503 error in WordPress

One of the puzzling WordPress issues is the 503 Service Unavailable error that can be created on WordPress website for various reasons. The main reason behind the display of 503 error in WordPress is not completely clear. In fact, this error may be due to various bugs. In addition, depending on the configuration of the server, this error is displayed in different ways. For example:

  • 503 Service Unavailable
  • Http / 1.1 Service Unavailable
  • HTTP Server Error 503
  • 503 Error
  • HTTP 503
  • HTTP Error 503.

What causes 503 error in WordPress?

As we said we don’t know the main reason for the error 503 in WordPress. However, we can mention below reasons:

  • Existence of bugs in plugins or site themes
  • Incompatibility of PHP code
  • Low traction and server resources
  • Malicious attacks like DDoS attacks.
503 error in WordPress

503 error in WordPress

In the following, we will review all of the above items and provide solutions to fix 503 error WordPress. Stay with us.

Plugins bugs

Malicious plugins always cause a lot of problems for WordPad users. In fact, probably plugin bugs are the main factor in creating WordPress 503 service unavailable.

If you encounter such an error after installing or updating a plugin, undoubtedly, the main cause of this error is the corresponding plugin. You can fix the error by removing and replacing the plugin with the same item.

If you do not know which plugin might have created WordPress 503 service unavailable, then first deactivate all plugins. the question here is how to disable this plugin because you do not have any access to the admin panel.

Disable all WordPress plugins

Easily connect to your own directory using FTP or File Manager. Note that we have used FileZilla in this tutorial.

503 error in WordPress

Look at the above and below image, as you can see. There is not much difference, the image above is made using FileZilla, and the image below is the file management environment.

503 error in WordPress

503 error in WordPress

Now it’s easy to use the File Manager or FTP to enter the wp-content folder at the root of your WordPress. Now that you’ve logged in, find and right-click the Plugins folder, and then rename it to plugins-old.

503 error in WordPress

This will disable all your plugins at once. Now rename plugins-old to plugins and reload your website. If error 503 is gone most likely, a plugin is the main reason for it to happen.

Now, you should find and remove the plugin. Go to your WordPress dashboard and enable your plugins. Re-evaluate your website to re-arrange your WordPress 503 after each activation. Now, when you find out which plugin is causing this error, delete it using FTP or File Manager.

503 error in WordPress

WordPress theme

Sometimes due to the existence of bugs in the theme of the website, they create the 503 error in WordPress. To be sure, whether your template is the main reason for this error, you need to restore your website theme to WordPress default format like 20*70. Follow the below.

Before you deactivate/delete the theme, make a backup. Using FTP or File Manager, go to the wp-content folder and then the themes folder. Find the active theme on your website and disable it as below.

503 error in WordPress

After downloading the Active theme site, remove the corresponding folder and then reload your website. If Error 503 is resolved, the problem is the theme, but if it is not resolved, you need to check other items.

Incompatibility of the PHP code

Sometimes a piece of code added to your website has created this mess. However, how do you know which code does it make? On days when your website works properly, you can find them using debugging plugins like Query Monitor and Debug Bar.

Activating WP_DEBUG

Since it is not possible to access to the admin panel when you face with 503 error in WordPress You must use WP_DEBUG and WP_DEBUG_LOG, WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY and @ini_set constants available in WordPress. To enable debugging in WordPress and send an error to an inbox, follow these steps:

Open your WordPress directory using FTP or FileManager.
Open the wp-config.php file.
Scroll down to see where WP_DEBUG is define (‘WP_DEBUG’, false);
Change code define (‘WP_DEBUG’, false); to the following code.

Define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);

Define(‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true);

Define(‘WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY’, false);


Save changes

503 error in WordPress

Reload your site to re-create 503 Error. Then, you will see an unknown file named debug.log in the wp-content folder.

This file contains all the errors on your website. If the 503 service unavailable error that created by a custom snippet code, is displayed in this file in full detail.

Server issues

A number of server-related issues can cause 503 error in WordPress. Usually, 503 error which caused by server problems will automatically disappear after a few minutes.

Tip: Do you receive service unavailable 503 continuously? If so, check your google analytics. If you receive more traffic than usual, you will definitely have less server resources.

503 error in WordPress
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