Server Error (5Xx): What Is It And How To Find It?

When using a web browser, you might come across a server error message, and this can interrupt your use and browsing experience, as well as prevent customers from accessing your business in the best possible way.

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In many cases, a server error occurs when something goes wrong during a request from a client to a server. The server sends back a response code indicating the problem.

For example, a 404 Not Found error means that the requested page was not found on the server.

Server errors are usually caused by problems with the server itself or network issues – but how do you know what a particular server error is trying to tell you?

We have everything you need to know about Server Errors, including how to handle the various issues that may arise.

What Is A Server Error?

A server error is an error that happens while communicating between a client and a server.

This could be anything from a broken connection to a system crash. You’ll often see different types of server errors displayed in a web browser’s status bar. These include:

  • 404 Not Found: The requested file or folder was not found on the website.
  • 500 Internal Server Error: The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
  • 503 Service Unavailable: Your request timed out waiting for a reply from the server.

The most common type of server error is a 500 internal server error. This indicates that there was some sort of issue within the server itself, such as a software bug or hardware failure.

If you get a 500 internal server error, it will display a generic “Internal Server Error” message along with details about what went wrong.

How Do I Know Which Server Error Is Happening?

The first thing you should try if you’re getting a server error is checking whether the site works correctly in another browser. If it does work, then you know that the problem lies somewhere else.

If the site doesn’t work in other browsers, then you can check the browser’s developer tools to find more information about the cause of the error.

Most modern browsers now offer built-in developer tools that allow you to inspect any element on a webpage. Clicking the ‘inspect’ button displays the HTML source code for the current page.

You can also click the ‘network’ tab to view all requests made and received by the browser.

If you don’t already have access to these tools, you can download them separately. Chrome has its own version called Developer Tools, which you can open by clicking the three dots icon () at the top right of the address bar.

Internet Explorer offers similar functionality through the F12 key, and Firefox users can press Ctrl+Shift+I.

Once you’ve opened the developer tools, you can navigate around the page and examine individual elements. You can even change the CSS properties of specific elements to see what effect they have on the layout of the page.

You can also use the developer tools to test the site’s JavaScript. By inspecting the code, you can determine exactly where the script fails.

You can also use the developer tool’s console to log messages. This allows you to keep track of any errors that occur on the page.

When working with the console, remember to prefix each line with the word ‘console.’ For example, instead of writing this:

var x 10;

It would be much better to write this:

console. log(‘Hello world’);

This will make it easier to spot potential errors when viewing the logs later.

What Are Some Common Causes Of Server Errors?

There are many reasons why a server might give you a 500 internal server error message. Here are some of the most common causes:

A Broken Connection

When a connection between your computer and the web server goes down, the server won’t be able to send data back to your browser. This means that the website won’t load properly.

If you’re using a shared hosting account, the host may not be responsible for fixing broken connections. In this case, contact your provider and ask them to fix the problem.

The Server Is Overloaded

When the server cannot handle the request because it is overloaded, you may receive a 503 Service Unavailable message.

When this happens, the server sends an HTTP status code of 503 to indicate that it is temporarily unable to process the request.

To prevent this from happening again, you’ll need to upgrade your server so that it can handle more traffic.

Your Host Has A Problem

Sometimes, a problem occurs within the server itself. If you get a 404 Not Found or 500 Internal Server Error, there is likely something wrong with the server. Contact your host and let them know about the issue.

The Website Isn’t Working Properly

If the website isn’t loading correctly, it could mean that there is a problem with the code. Check out the website’s source code to see if anything looks strange. If everything appears fine, try reloading the page to see if the problem persists.

If none of those solutions work, then the only other option is contacting the website owner directly. They should be able to help you figure out what went wrong.

In addition to the above-mentioned effects, there are many other reasons why 5xx errors can occur. Some examples include:

Your Server Has Been Hacked

You can check whether your server has been compromised by using free online security software such as Sucuri Site Checker. If you suspect that your server has been hacked, you should immediately contact your host.

You Have Too Many Requests Per Second

Most websites allow users to submit multiple requests per second. However, if you exceed the limit set by your host, you may experience problems. Your host should have instructions regarding how many requests they expect you to make per second.

