The 500 internal server error can be represented in different ways depending on your hosting platform but it most often looks like this:
Or like this:
Today, we’ll be looking at how to diagnose and fix the 500 internal server error when using the Avada theme and Fusion Builder. We will go through several steps to help you get your site back online.
What is the 500 Internal Server Error and What Triggers It?
There are only a few error codes that your website can use to show that there is something wrong with it and the 500 Internal Server error is the equivalent of telling a doctor “I’m sick”. As the doctor, in this case, you may have to do a diagnosis as there may be several potential causes. The 500 Internal Server error can usually be traced to one of the following reasons:
- Incompatible or corrupted files.
- Memory restrictions by your hosting service.
- Incompatibility between your theme and a plugin.
- Incompatibility between plugins.
Think back on your last actions before getting the error (editing the theme, installing a plugin) as this may likely be the cause.
How to Solve the 500 Internal Server Error on WordPress
Before we begin, make sure you back up your website using the Backup or Backup Wizard options on your cPanel.
You should also use a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) manager (this helps you safely transfer information to your website). In this post, we’ll be using FileZilla but there are several other solutions available.
Step 1: Increase Your Memory Limit
Memory limits are allocated by your hosting server and can cause a 500 Internal Server error if it’s too low. To increase this limit, install and open your FTP manager. Fill in your login credentials, found within your host’s admin panel (outlined in green above) and click on Quickconnect.
Your website folders and files are displayed on the right-hand side of FileZilla. Navigate to your public_html folder and locate the wp-config.php file. Right-click on it and click on the View/Edit option. Select the default text editor when prompted.
In the notepad, paste the following code just after the opening <?php.
Save this file and go back to FileZilla, you will see a File has changed pop-up, click on Yes.
This syncs your website’s files, navigate to your site to check if the problem is solved.
Note: You may have to contact some hosts directly for help if they do not provide the option for you to adjust your memory limits from your hosting panel.
Step 2: Reset Your .htaccess File to Remove Errors
Your website uses the .htaccess file to configure the host server and this can get corrupted by severe site changes resulting in a 500 Internal Server error. To update the .htaccess file, navigate to your public_html folder and locate the .htaccess using your FTP manager.
Note: If you can’t find it, you can select Force showing hidden files under the Server option in your FTP toolbar.
When you find it, right-click on it and rename it to .htaccess.bak.
Save the file.
This will make it invisible to your website allowing us to create a new one. To do this, go to your WordPress dashboard, and navigate to Settings > Permalinks.
Select your preferred format and click on Save Changes. This will prompt your website to create a new default .htaccess file.
Refresh your website to see if this removes the error.
Step 3: Search for Incompatible Theme or Plugin
WordPress themes and plugins work together and any incompatibility can result in 500 Internal Server error. There are two ways of troubleshooting this depending on whether you can access your WordPress dashboard or not.
If you can access your WordPress dashboard;
Navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins, to see all the plugins you currently have. Select the Bulk Actions option and choose Deactivate from the drop-down. Click on Apply to deactivate them:
Check your website to see if the error has disappeared. If it has, a plugin was the cause. You can activate your plugins – one at a time – until you find the troublemaker. You can either update the troublesome plugin or find an alternative.
If the error still persists, the problem may be from your themes. Navigate to Appearance > Themes, and Activate a default WordPress theme, such as Twenty Seventeen:
If the error clears, your theme was the fault. You can try updating it or contacting their developers or support for help.
If you cannot access your WordPress dashboard;
Some 500 Internal Server errors may prevent you from accessing your WordPress dashboard so you will need to use an FTP manager, in this case, FileZilla. Navigate to the wp-content folder which contains your themes and plugins folders.
First, we will rename the plugins folder to deactivate them. Right-click on the plugins folder, select Rename and add -bak to the folder name. Save this file and check your website to see if the error has cleared.
If the error clears, it was a plugin that caused it. Undo the rename you just did and then follow the same renaming process for each individual plugin within your plugins folder until you find the cause.
If the error persists, you will have to apply the same renaming process to your current theme folder (not the entire themes folder). This will force WordPress to use a default theme and potentially remove the error.
You may not need to follow all three steps outlined above. We have simply outlined them from most likely to least likely so you are free to use any solution if you suspect a certain reason for the error.