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Why does my website show a 503 error?

If your website suddenly shows a 503 erver errror, do not panic! Usually this error can be easily resolved with a few small adjustment in cPanel. When you have a WordPress website you may have to make some adjustements here. In the WordPress optimization article we also discuss how to change the wp-config.php values.

Also readWordPress optimisations for a faster website


Enable display_errors

Usually the cause of a 503 error is a limit in your website code that has been exceeded. To rule out a few problems we start by enabling the PHP option display_errors. 

Also readWhy does my website give a white screen (WSOD)?

Usually changing a PHP option, where you update the PHP settings and save them, is enough to solve this issue. If the 503 error persists, follow the seps below. 


Change PHP settings

It is possible your package is still hitting PHP limits and causing this 503 error. Next we will increase some PHP options such as max_execution_time.

Step 1: Log in to cPanel.

Step 2: Under the Software category, click Select PHP version.

Select php version

Step 3: Click Switch to PHP options.

Switch to php options

Step 4: Select the values you're looking to change. We recommend the default settings if you do not know what the settings do. We will change the max_execution_time to 300, and set the memory_limit to 1024M. Changes on this page are saved automatically.

Change PHP options

If, after all these changes, you still see 503 errors, it is possible there is something wrong in your website. Contact [email protected] if after all these changes you still see 503 errors.

This knowledgebase article was last updated on: 30 August 2019

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