The 500 error is an error on the server. Something on the remote machine that’s hosting the website broke.
In other words, it’s not your fault. Unfortunately, it’s also not necessarily something that you can fix.
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Servers are incredibly complex pieces of software. They’re typically built on the exact same operating systems that you and I run. On top of that, they end up adding server software – the stuff that actually serves web pages to us.
Rarely, the problem can be the result of a bad URL or maybe some data entry on your part. For example, let’s say you have a URL and it breaks halfway through (so that half of the information on the URL actually doesn’t get sent to the server). When you click on it, a badly configured server can give you an internal server error. It shouldn’t. It’s still their fault, but it’s a reaction to data input that they didn’t expect.
In situations like that, most people check the link and know to see if it’s broken. In your case, I can’t tell for sure what’s going on. I suspect that there’s an issue with the server that you’re trying to talk to and that’s not supposed to happen.
If the link is OK, some things that you can try or straws that you can grasp at include:
- clearing the browser cache
- clearing cookies
- refreshing the page
- trying a different browser
As I said, these are more like straws to grasp at than they are real solutions. They may or may not work.
Contact the website owner
If you have any contact information for the website owner, I would use it. See if you can’t drop them a line and tell them that you’re having a problem. Be as complete as you can about what it was you were trying to do. If you are just trying to visit their homepage and it displayed the error, that’s important for them to know. If you were trying to do something specific on their site and that happened, be as detailed as you can so that the website owner can diagnose and hopefully repair the problem.
Ultimately, the whole 500 series of errors are the kind that you can’t control. In this case, there’s nothing you can do other than contact the website owner.