Error 500 when trying to enable Browser Cache in Hummingbird

Any attempt to add Apache browser cache rules from Hummingbird to .htaccess results in a 500 error on the member's site. The current .htaccess is default multisite with nothing else added to it.

  • Dimitris

    Hello Michael,

    hope you're doing good today! :slight_smile:

    I've made couple of tests, also activated WP_DEBUG once again, but I wasn't able either to make this work, or find the source of this error.

    I've already escalated this to our Second Level Support team for further investigation.

    Me or another colleague of mine will keep you posted here as soon as we've got some valuable insights. Your patience here is highly appreciated!

    Warm regards,

  • Lindeni Mahlalela

    Hello Michael,

    I hope you are doing great today. Thank you for reporting this issue and for your patience while we were looking into this.

    I had a look around your server and noticed a few things that are not in order and that causes the errors to happen.

    1. The .htaccess file is not assigned to the correct user, it says it belongs to michael while it should belong to www-data:

    As a result the file was not writable by the web server and the "ACTIVATE" button on the page was not visible:

    Luckily, this can be fixed with a simple command in the server. I used your SFTP login to SSH into the server and tried to run the command:

    sudo chown www-data:www-data .htaccess

    After this the file belongs to the right owner

    and the "ACTIVATE" button becomes visible again.

    At this point, we are able to click the "ACTIVATE" button and it does write to the .htaccess but then the "500 Internal Server Error" occurs. I had a look again in your server and noticed that I do not see the two modules required by Hummingbird for the caching:

    2. Required modules are not enabled


    you can check if these two modules are enabled by running this command:

    /usr/sbin/apache2 -l

    Running the following command should list those modules but it does not which means they are not enabled. To solve this, two things need to be done:

    a. Enable the two modules by running the commands:

    sudo a2enmod headers
    sudo a2enmod expires
    sudo service apache2 restart

    b. If the Error 500 still persists, then edit the file:


    In this file add the following line:

    <Directory “/var/www/”>
    AllowOverride All

    Where is the domain of the website in question. Then finally restart Apache using the command:

    sudo service apache2 restart

    After all these you can try to click the ACTIVATE button again and it should work without issues. If you are still having issues after this, the links on this thread may be useful

    I hope this is helpful. Please try it and let us know the results. If you run into issues please let us know and we will be happy to assist in any way possible, just let us know.

    Have a nice day.

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