How to “Fix 500 Internal Server Error” When Trying to Log Into Your WordPress Site on Siteground

Siteground is my “go to” hosting provider. Their servers are reliable and fast, by shared hosting standards.

But, I have one site on Siteground that gives a “500 Internal Server Error” every few months when I try to log into the admin of a client’s WordPress site. Or, sometimes I can log in and it gives the error on a certain page of the admin, such as the Update page.

I’ve talked to Siteground about it and they were baffled.

There are many possible causes for “500 Internal Server” errors, but in this particular case, the fix is always the same. Here’s how to fix it when it happens.


Reset Permissions in Siteground

The solution is to reset your file permissions. Log into Siteground, then go to the Websites page and find your site and click the “Site Tools” button for that site.

Once there, click WordPress in the left menu, then click “Install & Manage” under it. Find your website and click the three dots and select “Reset Permissions” as shown below:

How to reset permissions in Siteground

After that, you should be good to go! You should be able to get into your site’s admin with no problem.

Why Does This Happen?

I was baffled about why this was happening until I did some sniffing around BEFORE fixing it. According to file revision dates, the last thing touched on the server seemed to be files for the WordFence plugin. Sure enough, when I looked into the WordFence settings, auto-update was ON. I turned it off. If it never happens again, I know I found the culprit. I’ll post an update when I am more sure of this.

Did this fix work for you? Leave a comment below! – Brian


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