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What is the 500 Internal Server Error?

The 500 Internal Server Error status code indicates that the server encountered an unexpected issue that prevented it from fulfilling your request. It indicates something went wrong on the server, but the server cannot be specific about the exact problem.

The 500 Internal Server Error belongs to the 5xx series of HTTP status codes.

  • 5 indica che c'è un problema con il server o la sua configurazione
  • xx è un segnaposto per due numeri che forniscono ulteriori informazioni sull'errore del server

Why Servers Return the 500 Internal Server Error

Typically, a server will return a 5xx response code when a server error prevents it from fulfilling your request. Servers only return a 500 response code when no other 5xx status code represents the specific error they encountered.

This makes the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error a generic error message. It does not provide specific information about the nature of the error other than to inform you that it is a server error. 

When you encounter an HTTP 500 error, check your server logs or contact the website administrator for investigation and resolution.

Causes of the 500 Internal Server Error

The 500 Internal Server Error can be caused by a variety of reasons. Some common ones include:

  • Server overload
  • Programming errors
  • Database issues
  • Software bugs
  • Faulty scripts or code
  • Server misconfigurations
  • Server permission issues
  • Incompatible server modules or extensions
  • Database connection failures
  • Corrupted website database
  • Corrupted .htaccess files
  • .htaccess file error
  • Resource exhaustion
  • Server hardware issues

If your site runs on WordPress, you could encounter 500 Internal Server Errors resulting from:

  • Theme conflicts
  • Plugin conflicts
  • Corrupted themes
  • Corrupted plugins
  • Corrupted WordPress code
  • Exhausted PHP memory limit
  • PHP version incompatibility
  • Database connection errors
  • Defective WordPress core files

How Google Handles 500 Internal Server Errors

Google will slow down the rate at which it crawls your site whenever it encounters any 5xx error, including the 500 Internal Server Error. The extent to which Google slows down your crawl rate depends on the frequency of server errors it encounters.

The more 500 Internal Server Errors Google encounters, the more it reduces your crawl rate. URLs that have been previously indexed will remain indexed but will be dropped if they return the error over a considerable period of time.

When to Use the 500 Internal Server Error

Google has confirmed that you can use the 500 Internal Server Error to reduce your crawl rate. 

Your crawl rate is the rate at which Google crawls your site. Crawling uses up your server resources, and excessive crawling could slow down or even cause your server to crash. 

Google wants to avoid this, so it estimates your server capacity and assigns a scansionare il budget to your site. The crawl budget indicates the maximum amount of pages Google will crawl on your site within a period. 

If you feel Google is crawling your site more often than you want, then you can set some of your pages to return a 500 Internal Server Error status code. Google will reduce your crawl rate when it encounters the status code.

However, you should only use this option to slow the crawl rate for a day or two. If it proceeds longer, Google may drop the affected pages from its index. 

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