5xx Server Error: What is it And How to Solve it Quickly?

Written By Peter L

On July 14, 2021

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Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see a server returning an error including 5xx Server Error. There is no doubt that these errors can be frustrating and are a big reason that the search engine optimization of a website suffers greatly. However, one needs to recognize that there are multiple actions that can be exercised to fix such problems.

The HTTP status codes encourage cooperation among web browsers and a website server. These codes tend to get noticed when there’s any relevant issue. When the internet browser is not able to load the page that you’ve requested, then the 5xx status codes appear, which are also well-known as error or 404 messages. There are a number of groups in which 5xx server error can be classified, and each of these indicates a particular problem or error.

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Understanding the 5xx Server Error

The 5xx server error shows a clear indication that your server has triggered a problem. The web browser happens to send a plea to the targeted website server when you try to access it. Whenever there is a concern with the server, a server error 5xx gets formed. The major reason for this error to get triggered is when the server cannot execute a request or recognizes that it has experienced an issue.

It is important to provide an explanation regarding what is 5xx server error, whether or not it is permanent. The server-side faults are shown by the 5xx error alerts, which show that the website server has not successfully executed a request for any reason.

Mainly the error clearly indicates that the issue doesn’t emanate from the internet connection, your computer, or the website. In this case, you should try to find out whether the technicians from the service provider are fixing the server to identify and then resolve the issue.

server error (5xx)

What impact do 5xx errors have on SEO?

When Google obtains a 5xx error on a particular website, there are chances that the ranking of the website will get lower. As such types of errors can give a bad experience to the users, it can also release the site from the index. How to fix 5xx server error can surely be challenging because first of all, you have to find the specific problem that they cause, and then it can be hard to find an easy solution for it.

If you happen to customize the page code, this may not help you to find a solution to these problems. There are strong chances that you would have to collaborate with the developers and server administrators to get help. Keep in mind that the search engines dislike 5xx server error, and this is why you should be trying to fix them immediately.

When there are 503 and 500 errors in your website, it is impossible for the search engine to penetrate through it and evaluate it. This is also an indication that with 500 error codes, your users will be getting poor experiences, and therefore, it will affect the indexing of your website and rank it negatively.

Whenever a server error (5xx) arrives, the ranking of your website will not get negative on a quick basis. There should be numerous 503 response cases in a time span of a week or even two weeks before you witness your page be withdrawn from the Google index.


Through what ways can the 5xx error code be detected?

It can be quite a bit of a challenge to determine the 5xx server error, especially if it is only located on one page. This error is considered to be more prevalent for the website owners having various pages. This clearly means that it can be a time-consuming and tedious task to evaluate each of the pages one by one.

If you are running your business, your company may get financially hurt by inspecting all the web pages one by one. You can even ask your customers to alert you once they encounter a 5xx server error. If you are not able to get notifications from them, then there are high chances that it can take a long time before it gets possible for you to realize that you have many 500 errors.

You would certainly want to determine this error quickly; therefore, you can use a number of SEO tools for it. With the help of some extra services, you can also get a one-page audit. It can be quite critical to adopt the advanced services because when the 500 errors are permanent, these can prevent your customers from gaining access to the website.

what is 5xx server error

What are the common 5xx server errors?

There are a number of 5xx server errors, and all of these errors happen to come with unique response codes that can facilitate problem identification. As an owner of a website, you need to understand what is a 5xx server error and what it means to your website. The following are the common 5xx errors.

  • 500 – Internal server error

The 500 server error is the most famous of the messages encountered by internet users. It is able to demonstrate a common server error exhibited if the server cannot fix a distinct obstacle.


  • 501 – Not implemented

The significance of this error is that the server may not acknowledge the produced offer, or for plenty of purposes, it cannot perform a request. Usually, this matter befalls when the server is out of date. However, this is quite an exceptional error that a person can solve efficiently by renewing the webserver.


  • 502 – Bad Gateway

If your server is operating as a gateway server or a proxy and the crucial server happens to generate an invalid response, then a 502 error occurs.


  • 503 – Service Unavailable

From its name, the error clearly indicates that at a given time, the server is not available. The reason can be anything from overloading to maintenance. Normally, this issue is considered to be temporary, and the user should refresh the page to find out whether it works or not.


  • 504 – Gateway timeout

The 504 standing resembles a lot with 502 because it shows that the server is functioning as a proxy or, in other words, a gateway server. When the crucial server is not responding on time, then there are chances of 504 errors occurring.


  • 505 – HTTP version not supported

This particular code is triggered by a website when it gets incompatible or fails to support the HTTP protocol version. The server clearly demonstrates that it cannot finalize the request with the same version as that of the website user. The response should be able to incorporate a system that explains why the version is not compatible.


