ll need FTP access in either case, but a web-based file manager from CPanel or Plesk will work fine too.


Know - Plugin - Plugin - Folder - Alternative

Know precisely which plugin is broken? Find the plugin and delete it from within the wp-content/plugins/ folder. You should now be able to log in again. Find an alternative for whatever functionality you wanted.

If you’re not sure which plugin caused the error, you should rename the entire wp-content/plugins/ folder itself. Place an underscore (“_“) in front, so it’s named _plugins.

Underscore - _ - Start - Plugins - Name

Putting an underscore (_) at the start of the plugins folder name...
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