> travis > blog

Archive for January, 2007

Occasional 500 Internal Server Errors (on

I've been getting occasional "500 Internal Server Error" messages when I use the php tools on this server: phpbb, wordpress, mediawiki, drupal. When I refresh the page the problem goes away. So, it's probably not a programming or configuration error on my part. More likely, it has something to do with the way the server is configured.

I'm on a shared host ( They do not give me permission to view the Apache error_log. This makes debugging very hard. I have to keep nagging the tech support folks to help me debug. This is frustrating, because I feel like all this back-and-forth communication is wasting my time and theirs. However, I am paying for their services, so their job is to make sure I am a happy customer. Their ability to [help me] resolve these Internal Server Errors will determine whether I stay with them or move to a host which allows me to view the error_log.

Anyway, possible causes of the 500 Internal Server Errors:

  • memory limit
  • cpu limit
  • php process limit
  • other users on this host hogging the cpu, memory, or process limit
  • timeouts (unlikely, since I get the 500 Internal Server Error immediately, not after a delay)
  • something else???

I'll update this post as I get more info about what's causing the errors and what fix(es) are required.

Update: 2007-01-09

The web host admins moved my account to a different server. We'll see if that reduces the Internal Server Errors.

Update: 2007-02-20

Nope!  I still get 500 errors.  Shared hosting sucks! Either that or my particular web host sucks.  I never get these errors on my work's servers, and those get a lot more traffic.