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I have a WordPress site on godaddy hosting and I'm getting intermittent 500 internal service errors.

I've tried editing permissions and .htaccess, but the problem still abounds.

Anyone else had similar issues that you've solved?

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I stopped getting them when I switched to a Media Temple DV. – John P Bloch Aug 26 '10 at 16:27
@John P Bloch: Well, switching the hoster will most likely end anything. Don't know i that's helpful. – hakre Aug 27 '10 at 21:57
@hakre Yeah, I know it's not that helpful... That's why I kept it to comments and not an answer in its own right. ;) – John P Bloch Aug 28 '10 at 0:57

Hi @lathomas64:

It's very hard to diagnose an intermittent 500 error. If you always get a 500 that would be different.

You might be getting the error when the internal communications between the web server and the MySQL database server have a high level of latency, especially if you have added lots of plugins. You might try disabling each plugin and allowing it to run for a reasonable enough time to determine if it were the culprit.

OTOH, you might follow @John P Bloch's advice and just switch hosts. Ironically today there was the following message posted to a long running thread on the LinkedIn WordPress group about web hosts where most people are giving GoDaddy a very big thumbs down. Here is that post:

hi. i seemed to have wandered into a morass... i became a godaddy reseller so i could offer a one-stop shop for my website clients. so now i have a bunch of clients on godaddy and, as it's be often said here, the performance sucks. i have to say that pricing, support and functionality with godaddy has been great but even with wp super cache, i get timeouts/resets etc. ive called and asked the tech folks at godaddy about it but they deny any issue so there is sit....

at my wp meetup last night, one of my colleagues suggested hostgator as a host and as the place is should resell. so....i'll do my due diligence and let you know what i find and if i move. wish me luck!

Posted by Michael Loewenberg

And this from someone else on the thread:

I've been around the block with lots of hosting companies (BlueHost, TotalChoice Hosting, SurpassHosting, DreamHost, GoDaddy, MediaTemple, HostGator, etc.) and first of all I like to have sites spread out among several hosts in case one goes does down--and they all have downtime. But through the years (and downtimes, and client calls, and fires in server rooms, you name it), I've come to find HostGator to be the fastest WordPress hosting I've experienced. Granted, I'm talking about reseller hosting and shared hosting environments, but it's just zippy speedy. I like that they have real people who answer the phone and they have cPanel and WHM and standards that everyone knows and lets me--and my clients--do things efficiently and easily (backups, FTP, PHP MyAdmin, etc.). Another cool thing they do is transfers up to 30 websites from your old host to your new host (for a reseller account). For a shared plan, they'll move that from your old host to them, too. Pretty cool as moving sites can be time consuming.

Hope that helps!

Posted by Bradley Charbonneau

So, maybe a hosting switch is in order?

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which hosts would you suggest? – lathomas64 Aug 30 '10 at 18:55
I've either had good experience or heard many people praise A Small Orange, HostGator and BlueHost (I use the 1st who were just bought by the 2nd.) There's also WordPress specialists page.ly, wpengine.com and a new one called zippykid.com. Hope this helps. – MikeSchinkel Aug 31 '10 at 9:20
Going with HostGator Thanks again for the advice – lathomas64 Sep 7 '10 at 16:27
@lathomas64: Awesome, hope it helps. – MikeSchinkel Sep 7 '10 at 23:26

The first thing you need to do when you get 500 errors is taking a look into the error log of your webserver. Mostly it's name is Apache. In the error log you find more information why you got a 500 error.

With some hosters you do not have access to the error log personally. You need to contact technical support and ask for the error log then. So, write down date and time when you experienced the error (and the URL).

share|improve this answer
The log isn't much help. Its not one specific url and there wasn't a pattern with the time of day that I could tell. The best go-daddy's support could give was that they don't see the problem and I should try modifying the .htaccess file – lathomas64 Aug 30 '10 at 18:22

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