Troubleshooting 101: More Info on Internal Server 500 Error

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Error message

A common error in WordPress is an HTTP 500 error and will look something like the image below. This is not descriptive and will not help narrow down the cause of the issue. In production sites, it is best practice to show a generic error such as this one, but for the purposes of troubleshooting, we need more information.

Debugging

For most users getting more information is easy.

  1. FTP into your website
  2. Open the file named wp-config.php
  3. Find the line where you see define('WP_DEBUG', false);
  4. Change false to true and save the file

The next time you refresh the page you were getting an error on you should now see more descriptive error messages which will help in troubleshooting.

If the line is already set to true you may have another plugin or server configuration which is suppressing the error output.

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