Troubleshooting 500/50x Errors

Seeing a 500/50x error when editing your site with Breakdance is a clear indication that there’s something wrong at the server level.

This article will tell you exactly how to find what’s causing a 500/50x error on your site and either resolve it yourself, or relay the information via the necessary support channels to get your issue resolved.

Step 1: Check Your Server’s Error Log

A 500/50x error exists to let you know that something broke at the server level.

Unfortunately, the errors aren’t usually descriptive when you see them in WordPress.

This means we need to dig deeper so we can understand the true cause of the problem.

Luckily, most environments log these errors in a server error log. This is usually accessible via FTP, but if you contact your hosting provider and ask them for your server’s error logs, they’ll be able to provide them. This is often the fastest route as different hosting environments may store the logs in different locations.

Step 2: Find The 500/50x Error

The 500/50x error in the error log will almost always have the word “Fatal” in its description. Use CMD/CTRL+F in your favorite text editor to search the log for any fatal errors. Look for errors that occurred around the time that you noticed the error in Breakdance (they should all be timestamped.)

Once you’ve found it, read the error. 99% of the time the error description states clearly what the problem is.

Here are some common error messages, their causes, and how to fix the error.

Allowed memory size of X bytes exhausted

If you see this message, that means your site is running out of memory.

Memory is important to the operation of your site, and depending on how big your site is (number of posts, taxonomy terms, users, etc…) your site might require more than you have allocated.

When you see this message, you should contact your host and have them increase the amount of memory allocated to your site. We recommend at least 512MB for Breakdance sites.

Step 3: Still Stumped? Run A Plugin Conflict Test

If the error isn’t one with an easy resolution listed in step 2, it’s time to rule out a plugin conflict.

It’s very important to procure the specific fatal error entry from your log, but sometimes it doesn’t spell out the error clearly enough.

In that case, it’s best to run a quick plugin conflict test (Learn How Here) to rule out the error being caused by an interaction with a third-party plugin.

Once you know whether the error is caused by a plugin conflict or not, we’d love to hear from you and help you get to the bottom of the issue.

Step 4: Let Us Know What You Found

Most of the time, the issue will be resolved or at least better understood by following the previous steps. If not, our expert support team is glad to help.

To receive the best support possible, you must send us the following details in order for us to be able to troubleshoot:

  • A clear description of the problem
  • Confirmation that you have already performed a plugin conflict test
  • The 500/50x error log entry that you found in step 2
  • Non-expiring administrative login credentials for your site (no one-time links, please)
  • A link to where we can login to your site
  • Step by step instructions that we can follow to see the 500 error occur. Include details such as which specific plugins need to be active, which pages, posts, or templates we should be editing, and which specific actions we need to take inside of Breakdance to see the error occur
  • FTP/SFTP credentials for the site

Once you have all of the necessary details together, please send them to us in a ticket here!