503 service temporarily unavailable wordpress wp admin

WordPress wp-admin 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable

Столкнулся сейчас с проблемой на одном из ранее обслуживаемых сайтов, связанной с входом в админку WordPress. Страница авторизации wp-admin отображается, а вот на проходе авторизации, либо при клике на “забыли пароль” и прочих манипуляция сайт моментально выдавал 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable

Ввиду того, что системный администратор из меня так себе (впрочем, как и бэкендщик), то начал искать решение на просторах интернета. Большинство источников выдают 2 основных решения:
1) Отключить по очереди все плагины, используя FTP
2) Удалить тему, сохранив ее предварительно у себя на компе
…но не тут-то было. Проблема осталась. Написал в тех поддержку следующее письмо (хостинг-провайдер финский):

I’m a administrator of site http://********.fi which located on your hosting. There was a problem with logging in to admin panel (site using CMS WordPress).
I doing next steps:
1) go to http://********/wp-admin
2) Enter the username and password
3) Get an error 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable

I’m already tried to disable plugins and custom themes, but error still appear.
Can it be DDos-attack? Or it can be hosting limitations? Could you help me resolve this problem?

На что был получен ответ:

The problem may be too old PHP-version (5.2). Can we upgrade your PHP-version to newer, recommended version is 7.3?

В принципе, да. Есть в этом смысл. Обновили мы PHP, но теперь у меня вообще страница админки (даже без авторизации) начала отдавать HTTP ERROR 500 … твою же мать.


How to Fix “503 Service Unavailable” Error in WordPress

Updated on May 24, 2022

It’s never great to see your website down and unreachable. That said, error messages help us understand the cause of the issue so we can fix it.

Unfortunately, that is not the case with errors from the 50x family. Those error messages are pretty generic and don’t tell us much about the cause.

So how can you find the root cause of the 503 Service Unavailable Error in WordPress?

What Is the “503 Service Unavailable” Error?

Well, here’s one definition of the error from the Mozilla Foundation.

The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 503 Service Unavailable server error response code indicates that the server is not ready to handle the request.

Common causes are a server that is down for maintenance or overloaded. This response should be used for temporary conditions, and the Retry-After HTTP header should, if possible, contain the estimated time for the recovery of the service.

Caching-related headers that are sent along with this response should be taken care of, as a 503 status is often a temporary condition, and responses shouldn’t usually be cached.

How Is 503 Error Displayed in a Browser?

There are display variations depending on the server configuration and browser itself, but sadly, none of the messages will tell you more about the cause.

Some possible variations include:

  • 503 Service Unavailable
  • Error 503 Service Unavailable
  • The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
  • 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable
  • HTTP Server Error 503
  • HTTP Error 503

Whatever the display variation, the debugging and fixing involve the same steps.

Why Does 503 Error Occur?

Since it’s quite generic, there is no magic wand you can wave to detect the culprit. But you should take the following steps.

While some advice immediately deactivating all plugins, my suggestion is to check the error.log first. If you have WP Debug Log, check that file as well for the latest errors.

These files can be found in the public_html folder on your WordPress installation.

To log in by using SFTP, check our tutorial on how to create and connect to the SFTP user.

If you see a fresh error message that looks like…

/public_html/wp-content/plugins/plugin-name/classes/requests/post/class.php(31): Logger::format_log(NULL, ‘POST’, ‘Create Sessi…’, Array, Object(WP_Error), ”)

…you have probably found the culprit.

Fix “503 Service Unavailable Error” in WordPress

Since we know it’s a plugin-name causing issues, it should be deactivated.

Navigate to wp-content/plugins/plugin-name and rename the folder to plugin-name-new. This will automatically deactivate the plugin so you will have access to the WordPress dashboard. The website should now be functioning properly.

If this is still not working for you because of a conflict with some other plugin or a theme, it’s time to do what everyone suggests.

