Error after changing your WordPress Theme – “Website is currently unable to handle this request”- HTTP ERROR 500

For what I’d expected to be quite a common error in WordPress the answer to this particular fuck up (of my own making) is to use your cPanel file manager or ftp client to delete the offending theme or plugin that’s caused the issue.

The technical reason for your WordPress site not working is probably your PHP crashing due to the dodgy theme (or plugin) that you’ve just activated.

There are other reasons for this error such as a bad install/upgrade, exhausted (very tired) memory limit or your hosting service has an issue but I’m just going to deal with the scenario whereby you’ve activated a theme or plugin and your site has gone

Batman Splat - Yer WordPress blog is down

  1. First check and see if you can access your admin panel on your hosting service. In my case Siteground and as you can see in the screenshot below, they’ve got a file manager which you can use to get your site back on track.

    WordPress error - Siteground's cPanel that enables you to delete or rename the offending theme folder
    WordPress Error – Siteground’s cPanel that enables you to delete or rename the offending theme folder

2. If you don’t have access to your admin panel, access your server via SFTP or FTP. 

3. Using either step 1 or step 2 above navigate to /wp-content/themes/ and rename the directory of your currently active theme. This will force the default theme to activate and hopefully your blog will be back up and running!

 

If that does not resolve the issue, it’s possible that a .htaccess rule could be the source of the problem. To check for this, access your server via SFTP or FTP, or a file manager in your hosting account’s control panel, and rename the .htaccess file. If you can’t find a .htaccess file, make sure that you have set your SFTP or FTP client to view invisible files.

If you’ve still had no joy I wish you the best of luck on your continued search and sorry I couldn’t help more! Here’s a few links that might point you in the right direction:

 

How to Fix the 500 Internal Server Error on Your WordPress Website

Fixing the 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress

WordPress Internal Server Error – How To Fix It Quickly

These issues can be so frustrating. It’s hard enough to focus on getting content onto your blog without some crap theme or plugin wrecking your head. Thanks for reading!

If it did help, feel free to leave a comment below…or not…it’s all good.