The “500 internal server error” usually shows up on websites when the server is experiencing issues, but the root cause can not be found. There is no single cause for a 500 error, but it is one of the most common HTTPS error. The 500 error is a little tricky to fix since it requires engineers to identify the problem before being able to address it.
If you come across an error like this and it persists after you refresh the page there is little you can do. You can report the error to the website in question, though if it is a larger site it is likely the team is already aware of the issue, and is working on a fix.
What is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is one of the world’s largest internet networks, serving millions of websites and online properties. Cloudflare explains: “In the early days of the internet, when you wanted to load a website, your request would go from your computer to a server, which would then return the web page you requested. “If too many requests came in at once, that server could be overwhelmed and crash, becoming unresponsive to anyone trying to access the resources it hosted. “This made it difficult for owners of internet properties to provide content that was fast, safe, and reliable. Cloudflare was created to ease these difficulties and empower users with the resources to make their sites, apps, and blogs safe and performant.”
The problem with this, however, is that when Cloudflare experiences issues, it affects all of the websites it serves.
Cloudflare recognised the issue shortly after 5.30am BST, posting to its status site: “A critical P0 incident was declared at approximately 6.34am UTC. Connectivity in Cloudflare’s network has been disrupted in broad regions. “Customers attempting to reach Cloudflare sites in impacted regions will observe 500 errors. The incident impacts all data plane services in our network.” Cloudflare has said a fix has now been implemented, and it is monitoring the results.
Now, if you see this error on a website you’re visiting, there isn’t much to do. End users can’t usually fix this since the issue arises from the server end. However, sometimes, users see this error due to some fault at their end. To double check, users can refresh the page they are visiting, or delete browser cache.