I'm using CloudFlare on my shared host. Recently all search engines and is-it-up sites have been getting a 500 error. I'm not sure who's to blame, my host or CloudFlare. I don't remember changing anything.

How should I start to diagnose this?

Has anyone experienced any 500 errors from CloudFlare?

Edit: The browser gets a 500 error too, but that 500 error returns the content of the website.

  • I would begin by checking my server logs on my host. I do not know what is on CloudFlare. But 500 are generally a product of the web server though I suspect it does not have to be. Check each resource on CloudFlare to make sure they are accessible to everyone who may request it. You can also use Chrome Developer Tools and check the waterfall report to see what is failing and why. Also, double check any changes lately- including on your host or CloudFlare which may have been made without your knowledge. – closetnoc Mar 3 '15 at 20:54
  • Edit: The browser gets a 500 error too, but that 500 error returns the content of the website. – User Mar 3 '15 at 20:56
  • Does your server return a 500 code, and proper content, even if you have Cloudflare turned off? You can temporarily disable Cloudflare in their control panel without having to make any DNS changes. – nathangiesbrecht Mar 3 '15 at 20:59
  • If you have Chrome, or even FireFox, the waterfall report which details the individual requests and errors and time to download should help with this. The Network and other tabs should narrow this down for you. If you do not have Chrome installed, I highly recommend it. It is an excellent browser and really helps with issues like this one. I am sure you can find there error using Chromes Developer Tools. – closetnoc Mar 3 '15 at 21:01
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    First thing I would try is turning off all your Wordpress plugins, and see if that returns 200. If so, turn them on one-by-one until you get the 500 status again, and you'll have found your culprit. – nathangiesbrecht Mar 3 '15 at 21:16

If the 500 error is coming from your own site, you should be able to address the problem by looking in the server's error log. 500 errors are produced any time something happens that the web server is not expecting. It is unusual to see a 500 error with the full content of the page, but it is not unheard of. The server log will have the cause of the error recorded for each page request.

If the 500 error is only through Cloudflare, there is a support page you should know about:

HTTP errors in the 500 range, indicate that CloudFlare or your web server experienced an internal error. Unfortunately, the Google Webmaster Tools Health Dashboard provides a limited diagnostic view into these kinds of errors. If your web server is producing errors in the 500 range, it can be challenging to isolate these errors from errors that CloudFlare may be producing. It's very important to report these errors to CloudFlare as soon as they are detected. CloudFlare stores 7 days of error logs and Customer Support will have limited ability to troubleshoot if too much time has elapsed since the error occurred. The best solution is to monitor the health of your web server to help correlate dates of any outages with dates of errors.

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  • Edit: The browser gets a 500 error too, but that 500 error returns the content of the website. – User Mar 3 '15 at 20:56
  • Is this only when accessed though the CDN or also from the web server directly? – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 3 '15 at 20:57

Strangely enough, I got it to work by deleting some already-deactivated plugins. Someone suggested I'd deactivate plugins, so there's where I headed and it worked well.

One was WP Super Cache, because I switched to W3 Cache. Another was XML Sitemap plugin.

All works good now, thanks everyone!

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Just a quick note that a 500 internal server error is an issue with your actual server. If you want to test this in the future, then you can run this command in terminal to see what your server is returning:

curl -v -H 'Host: yourdomain.com' yourserver IP (replace with your actual domain & your server IP address in those fields).

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