PHP 500 errors, also known as "Internal Server Errors," can be a common occurrence when working with web applications. These errors are typically not server-related issues but are usually caused by issues within the code of the application. This guide will help you understand these errors better and provide you with solutions on how to resolve them.

Understanding PHP 500 Errors

A PHP 500 error is a generic server-side error that indicates an internal server error. It doesn't provide specific details about what exactly went wrong, making it a bit challenging to diagnose and fix. However, these errors often occur due to issues with the PHP code or server configuration.

If the error is intermittent, it's likely that the application is hitting memory limits. On the other hand, if the error is consistent, it's usually an indication of a problem within the application's code.

How to Resolve Intermittent PHP 500 Errors

Increase the PHP Memory Limit

If your PHP 500 errors are intermittent, it's likely that your application is hitting its memory limits. Here's how to increase the PHP memory limit:

  1. Log in to your cPanel account.
  2. Navigate to the "Select PHP Version" under the Software section.
  3. Click on "Switch to PHP Options".
  4. Find the 'memory_limit' option and increase it to a higher value, such as 256M or 512M.
  5. Click 'Save' to apply the changes.

Remember, increasing the memory limit should be done cautiously, as setting it too high can exhaust your server resources.

Persistent PHP 500 Errors - Diagnose the Error

If the PHP 500 error is not intermittent, it's usually due to a problem within the application's code. To diagnose the error, you can check the error_log file within your account. This file contains a record of all errors encountered by the application and can provide valuable insights into what's causing the PHP 500 error.

To access the error_log file:

  1. Log in to your cPanel account.
  2. Navigate to the File Manager.
  3. Locate and open the error_log file. This file is typically located in the public_html directory.

Enable WordPress Debug Mode

If your application is a WordPress site, you can enable the WordPress WP_DEBUG mode to view the errors. WP_DEBUG is a PHP constant that can help diagnose WordPress-specific issues.

To enable WP_DEBUG:

  1. Access your WordPress files (you can do this via FTP or through cPanel's File Manager).
  2. Open the wp-config.php file.
  3. Locate the line that says /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */.
  4. Just before that line, add the following code: define( 'WP_DEBUG', true );.
  5. Save and close the file.

Now, when you visit your site, any errors will be displayed on the page, which can help you diagnose the issue.

Display Errors on the Page

In some cases, you might want to display errors directly on the page for debugging purposes. You can do this by modifying your .htaccess file:

  1. Access your .htaccess file (this is usually located in the public_html directory).
  2. Add the following lines to the file:
php_flag display_errors On php_value error_reporting E_ALL
  1. Save and close the file.

Now, any PHP errors will be displayed directly on your web pages.

Contact Support

If you've tried the above solutions and are still experiencing PHP 500 errors, it might be time to contact our support team. Our experts can help diagnose and resolve the issue, ensuring your website runs smoothly and efficiently.

Please note, that resolving PHP issues is beyond scope of our support, and should be handled by a PHP Developer. However, our team will do our best to assist guide in the resolution of solving such issues, where possible.