  • 509 – Bandwidth limited exceeded

When a website exceeds the assigned bandwidth limits and is no longer available to the public, then a 509 error occurs. This particular error happens quite frequently in shared hosting environments when there is a sudden influx of web crawlers and visitors. Although this server error is used quite often, no RFCs specify it.


  • 511 – Network Authentication required

When the clients like to validate in order to access the server, then the 511 error happens. With a resource link, a response description from this particular error should enable the users to present their credentials.

504 error

Browser workarounds for 5xx responses

The main reason for the 5xx server error being triggered is the server-side error, but the browser users can find a solution for it. This problem is temporary most of the time, and you need to wait for a few minutes and then reload your page. The following can be a few of the options that can be used to solve the viewing difficulty.

  • Reload your page

By pressing F5 on your Windows, you can reload your webpage. For the Mac users, they will be required to press down the Shift button and Cmd together before they click R. You can also use the option of feeding in the URL again. You should keep in mind that if you have encountered a 5xx server error on a page while submitting a payment, then you should never reload. In fact, if you reload, you may end up presenting for duplicated orders.


  • Clear cache

A cache is known to be software responsible for stashing the data to ensure that there is fast delivery of future requests for specific data. Data in the cache can either be a previous computation, and it can also be a duplicate of the stored data in different places.

If you would like to clear cache in Chrome, then you have to press F12. In the next step, you should click and check the Reload Button by holding the Shift key. Next, you have to click empty cash and Hard Reload. Press the shift button and then click Reload in case you are using Firefox.


What is the value of Clearing Cache?

Emptying cache from a website on a consistent basis is necessary for plenty of reasons. With time, the cache on a website can grow and use plenty of disk space on a personal computer. It would certainly help if you kept in mind that cache can slow your computer when you browse the internet.

When you can clear cache data, you can troubleshoot and enhance your web pages and get optimum performance on your personal computer. When the data is stored in a cache, it can hinder the updated content loading. The good news is that you can retrieve the new version of your website once you are able to delete the stored data.

The cache is responsible for a number of problems out of the web-based issues. This is the main reason why you always hear your developer, designer, and IT support request you to clear the cache before they go on for any further investigations.


How can we fix 500 error codes?

It can surely be quite a hectic task to determine the origin of the 5xx server error. These status code errors can surely occur if a certain file is found to be corrupt or missing, there are script errors, or an upgrade is made that is incompatible. When you find out that you have a server error (5xx), then the following are the ways on how to fix 5xx server error.

what is a 5xx server error

  • Remove cookies

Normally it is the cookies affiliated to a website that trigger 5xx errors. This issue can be resolved by you if you delete the cookies and then reload the browser. This can be achieved by choosing delete when you go to the browsing history.

If you desire to exclude cookies for any gadgets, you have to mark the box alongside the cookies before you eliminate them. By reloading your page, you need to confirm whether the error code is illustrating itself or not.


  • On your website, analyze the error log

If you have made any recent upgrades or changes in your system, you need to determine these. Restore these settings until your problem is resolved. By analyzing your website, you can also determine any plugins that have been installed recently. Until you are able to resolve this problem, you need to roll them too.

Sometimes a 5xx server error can be caused by an upgraded software. Therefore, if you happen to find any unsuccessful upgrades, missing or corrupted files on your website, then you can be sure that you may experience 5xx responses. Uninstall and then reinstall any software that you have upgraded recently.

You also need to understand that new themes and plugins can also be conflicting with any lately installed software. Therefore, if you would like to know how to fix 5xx server error for these, you can identify the issue by deactivating one plugin until you can resolve this problem.


  • Contact the server host

If your problem still persists, then you have another option to reach out to the host. There are quite a bit chances that they may already be aware of the problem, and there is also a possibility that the side might be undergoing any maintenance. By communicating with the host, you will be able to know when the problem will be resolved clearly.


  • Have a look at the server-side scripts

Analyzing your server scripts is another way of resolving the matter if 500 error appears on your website. You can confirm the server authorizations in order to make sure that they are correct. It is better to check the review timeout guidelines and error handling. Keep in mind that it can never be that easy to locate this, but to resolve a problem, you have to eliminate any external connections.



When a server does not accomplish a request, it means that a 5xx server error has occurred. This particular error is of many different types, and it can surely be quite a difficult task to determine and then solve each of these errors. You have to understand as a website owner that the search engines do not appreciate these errors. Therefore, it can bar your site if it gets these errors frequently. Refreshing your page, analyzing the error, and reversing any changes are some of the easiest methods to fix the server error (5xx).


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