You Need More RAM

RAM is used by servers to store information. The more memory your server has, the faster it can perform tasks. If you don’t have enough RAM, your server may become slow. You can increase the amount of RAM on your server by upgrading your hardware.

You Have An Old Version Of PHP

PHP is a programming language that allows developers to create dynamic websites. If your version of PHP is too old, it will cause issues when you attempt to use certain features of WordPress.

You Are Using A Malicious Browser Extension

Browser extensions are small programs that run in the background of your browser. Most of these extensions do useful things like protecting against phishing attacks or providing additional functionality.

However, some malicious extensions can harm your site. For example, they can inject harmful scripts into pages, steal personal information, or even redirect visitors to malicious sites.

There are many different types of malware, including viruses, worms, spyware, adware, ransomware, Trojans, keyloggers, rootkits, dialers, bots, and others. These threats target computers, mobile devices, and networks.

In order to stay safe, you must keep your computer up to date, install anti-malware software, avoid opening email attachments and never click on links embedded in an email message.

What Is A 5xx Server Error?

The 5XX status code indicates that something went wrong while communicating with the server. These errors usually indicate that the server encountered an unexpected condition that prevented it from fulfilling the request.

For example, a 500 error means that the server couldn’t find the requested file or couldn’t access the database.

To fix this problem, contact the site administrator and tell them about the issue. They’ll probably ask you to provide specific details about what happened, and this will help them to uncover the exact cause of that particular error, and come up with steps to rectify it.

Some of the most common 5xx Server Errors include:

500 Internal Server Error

With a 500 Internal Server Error, this means that the server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

In other words, there is something wrong with your server configuration that prevents it from handling certain types of requests. You should contact your hosting provider to see how they can resolve this issue.

502 Bad Gateway Error

If you receive a 502 Bad Gateway error, it means that the gateway server received a bad request, which means that someone tried to send you a malicious link; in short, a 502 Bad Gateway error means that the server received a request that it wasn’t expecting.

For example, the server might have been configured to block all incoming requests that are made by IP address, but someone else sent a request through another IP address. The server doesn’t understand why it has received this request, so it returns a 502 error code.

You should contact your hosting provider and ask them to check their logs to see which IP addresses were sending these requests. Once they have identified the culprit, they should be able to solve the problem.

To avoid this situation in the future, always check the URL before clicking on links sent by unknown people.

Also, make sure that you only visit websites through trusted sources like Google, Facebook, etc., since these sites are more likely to protect their users against malware attacks.

503 Service Unavailable

When a 503 Service Unavailable error occurs, it means that the server has temporarily stopped responding due to heavy traffic. In most cases, there is no need to worry about this error unless it happens frequently.

If you are experiencing a 503 error on a frequent basis, it is a good idea to contact your hosting provider to figure out why your server isn’t working properly.

504 Gateway Timeout

A 504 Gateway Timeout error typically occurs when a gateway server takes longer than usual to respond to a request. This could mean that your connection is slow, or that the gateway server itself is experiencing problems.

It is best to let the gateway server know that you’re still waiting for a response so that it doesn’t keep sending back the same message again and again.

If you don’t get any kind of reply after a few minutes, then you should contact your web host to report the issue.

Why Should I Care About 5xx Server Errors?

As mentioned above, 5xx Server Errors are not necessarily fatal. However, if you experience one of these errors too often, it might be time to look into switching web hosts. Some of the main issues that can arise with a 5xx Server Error include:

Slow Loading Pages

When a page loads slowly, it’s frustrating for visitors who want to quickly read the content on the website. Therefore, when you have a lot of 5xx Server Errors, it may be a sign that your hosting plan needs some improvement.

Unresponsive Servers

A poorly configured server can also cause unresponsiveness. For example, if your server is running low on resources such as memory or disk space, it won’t be able to handle all of the incoming requests.

As a result, visitors will notice delays while trying to access your site.

Inability to Update

If your web host does not allow you to perform routine updates, it would be difficult to fix the problem yourself. The reason behind this is that many web hosts provide different levels of support depending on whether you pay extra money or not.

If you do not pay for premium features, you cannot expect them to help you troubleshoot the problem.

Poor Uptime

A poor uptime indicates that your server is down at least once every day. While downtime is inevitable, it’s important to minimize the frequency of these occurrences.

