Information for customers experiencing 500 errors

Due to recent upgrades on some of our shared servers, some customers may be experiencing 500 errors on their sites. We are working to resolve these issues across all accounts, however, you may need to apply a new fix temporarily.

To resolve the issue, please use the cPanel File Manager to edit your .htaccess file located in your home folder to include the following:

Within the cPanel File Manager, be sure that you have the “show hidden files” checkbox enabled as your .htaccess file will not be seen otherwise.

# Use PHP 5.3 as default
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php53 .php

These lines will cause your account to use PHP 5.3 instead of the server default which is PHP 5.4.

If you have any issues with this, feel free to leave a comment here on this article or to reach out to Technical Support in which we will be happy to further assist you.

15 thoughts on “Information for customers experiencing 500 errors

  1. Hi Scott, 

    I seem to have resolved my 500 Error.  My .htaccess file originally looked like this:

    # Use PHP53 as default
    # AddHandler application/x-httpd-php53 .php

    So, I added a space and period in the first line, changing “PHP53” to “PHP 5.3”   

    My site,, immediately came online.  

    BTW, as you can see above in my code, the second line in my .htaccess file begain with “#”, I left that in. All seems to be working Ok.

    Let me know if this is a solid fix.



  2. I am facing this issue since moring, I will implement the above mentioned code but how much time will it take to get this issure resolved completely.

    1. Hello Himanshu,

      The server is not broken, but is now using a newer version of php as the default. For sites that need older versions of php their account needs to be specifically set to use that version. This is how that is accomplished.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

    2. Hello Brian,

      You can comment it out by placing a # in front of the line. Do that and test the site again. If it works, then leave it commented out. If not, then you will want to contact our Live Support as there may be something else causing the 500 error.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  3. The .htaccess fix worked for a while, but now my site is down again with the same 500 error. Should I remove the .htaccess fix?


  4. My issue was fixed. As it turned out, it was unrelated to the issue described above. Thanks for the response.

  5. I am unable to access my cPanel, even if I try to access it from my AMP. Is there another way to access the file manager other than through the cPanel?

    All of my sites seem to be returning errors. Is there an expected timeframe that this will be resolved? Thank you.


    1. Hello Fred,

      The line of code for the htaccess file is the fix, but it has nothing to do with accessing your cPanel. Are you getting any specific error when trying to access the cPanel?

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  6. I am in the cPanel File Manager and have the “show hidden files” checkbox enabled. I do not understand what to do now. Please help!

    1. Hello Kristen,

      You can follow our guide on finding the .htaccess file to get to the location of the file itself.

      Once you’ve done that, right-click on the .htaccess file and click Edit.

      You’ll get a text editor encoding pop-up, and can just click on Edit again to actually open up the file.

      Then right at the top of that file, just place this exact text:

      # Use PHP 5.3 as default
      AddHandler application/x-httpd-php53 .php

      This tells the server that your account should run PHP 5.3 instead of the new server default of PHP 5.4. You can also using multiple versions of PHP if certain folders need to run a specific version to function properly.

      If you’re still having any issues at all, please let us know!

      – Jacob

  7. thanks for the feed back, I’ll check out the GTMetrix. Regards the slow site forgive me, I should have been more specific. The public facing site is fine but I’m currently building a wordpress site and the backend is very slow, with uploads and pages rendering very slowly. I’ve been working on the site over the past two weeks and on three occasions this type of sluggishness has been followed by the server going down. I now have permanently in a tab so I can check the server status. I’m on server 143 and it’s been down quite a lot lately.

    1. If you could put in a verified ticket to technical support about it, I’ll be happy to pick it up and take a look for you. Be sure to reference Jeff from Customer Community within the ticket so that they know to send it over to me.

  8. I implememted the change but it didn’t seem to improve the speed of a painfully slow server that is impossible to work with.



    1. This code example is only meant to fix a specific issue and will not affect the speed of your site. From taking a look at your account, it looks like things on the server are operating normally, however, your site could use a bit of optimization. One tool that will help you along the process of optimizing your site would be GTMetrix. I recommend running your site through there to identify ways to improve your site’s performance such as caching and file compression.

  9. Thanks for the code patch Jeff!  Please let us know when it’s ok to remove this from the .htaccess file.  It’s always a big deal when your business site goes down. 

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