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How to investigate and fix HTTP 500 error (internal server error)?

Julian Lister
Written by
Julian Lister

HTTP 500 errors or internal server errors often result from a problem within the .htaccess file or a missing PHP plugin.

In this article, we will go through steps that need to be taken to fix these problems.

Before anything, we need to find out the underlying error behind the generic 500 error.

cPanel and WordPress maintain their log files in 2 separate locations. Let’s first check the cPanel log files.

  1. Login to the cPanel of the domain (not WHM) following this videos instruction: How to login to cPanel account via WHM?
  2. Then in cPanel click on the “errors” item to check your error logs.
  3. If the above page is empty or there is no recent errors, we will now have to check the WordPress error file:
  4. Following the above steps, we are already inside the cPanel account. Click on “File manager” item.
  5. Go to the www directory or public_html.
  6. You should be able to locate the error.log file there.
  7. Download that file and check it for errors.

If the error is due to a missing PHP module, you can easily enable the missing module by following other articles in our Knowledge base collections. Including the following:

  1. If none of the above helped, rename your .htaccess file to .htaccess.bk and see if you can access your website.
  2. If none of these helps, please open a ticket and provide as much context as possible. We will promptly help you with the issue.