If you are unable to maintain an acceptable level of uptime, it’s possible that your hosting service is unreliable.

5xx Server Errors and SEO

Another major issue that can arise with 5xx server errors is problems with your SEO. When you encounter a large number of 5XX errors, it’s possible that search engines consider your site to be spammy.

In turn, they may reduce your ranking or even block your site from appearing in search results altogether.

Why Can Server Errors Hurt My SEO Performance?

Because of this, it’s important to monitor your server logs regularly. You can use tools like Pingdom to see how frequently your servers are responding to requests.

By doing so, you’ll be able to identify potential problems sooner rather than later. Once you find out what’s causing the trouble, you can take steps to prevent further issues.

Server errors can cause a number of issues for your SEO performance, and these include:

Reduced Page Speed

The first thing that comes to mind when someone encounters a 5xx error is “slow loading pages.” If your site has a lot of 5xx errors, it’s likely that your page speed is suffering.

Because of this, visitors will leave before reading any content on your site, as they are likely to become frustrated and lose patience with the site – no matter how great the content may be.

Loss Of Traffic

Another common effect of 5xx errors is loss of traffic, and this most commonly happens because people don’t trust websites that return HTTP 500 errors.

As a result, they stop visiting your site, leading to a reduction in traffic and a lack of customers, stats, and, in some cases ads and sponsors if these are part of the fabric of your site.

Lack Of Trustworthiness

When a visitor sees a 5xx error message, he or she assumes that your site is either broken or hacked. As a result, your credibility suffers. Visitors will no longer visit your site, which means that you lose valuable traffic, which can result in lost revenue.

Unreliable Search Engine Rankings

Search engine rankings are based on several factors, including how quickly your site loads, how often it appears in search results, and the quality of its content.

If your site returns a 5xx error, it’s possible that Google will downgrade your rank, which could lead to lower visibility in search results. This can have a negative impact on your business’s reputation, especially if you’re trying to promote a certain product or service.

Increased Bounce Rate

If you experience a high bounce rate, it’s a sign that users aren’t finding what they want on your website. In other words, they’re leaving without clicking through to another page.

The higher the bounce rate, the more likely it is that people won’t come back to your site again.

If you notice that your bounce rate is increasing, it might be time to look at your site’s design. For example, if you’ve recently added new features, it’s possible that those changes are confusing visitors.

Decreased Conversion Rates

A 5xx error can also negatively affect conversion rates. When visitors encounter an error message, they may assume that your site is down, which makes them less likely to complete a transaction.

How Do I Fix A 5xx Server Error?

The first step towards fixing any type of technical issue is knowing exactly what kind of problem you’re dealing with. Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal way to determine which error code corresponds to which problem.

Instead, you need to know what kind of error code you’re experiencing. Fortunately, most of the time, the error message itself will give you enough information to figure out what’s wrong.

The next step is to contact your web host. They should be able to tell you what the exact nature of the problem is. After that, you’ll need to make sure that everything is working properly before you try to resolve the issue yourself.

This means making sure that all of your files are accessible, that your database has no corruption, and that you don’t have any other problems. Finally, you’ll need to check your server logs to make sure that nothing else is going on.

There are a number of other options for fixing a 5xx server error, and these include:

Restarting Apache

Apache is a free open-source HTTP Web server software package developed by the Apache Software Foundation.

It was originally designed for Unix systems, but now supports Windows and Linux operating systems, and one option for fixing a 5xx Server Error is to restart this – this is usually done automatically when a server reboot is required.

Restarts aren’t always necessary, however, and you shouldn’t expect them to solve every problem.

If you’ve already tried restarting Apache, you can use the following command to test whether it worked:

sudo service apache2 reload

If the above command doesn’t work, or if you get an error message instead, you’ll need to manually restart Apache.

Check Your File Permissions

Another common cause of 5xx errors is having incorrect permissions on your files. If you haven’t changed anything recently, chances are good that everything is set up correctly.

However, if you have been tinkering around with your files, you may have accidentally deleted something important. In this case, you’ll want to go through each directory on your computer and change the permissions back to their original settings. 

