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What Does Error 500 from a Website Mean?

Question: I’m trying to go to a web page and it says the “remote server returned an error: (500) internal server error” with a bunch of HTML stuff under it. All of the other web pages that I visit work without any problems. It’s only this one and I don’t know what to do. Can you help me?

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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Server problems

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.

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15 comments on “What Does Error 500 from a Website Mean?”

  1. Sir, you are only person explain my problem. 404page was show me in translator site can not work also i need english to tamil language translate with copy paste option must. Please to solve my problem. I have no knowledge in this filed. Auto correct this to me. Thank you.

  2. Sir, you are answering me about error page 404 not able fix in correct. I do not know how to do it. I nuts need translator for english to tamil with copy and paste option. What can i do. Please help me.

    • Internal server error is an error on the server – facebook in this case. It’s not your fault, your problem and there’s nothing you can do but wait for them to fix it.

  3. Thank you for the information on internal service error 500.for years I wondered what it meant and I have tried fixing it not realising it is their problem not mine thanks again

    • just did that same thing to me. Sent me a reply from a ticket saying there site had that problem and they told me to do all the unnecessary steps to get the site up but it was there end not mine at all. It bugs the crap out of me when a business or company tries to make it look like we are stupid and they do nothing to fix the problem that really is on their end. People are just idiots. Not trying to be rude but they are really dumb.

  4. Internal Server Error

    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
    Please contact the server administrator to inform of the time the error occurred and of anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

    More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

  5. i tried installing v6r2012x in my system by procedure of,
    1.installing SQL 2008R2
    2.server client for enovia vpm installation
    then it popped up for online registration in enovia website…. and i logged in using PLMADM as username and my personal password ………… but it shows error of “internal server error ,error retrieving the requested page . please contact administrator “………. i have my latest 4.5 dot net and all other prerequisites …….. somebody reply for my query …….. thankyou

  6. In your article you stated: “Servers are incredibly complex pieces of software.”

    No………………..just no………….


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