Rename the wp-content/plugins/plugin-name-new back to wp-content/plugins/plugin-name. Then rename wp-content/plugins to wp-content/plugins-new. This will deactivate all plugins, and the website should start working, even though it’ll probably be broken and non-functional. But at least you can access the dashboard and start the rest of the debugging process.

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To continue debugging, rename the folder wp-content/plugins-new back to wp-content/plugins to show all the deactivated plugins.

Activate plugins one by one until you get the error message again. Good job! You have found the culprit. You can rename or delete that plugin again from SFTP, and you’re done. Now you just need to find a replacement for the plugin in question. Or you could contact their support and see if they can fix it. Maybe it’s a known issue with a common solution (Google helps a lot here.)

What if the Culprit Is the Theme?

If the theme is the culprit and you cannot access the WP dashboard to test that, you’ll have trouble switching to one of the WP default themes. Deactivating an active theme by changing the folder name will not result in activating another theme but in a broken website. It’s easier with plugins since they’re not a requirement like themes are.

To change the theme, use phpMyAdmin or Cloudways’ database manager. For the latter option, follow these simple steps.

Go to your application dashboard and Launch Database Manager.

In DB click on wp_options table in the left-hand sidebar.

Find the row named template to see the name of your activated theme, and click on edit on the left side next to the checkbox.

Change the name to one of the default WP themes you have installed on WP and save changes.

This will activate the default WP theme, and the site should be functional. However, if the theme is the culprit, you obviously need it. Contact their support and ask for a fix.

What Else Can You Do to Fix 503 Error?


While it could be possible to increase your resources, the website would be hampered by long loading times for a while. You’ll need a bigger server with more RAM and CPU.

If that is the case and you really need more resources, you can easily scale up the server from your server management dashboard in Cloudways. Cloudways’ scalable WordPress hosting makes this task efficient and hassle-free.

If you have CDN activated, try to deactivate it temporarily to see if that will resolve the issue. It’s not the most common culprit, but the fix is worth a try.

Limit WordPress Heartbeat API

The WordPress Heartbeat API tracks the vital aspects of WordPress in the server, consuming some resources in that process. Those resources are not insignificant, so limiting this can help. That said, if performance depends on this fraction of resources, you have more WordPress to take care of.

To limit WordPress Heartbeat API in this situation:

Log in to your server via SFTP client and find the folder of your activated theme.

Inside that folder, you will find the functions.php file. Right-click on it and select edit.

In the editor, add this piece of code to it at the bottom of the file.

Save the file and you’re done.


All error messages from the 500 family are the most generic and the hardest to fix since there are many possible reasons and many possible solutions. One of the reasons can be that your site is hacked, and the injected code is eating resources. My suggestion is to hire a professional to take care of the problem, instead of doing it on your own.

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Aleksandar Savkovic

WordPress Developer, Lecturer, the product guy interested in Agile product development. WordCamp and WP/Woo Meetup speaker and Organizer, and Community Manager at Cloudways. Also, a Formula 1 and MotoGP freak.


How to Fix the “503 Service Temporarily Unavailable” Error in WordPress

WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management Software) used today. That is, in large part, due to its straightforwardness and the low level of technical knowledge needed to get a website going. However, despite its user-friendliness, sometimes a WordPress site will encounter an error that can be difficult to solve. This is particularly the case with errors that offer little to no explanation as it makes them daunting for any newer user. The 503 Service Unavailable Error is one of those. It renders both your frontend and backend inaccessible, whilst (as you can see in the screenshot below) offering limited information.

This error can also appear with the following error codes: 503 Error, HTTP 503, HTTP Error 503, HTTP Server Error 503, and HTTP/1.1 Service Unavailable. As all these error codes don’t give any clues regarding the issue, in this article we will show you probable causes and the tried-and-true steps for solving it:

How to Solve the 503 Error

The 503 Service Unavailable Error happens when you try to access a website, but the server hosting it isn’t reachable. That’s due to various reasons which can be loosely grouped into two categories – faulty coding and server issues. The reasons include issues with your plugins and theme, errors due to improper custom scripts, insufficient server resources, or sudden spikes of website traffic. The spike in traffic could be a real issue, caused by an influx of visitors to your website, or a false one, caused by a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service attack). There are several possible approaches to fixing a 503 error. We’ve divided the troubleshooting process into seven steps that will help you pinpoint the exact reason behind the error and solve it as efficiently as possible.