You can do this by using the chmod command:

chmod 755 /path/to/directory

You can replace /path/to/ directory with whatever path you’re looking at.

Change Your Hostname

A lot of websites use domain name servers to handle DNS lookups. These servers translate human-friendly URLs into IP addresses, but they can sometimes fail. When this happens, the website displays a 5xx Server Error page.

The solution here is to update the DNS records for your site so that visitors won’t see the error anymore. You can do this from within your hosting control panel, or you can ask your ISP to do it for you.

Update PHP

PHP is the scripting language used in many popular websites. It provides a wide range of functions, including some that help you create dynamic pages.

One such function is file_get_contents(). This allows you to read data from remote sources like FTP sites and databases. If you’ve ever uploaded a picture to Facebook or Twitter, you probably used this function.

Unfortunately, PHP also comes with a few security flaws. One of these is called Cross-Site Scripting (XSS). This vulnerability lets hackers inject malicious code into your site.

If you’ve ever visited a site that had “www” in front of it, you’ve probably seen a warning about XSS. This is because XSS attacks can allow attackers to steal cookies and even hijack accounts.

To prevent this, you’ll need to update your PHP installation. There’s a chance that there will be updates available for your version of PHP, but it’s best to check first. If not, you should contact your web host and ask them to install any updates for you.

Fix Broken Links

One of the most frustrating things about working online is dealing with broken links. A link is simply a way to send someone else’s content to your own browser window.

But if you were redirected to another website, you might end up seeing a 404 Not Found error, which is another common type of error.

This means that the server couldn’t find the requested resource. For example, if you were trying to access a file named index.html, but the server was actually serving index.php, then you would receive an error message saying that the file wasn’t found.

If you notice that one of your links isn’t working, try going directly to the URL in question. If you get a different response than before, then you know that the problem lies somewhere between your browser and the server.

Remove Unnecessary Files

A large part of the reason why people visit a website is to view its content. Unfortunately, a lot of websites don’t make their content easily accessible. Instead, they force users to download files or open other windows just to view something as simple as a blog post.

These extra steps slow down the loading time of a website and increase the chances that people will leave without reading anything at all. So, when you’re looking to improve the speed of your site, remove unnecessary files.

What Should I Do If I Get A 5xx Server Error Code?

Once you’ve identified the problem, you’ll need to decide how best to deal with it. There are several options available to you:

Wait It Out 

If the error is temporary, you might just need to wait until it goes away. However, if the problem persists, you’ll need to contact your web host again.

Contact Your Web Host

If the problem seems more serious, you’ll probably want to contact your web host directly. Even though they won’t always be able to solve the problem themselves, they’ll usually be able to point you in the right direction.

Using a Different DNS Provider

You can also switch to a different DNS provider. Although this may not fix the underlying cause of the problem, it could help alleviate some of its symptoms.

Changing The Domain Name

If you’re using a subdomain, you can change the name of the domain. Doing so might eliminate the problem entirely.

Re-Registering Your Domain

In some cases, you can re-register your domain name with another registrar. If you do this, you’ll need to ensure that the new domain name points to the same IP address as your current one.

In some cases, you can simply create a new subdomain. For example, if you get a 500 error when trying to access www.example.com, you could instead go to www2.example.com.

If none of these solutions work for you, then you’ll need to contact an expert who specializes in resolving technical errors; they will be in the perfect position to work through the site and get to the bottom of the server errors quickly and easily, leaving your site running smoothly.

Why Is Good SEO Performance So Important For My Business?

SEO performance matters because it affects your rankings. When people search for something online, they expect to find results from sites like yours. Google uses many factors to rank websites, including their popularity, relevance, and quality.

One factor that Google does not use is your website’s speed. In fact, Google says that page load times “may affect our ranking algorithms.” That means that slow-loading pages can hurt your SEO performance and lower your search engine rankings.

SEO performance plays a huge part in whether or not someone visits your website. If your website doesn’t load quickly, visitors won’t return. As a result, your website won’t receive enough traffic to rank highly in search results.

When people search for something online, they’re looking for answers to their questions. If your website takes too long to load, it will frustrate potential customers and drive them away.

If you want more customers, you need to improve your SEO performance, and there are a number of potential advantages to this, including:

More Customers

If your website has high SEO performance, it’s likely that it will be ranked higher than other websites. This means that more people will find it when they search for keywords related to your products or services.

