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How to Fix HTTP error 500 WordPress

How to fix “HTTP error 500 WordPress after installing plugin”?

Error 500 is an internal server error, and internal server errors are really the worst because they provide you no information about the problem. Here is a quick overview of what is 500 internal server error and how to fix HTTP error 500 WordPress.

What is a 500 error?

A 500 internal server error is an unclear problem, and there are no indications of what went wrong. The only thing we can deduce from this is that it is some operational error from the website’s end. This, there can be plugin installation failure issues or problems with a theme, or the server has crashed. Luckily, there are some solutions.

How to fix HTTP error 500 WordPress?

In most cases, the following steps are enough to fix HTTP error 500 WordPress.

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Turn on debugging

Whenever WordPress shows a server error, try turning on your debugging. Although it may not fix the problem, it can certainly give you more details about the actual problem. All you need to do is access your site’s wp-config.php file and search for WP_DEBUG in it. After finding it, set it to true with the help of the following line.
define( “WP_DEBUG”, true );
Now, save the file and reload your site. The error will either be gone or will be replaced by another error that tells where the issue is located. If turning debugging on does not give the desired result, move on to the next step.

Deactivate all themes and plugins

This step is almost common in all internal server issues. If you have access to your admin area, go to the Plugins admin screen and deactivate all the plugins. If you don’t have access, connect your WP server to an FTP client, rename your plugins folder as plugins-x, and create a new folder named plugins.
This will disable all of your plugins. Now, reload your site and see if anything changes. If the problem is fixed, delete the new plugins folder and rename the plugins-x folder to plugins. This will reinstall all the plugins. Now, activate each plugin one by one to find which plugin is causing the issue. Once you find the culprit, delete it to fix WordPress plugin installation error and plugin not supported errors.
Perform the same step with the themes — switch to a default theme and check if the problem is fixed. If yes, then replace your existing theme. In most cases, these errors are caused by plugins and themes, so most of you will get rid of their problem at this step. If your problem is still not resolved, move on to the next step.

Check your .htaccess file

The .htaccess file consists of numerous rules that tell a server how to act in multiple circumstances. It is typically used for preventing malicious intent on your site or for rewriting URLs. Connect to your FTP client and use the FTP editor to check if there is a .htaccess file present in your WordPress root folder. If the file is not listed, make sure your FTP editor lists hidden files.
If there exists a .htaccess file, make a backup, and delete all the contents within the file. This might delete some or all of the rules, but if the error was due to this file, it would be solved. Now, you can restore the file and delete each block one by one until you find the block that is causing the problem. Once finding a block, you can test individual lines and then remove it to resolve the issue. If removing that line is causing other issues in your site, contact your host or developer.

Ask your host

If all the above steps fail and you are still left with the 500 error, it’s time to talk to your host. There can be other uncommon issues that can lead to server errors, and your host is your best guide in such a situation. If the problem is due to a genuine server issue, your host can confirm and take action accordingly. If your host does not cooperate, you might consider switching to another host that provides better performance.

Reinstall WordPress

The manual uninstallation works similarly to the manual installation process. You connect your WP server to your SFTP client and delete the plugin folder from your WordPress directory.

Conclusion

Internal server errors in WordPress, like the 500 internal server errors, are not necessarily caused by server faults. In most cases, these problems are from the site’s end and can be fixed by the methods discussed above. However, the best call before trying to fix HTTP error 500 WordPress is to talk to your host. If nothing works, you can also consider seeking help from a WordPress expert or support technician.

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