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Deactivate All Plugins

Most frequently, the reason why a 503 error occurs is due to incompatibility issues between the many plugins a typical WordPress site might have. Therefore, the first and easiest step you can take while troubleshooting this issue is to deactivate all plugins. Since you won’t be able to login to your dashboard directly, you would need to connect to the server via FTP.

Connect to your server using your FTP credentials and navigate to the root WordPress directory (often called public_html). Open the wp-content subdirectory, right-click on the plugins folder found within, and click on the Rename option in the dropdown.

Rename the plugins folder (for example, plugins.old or plugins.deactivated) and check if the 503 Error persists.

Renaming the plugins folder will deactivate all plugins. If the error no longer appears, the issue is caused by a faulty plugin. To pinpoint which one, you need to re-activate them all and then deactivate one by one while checking if the 503 error has gone.

Here are the steps you need to take. First, undo the name change for the plugin subdirectory, i.e. restore it to plugins. This will allow you to activate the plugins manually within your dashboard. To do so, navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins and activate all your plugins manually. Then, log out of your admin dashboard.

The next step requires you to reconnect to your server using your FTP credentials and navigate to your plugins directory which should be located at your-site/wp-content/plugins/. Select a plugin, right-click on the plugins’ folder followed by clicking on the Rename option.

Rename the folder (for example, plugin-name.old or plugin-name.deactivated).

Then try to log in to your dashboard again. If you are able to log in, you have found your culprit—the plugin you previously deactivated by changing its folder name. If you weren’t able to log in, repeat the same process for all plugins, one by one, until you find the faulty one. After establishing which plugin caused the issue, contact its developers for assistance.

Switch to a Default Theme

Another likely reason for the 503 error is a faulty theme, so the next troubleshooting method is to deactivate it. For users who have multiple themes installed (including a default one like Twenty Twenty), simply deactivate your current theme via FTP. This will activate the default WordPress theme. Then, try to log to your admin dashboard once more. If you are successful, it indicates that the 503 error was caused by the theme you were using.

You can deactivate your current theme by connecting to the server using your FTP credentials and locating the root WordPress directory. Navigate to the /wp-content/themes/ directory, right-click your current theme’s directory and select the Rename option.

Rename the theme directory and then try to log in to your dashboard.

If you don’t have a default WordPress theme installed, there is an added step. You will have to download one from the WordPress repository first, upload it to your WordPress installation, and then deactivate your current theme.

To complete this added step, navigate to the WordPress default theme repository, pick a theme using the search filter, and download it.

Locate the downloaded file—it will be a zipped folder with the name theme-name.zip (theme-name being the actual name of the theme). It will most likely be in your Downloads folder.

After you locate the .zip file, extract it. Connect to your server using your FTP credentials and navigate to the following path: your-site-url/wp-content/themes/.

Drag and drop the unzipped theme-name folder and wait for it to upload.

Make sure not to put the new theme’s folder inside the folder(s) of another theme!

Then, test if your current theme is the source of the issue, by disabling it as described in the section above. If your site stops showing the 503 error while using a default WordPress theme, then you’ll know your original theme was actually the reason for the issue. In that case, you should contact its developers for assistance.

Qode WordPress Themes: Top Picks

Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme


A Genuinely Multi-Concept Theme


Fresh Startup Business Theme


Beauty and Cosmetics Shop

Turn on and Review Your Error Log

If you weren’t able to figure out the source of the 503 error by trying the first two suggested solutions, then inspecting any custom PHP code you might have added is your next go-to. However, as it could be quite hard to keep track of all the custom code you added over time, it is always best to turn on debugging and review your error log for clues. Furthermore, both plugins and themes can add a lot of custom scripts to your site, so reviewing your error log can help you pinpoint the exact line of faulty code, regardless of its origin. Reviewing the error log could be a valuable step towards solving the 503 error quickly even if the issue is caused by your current theme or any of the plugins you are using.