Better Conversions

People spend less time on your website if it takes longer to load. They’ll click through to another site instead. This could mean losing sales opportunities.

Better Rankings

Highly-ranked websites tend to get more organic traffic, which translates into better conversions. A faster website will attract more customers, which increases its chances of being ranked higher.

Higher Conversion Rates

The average conversion rate for a website depends on how fast it loads. People who visit your website may leave before completing an action, such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product.

A Fast Website Will Attract More Customers

One way to increase your SEO performance is to reduce the amount of code on your website. Code includes HTML tags, CSS stylesheets, JavaScript, and any other programming language used to create a web page.

Reducing the amount of code on a website makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index. This improves your SEO performance by making it easier for people to find your content.

How Can I Boost My SEO Performance?

There are two things you can do to improve the speed at which your website loads:

Optimize Images

Images take up a lot of space on your website. You can optimize them by reducing their file size or removing unnecessary ones.

Reduce Image Sizes

This is especially important if you plan to use images in videos. Videos require much larger file sizes than static images, so you’ll save bandwidth and time by keeping image sizes small.

Use Responsive Design

A responsive design allows users to view your content across multiple devices, such as desktops, smartphones, tablets, and even TVs. This helps make sure that all your visitors have a good experience while browsing your site.

What Are Some Other Ways To Improve SEO Performance?

If you’re looking for ways to boost your SEO performance, there are other things you can do besides optimizing your images and designing a responsive website. Here are some ideas:

Create A Better User Experience

Make sure your website is easy to navigate. Users should be able to find what they want without having to dig around.

Make Sure Your Content Is Relevant

Create content that’s relevant to your audience. If you write about topics that aren’t interesting to your readers, they won’t stick around long enough to read your entire article.

Add Keywords Throughout The Website

When someone searches for something online, they often type keywords into the search bar. Make sure those words appear throughout your website. This makes it easier for search engines to understand what your website is about.

Include Links On Social Media Pages

When you share links to your social media accounts, include the keyword in the description. Doing this will help increase your visibility on social networks and drive more traffic to your website.

Use Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are phrases that describe specific products or services. They usually contain three to five words instead of one or two. For example, “high end” or “luxury watch.”

These types of keywords tend to get less competition than short-tail keywords, making them ideal for boosting your SEO performance.

Use Schema Markup

Schema markup is a way to tell search engines exactly how your webpages are organized. Search engines use these tags to better understand your website and determine its relevance.

What To Avoid In Your SEO Strategy

In addition to following our top tips above to boost your SEO strategy, there are a few elements that should be avoided, and these include: 

Using Flash

Flash was once a great tool for adding animation to websites, but now most browsers block it from loading. If you need to add an animated element to your page, try using HTML5 instead.

Adding Too Many Ads

It may seem like a quick fix, but adding too many ads to your website can actually hurt your SEO performance. Google wants to give users a clean, uncluttered experience, which means removing any unnecessary clutter.

Creating Unnecessary Page Loads

Page loads take time, so if you can avoid creating new pages, do so. You don’t want to slow down your website by creating new pages unnecessarily.

Having Duplicate Content

Duplicate content occurs when multiple versions of the same webpage exist. This happens when you have different content on each version of your website.

For example, you might create a homepage with information about your business, then create a second page with additional details. When people visit your site, they’ll see both pages, even though only one exists.

This practice hurts your SEO performance because duplicate content dilutes your link popularity.

Not Optimizing Images

Images play a big role in SEO, so make sure to optimize all images on your website. Include alt text and descriptions in image files, as well as file names. The alt text helps people who cannot view images read the text on the screen.

Descriptions and titles also help people find your images on Google. Don’t forget to include descriptive file names, such as “image1.jpg,” “image2.jpg,” etc.

Final Thoughts

SEO performance matters because it affects the number of clicks your website receives when people search for something online.

By improving your website’s speed, you can increase the traffic and conversions that your site receives, and this can have huge benefits for your business.

Understanding the most common server errors and the best ways to tackle them is a key aspect of this, and our guide will walk you through the most common 5xx server errors.

Justin Shaw
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