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HTTP Error 503 and How to Fix It

http error 503Have you ever encountered the HTTP error 503 in your WordPress site? In fact, this is a common issue that many of you have been suffered, which occurs as frequent as some other errors like HTTP 400 error, HTTP 408 request timeout error and HTTP 500 Internet server error. When meeting this problem, your server gets into trouble. And the worst, there are no clues about what is going wrong. Due to the frustration and confusion caused by this error, we’ll show you a detailed introduction about this error and list some valid solutions to fix it. Thus, you can easily know what is HTTP error 503 in WordPress and how to deal with this issue effectively.

About HTTP Error 503

HTTP error 503 is a kind of HTTP status code, also called 503 Service Unavailable. One of the main reasons that can cause this problem is the temporary overloading requests rushing to your website. When the server is not able to sustain such a heavy burden, the service will be unavailable to visitors. Then there is the HTTP error 503. There are also some other reasons may cause this issue, such as.

  • Maintenance of the server
  • The server is under hacking attacks
  • Suffer bugs
  • Data transfer is over limit
  • Buggy plugins
  • Poorly coded WordPress templates
  • Faulty customized PHP coding stuff or script
  • DDoS attack

In fact, fixing HTTP error 503 is not a big mess. Only if you follow the tips we list as below, you can do it successfully.

503 error

Solutions for Webmasters

HTTP error 503 is a big mess to all the websites, which takes a bad influence on the traffic. This is because people cannot access to your website and download the web pages smoothly. Here, we list 3 valid methods for webmasters.

Check the Application Pool

Each website has an application pool. You need to check whether the application pool is still opened up. If it has been closed, the HTTP error 503 is come up. In this case, you need to start up the application pool again.

Check the Application Pool Request Queue

If the application pool is not closed, you need to check whether the request queue is over exceeded. Every website has been set the maximum number of request (the default is 1000). If the requests surpass the limitation, the site will suffer HTTP error 503. You can solve this problem by increasing the request queue.

Check the CUP Occupation

If the CUP utilization is over the given percentage, it takes up the CPU for a long time. In this circumstance, the application pool is probably closed. You just need to restart the application pool and then fix the error.

Deactivate Your WordPress Plugins

While the faulty and buggy plugins may cause the most of your website issues, your first choice is to deactivate the currently installed plugins to see whether it is their responsibility to lead to the 503 error. If your website comes back to the normal situation, it means that at least one plugin gets your site in trouble. In this case, you can reactivate your plugins one by one until find the buggy one.

To do this, you only need to enter your wp-content folder using the FTP client. After finding the plugins folder, you can rename it for the bulk deactivation.

Deactivate Your WordPress Plugins

Deactivate Your WordPress Theme

The reason for doing so is the same as doing to your website plugins. The only difference is that before the deactivation, you should Back your WordPress, especially if you have made some customization settings on it.

The process also goes the similar as your plugins. You just need to enter wp-content folder > themes folder. After finding your currently active theme, you can delete or rename it.

Deactivate Your WordPress Theme

If it is your theme that causes the 503 error, you should switch to another theme option.

Enable WP-DEBUG of Your WordPess Site

Generally, the 503 error will lock you out of your admin panel, so you can use the WP_DEBUG mode by following the below steps.

  • Open the wp-config.php file using your FTP client or the cPanel File Manager.
  • Scroll down to the WP_DEBUG section with the following showcased lines code.
  • Save changes to the file.
  • Reload your website for provoking the error.
  • Locate the debug.log file from your wp-content folder. Here, you can find the custom code snippet that causes the 503 error.


Solutions for Visitors

fix http errorAs a visitor, when suffering HTTP error 503, you can check your network conditions at first. You can refresh the web page or restart the browser. Check the detailed information in the following.

Refresh the Web Page

As a temporary issue happens occasionally, HTTP error 503 is just like an emergency situation to a website. People always suffer it when browsing a web page, but they find the page can return to normal soon. In this case, you can press F5 or the click refresh button to reload the page. And then, the web content will get right.

Restart the Browser

If the website is not compatible with the browser, it may cause the HTTP error 503. In this case, you need to restart the browser or use the other browsers to load the web page.

Ask for the Webmaster

As the 2 methods mentioned above cannot help you solve the issue, you can contact the webmaster to fix it. The technicians will take measures to check it and maintain the server. You need to wait for a while and then visit the site when it is returned to normal.

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