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To turn on error logging, connect to your server using your FTP credentials then navigate to the root WordPress directory (often called public_html). Right-click on the wp-config.php file and press the View/Edit option.

Open the file with a text editor and, above the /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ line insert the following code:

The first two lines of this code enable the debugging mode and the storing of error messages inside a file called debug.log. The path to that file is your-site/wp-content/debug.log. The following two lines of code prevent the showing and printing of error messages on your screen.

If you open the wp-config.php file and find the first line of code already present in the form define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false); you can still keep it by changing false into true. Then, add the remaining three lines of code.

Save the changes made and upload the edited file back to your root directory, overriding the wp-config.php file currently on the server.

If you are unable to edit the wp-config.php file, you will need to temporarily change its permissions. To do so, locate your wp-config.php file once more, right-click on it and select the File permissions option.

In the field for Numeric value, type in either the number 644 or 666 and press the OK button.

After adjusting the permissions, try inserting the code mentioned above. When you’re done, change the permissions on your wp-config.php file back to either 440 or 400, as those are the suggested permissions on this file.

Upon retrieving the debug.log file, review the error messages within. Please be aware that this could take some time or be quite difficult as the messages won’t directly mention the 503 error. Therefore, you might want to find some additional professional help, such as a developer. Depending on the file paths mentioned in the error messages, contacting the plugin or theme developers, or even your hosting provider, can be beneficial, too.

Limit WordPress Heartbeat

Heartbeat is a built-in WordPress API, introduced in version 3.6. It has a lot of practical uses—creating periodical autosaves of your posts while you edit them, showing notifications in your admin dashboard, managing real-time sales dates of your e-commerce plugins, and showing the notification that another user is editing the post on sites with multiple authors. However, performing all these functionalities can take its toll on server resources, especially if they aren’t that high to begin with.

The easiest way to check if the Heartbeat API is the reason behind the 503 error is to deactivate it. To achieve this, you need to add a piece of custom code at the end of your theme’s functions.php file.

That’s done by connecting to your server using your FTP credentials and going to your root WordPress directory. Navigate to wp-content/themes, locate the directory of your current theme and open it. Find the functions.php file within, right-click on it and select the View/Edit option.

Open the file using a text editor and add this custom code at the end of the file to deregister the heartbeat script.

Save the changes and upload the edited file back to the server to override the existing one. Afterward, try to access your site to see if the 503 error has disappeared. If the 503 error is still present, it means that the Heartbeat API wasn’t the culprit. Accordingly, remove the previously inserted code for Heartbeat API deactivation.

Limit Google’s maximum crawl rate

Google’s maximum crawl rate represents the maximum number of requests per second that Googlebot sends to your site for crawling purposes. Usually, Google has an algorithm for establishing the optimal website crawl rate. However, if your website has had a great number of requests in a short period of time, the added requests made by Googlebot can cause server load issues and lead to a 503 error. In those cases, it is best to limit Google’s maximum crawl rate. Unfortunately, in the newer version of Google Search Console, there is no longer an option to limit the maximum crawl rate for your website. However, you can still do it if you follow the link to the legacy version of Google Search Console—Google Webmaster Tools. While there, log in with your Google Search Console credentials and choose a verified property (the one for which you want to change the maximum crawl rate).

Find the Crawl rate option in Site Settings, click on the Limit Google’s maximum crawl rate radio button, drag the slider to the Low setting, and press the Save button afterward.

Then, try to access your site. If you are still unable to do so, then you proceed and try another of the methods suggested in this article. Also, don’t forget to reverse the changes you made to the maximum crawl rate by choosing the Let Google optimize for my site option and pressing the Save button.


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