Too many notifications of "HTTP 500 – Internal Server Error" from Uptime Robot

Hello! I really hope someone can give me some insight on what might be the issue with a site I’m having. The site isn’t launched yet so I don’t see a need to share the link and I think I can explain enough without having to share the site. If needed, I will give WPMU access privately.

I use Uptime Robot to monitor my sites. This morning, I got WAY too many notifications about this site going down. The main reasons it gives me is: “Connection Timeout” and “HTTP 500 – Internal Server Error”. The site would go down an average of 20-30 seconds at a time and then it would just come back up on its own. It seems to have slowed down with this downtime, but the site sometimes lag and acts really slow. Other times, it works perfectly normal. It’s very inconsistent.

The site is on my personal VPS and all the other sites on this server work perfectly fine. I seem to only have a problem with this site.

In addition, sometimes in the middle of working on the site, after I save a page, the page ends up going completely blank and in the address bar, the page’s link ends with “options.php” at the end even though I never visited the page. Other times it goes blank and just works fine after a few refreshes.

Does anyone have any insight on why this might be happening? I have no idea how to trouble shoot this as I have never experienced this before.

I don’t know if it helps, but I’m using this theme:

I appreciate your time!


  • Atkotech
    • Recruit

    This error indicates a problem with the server that hosts the site not a problem with the actual site. I would speak to your hosting company & troubleshoot with them any possible causes. The error isn’t any problem with the actual website.

  • Patrick
    • Support Monkey

    Hi there @sinoun

    I hope you’re well today!

    If options.php is getting arbitrarily appended to the URL in the address bar on an otherwise blank page, it sounds like some plugin or theme is on your site may be corrupted and is causing havoc.

    I would implement basic troubleshooting protocol to see which, if any, plugin or theme may causing this. See the diagram at the bottom of this page for the easy-to-follow process:

  • sinoun
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Thanks for the responses Patrick and coremedia!

    1. The strange thing about it being a server issue is that the rest of my sites are perfectly fine on this same server when I experience these issues with the site. What “server issue” specifically could this problem imply?

    2. The first thing I typically do to debug a site is to deactivate all plugins and activate them back one by one and most of the time, I find the issue. The problem with doing this for this particular site is that the site works fine MOST of the time. It’s really random when I get the options.php arbitrarily to show up. It’s also random when the site lags and goes blank. This method of debugging works best when there is a permanent/obvious problem. Do you have any other suggestions on how to debug?

    This really has me stumped! I really appreciate your input and help!


  • Atkotech
    • Recruit

    You might also want to review your plugins. Sometimes if you have a lot of plugins installed & active it puts a heavy load on your site & subsequently your server. I remember an old host I was on the server would repeatedly go down & appeared to come back up of it’s own accord or sometimes I would need to contact their support to reboot it. Apparently my IP address was making excessive calls to the server caused by the number of active plugins I had. I reduced the plugins to ones that were really essential to the site I had & removed the ‘nice to have’ ones that didn’t affect my site in not having them & I never had the problem again. Always try to make sure your plugins are compatible with the version of WordPress you are running too. An out of date plugin can be as bad as a badly written plugin which can foul up your site too. Hope some of this helps.

  • sinoun
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I really appreciate your insight coremedia. I already looked at my plugins a number of times to try to reduce them, but I need every single one that I have installed.

    It is worth noting that for this site, I have about 30 demos installed in a sub domain and each demo is an individual installation of WordPress. I originally had them in multisite, but that didn’t work out well for me. Each demo has the bare minimum of plugins for each site. Could having so many sites under one domain’s subdomain cause this problem even though each site is really small? In addition, the site and demos aren’t even launched yet so the public can’t even access them. If I need to upgrade my Linode server, I’d be happy to do it, but I don’t want to have to pay extra if it’s not needed. I’m just trying to pinpoint what could be causing these issues so I can proceed accordingly.

  • Sajid
    • DEV MAN’s Sidekick

    Hi @sinoun

    Hope you are doing good today :slight_smile:

    Could having so many sites under one domain’s subdomain cause this problem even though each site is really small?

    It should not be any impact on main website. Because each one have its own separate installation.

    To find out which one is causing the problem we must have to deactivate other themes and plugins. Yes I know its a random problem but this is the only way we can troubleshoot. I suggest you to deactivate other plugins and switch to default WordPress theme (TwentyFifteen). Keep checking the site after some time whether its having a problem or not.

    Same goes to plugins, yes I know its a lengthy process but there is not other way to troubleshoot the error. Their is a plugin or theme that causing the problem.

    Take care and have a nice day :slight_smile:

    Best Regards


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