Finding 500 Internal Server Errors with CPanel

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Like many businesses, our customers like CPanel because of its ease of use and quick administration. Figuring out what 500 Internal Server Errors mean is quick and easy (for the most part, there are always exceptions :-) ) Note: Incorrect permissions can cause these errors and are easy to check.

To solve a 500 Internal Server Error, the first step is to review the error log, created by your web server, such as Apache or Nginx.

To do this, take the following steps:

  • Login to cpanel (We always try to use https for our customers)
  • Find the Logs section
  • Click on the Error Log icon

Now that you've found your error log, you're looking for the latest error (Note: You can also use ssh and view the logs by command line) The error might look like this:

[Wed Mar 12 19:52:38 2014] [error] [client XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX] SoftException in Application.cpp:601: Directory "/directory/public_html/install" is writeable by group, referer:

So here we have our error message with the format: > [Date][Error][client (the IP address that connected to the site)] "The error message", "Where the code was triggered from on the server"

In our error message above, we had a directory with permissions issues, in particular they were too permissive. A quick chmod -R 755 public_html/install from the command line solved the problem and we were up and running.

To fix the permissions from CPanel, take the following steps:

  • Find the Files section
  • Click on the File Manager icon and select the directory you would like to edit. Usually public_html/www or similar
  • Find the folder that you would like to change permissions on
  • Click on the Perms cell for that folder row and change. 0755 is usually the most permissible you would want to go.

We hope that helped and here are some links for more information:

Permissions -

General CPanel Support Information -

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