How to fix the 502 bad gateway error in WordPress

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WordPress is straightforward, but it is equally frustrating to troubleshoot the problems that can occur at any time. Just like stipulating the right medicine to battle disease actually, you need comprehensive knowledge about that disease. Understanding the error and its reasons is important before troubleshooting it.

When your website has the 502 Bad Gateway Error, it’s like unraveling a mystery. You don’t understand what exactly happened or why you anticipate that something is wrong, and you need to resolve it. In this article, I’ll notify you about the 502 Bad Gateway Error and how you can resolve it in your WordPress.

What is a 502 bad gateway error?

A 502 bad gateway error is triggered when your WordPress hosting server gets an invalid response for the requested page.

A bad gateway error is one of the common WordPress errors that you may encounter on your site. It can be caused by several reasons and depending on your server the error message may also differ in looks slightly.

Why Does 502 Bad Gateway Error Occur in WordPress?

We acquire a 502 Bad Gateway Error when the server fails to answer accurately and returns the request with invalid details. However, there are other opportunities as well, and understanding them is essential if you expect to troubleshoot this error actually.

  • WordPress CDN is acting up
  • DNS problems
  • Your server is engaged with other tasks or hit by traffic spikes
  • Origin servers are unresponsive or unavailable
  • Mistakes in the database
  • Issue with the reverse proxy server
  • Corrupt PHP scripts in WordPress files

All of the above options can result in WordPress 502 Bad Gateway Error. However, troubleshooting any error gets tougher if you do not know the components involved in triggering that error.

How Does 502 Bad Gateway Affect the SEO

If your site often goes down because of the 502 Bad Gateway error, it will also impact your site’s traffic. Envision your visitor to get this error on your site; he might not visit your site next time. Also, it will affect the crawling and indexing of your site due to unavailability. Hence, you will forfeit your organic ranking and traffic.

How to Fix the 502 Bad Gateway Error

1. Try Reloading the Page

One of the easiest and first things you should try when encountering a 502 bad gateway error is to simply wait a minute or so and reload the page (F5 or Ctrl + F5). It could be that the host or server is simply overloaded and the site will come right back. While you’re waiting, you could also quickly try a different browser to rule that out as an issue.

2. Clear Browser Cache

Your browser may be displaying you the error page from the cache. Even after the problem is fixed, you will see the 502 error because the browser is loading your website from its cache.

So, just clear your browser cache Also, consider using a distinct browser to troubleshoot if the error is happening because of the browser cache.

Still, seeing the error in all browsers? Go ahead and start reading.

3. Disable the CDN or Firewall

If you are operating a CDN service or WordPress firewall on your website, then their servers could be acting up.

To review this, you will be required to temporarily disable the CDN or firewall. This procedure will be different depending on which service you are operating.

Once disabled, it will remove the additional layer that has been formed between your browser and the hosting server. Your website will now load completely from your server. If the problem was caused by the CDN or firewall service, then it should be fixed now.

After that, you can reach your firewall or CDN service provider for support and solutions on how to enable it back correctly.

4. Update Your WordPress Themes and Plugins

At times, the 502 bad gateway error may be caused by ancient themes and plugins. To see if this is right, you have to review them one by one.

First, you will need to deactivate all WordPress plugins through FTP. After that, notice your website to see if the error has been fixed.

If it has, then one of your plugins was generating the issue. You now required to activate all plugins one by one until you can replicate the error. This will help you encounter the plugin responsible for the error.

You can then examine for an alternative WordPress plugin or reach the plugin author for support.

If deactivating plugins didn’t crack your issue, think about checking your WordPress theme. You will need to switch your WordPress theme through phpMyAdmin.

After switching your theme to the default WordPress theme, visit your website to see if it’s functioning.

5. Restore a WordPress Website Backup

For individuals using a backup plugin with their backups stored in a remote storage location, it may be a useful time to restore one of these backups. This method, you can get your website back up and running just like before the error happened.

Now, if this resolution fails as well, then you may like to consider this next step.

6. Check for PHP Timeouts

Sometimes, the reason behind the 502 bad gateway error is PHP timeouts.

A script on your website may take an unusually long time to complete, exceeding the time limit set by the server. This can occur due to complex calculations, database questions that drag on forever, or poorly optimized code. When this happens, a PHP timeout error occurs.

By scanning for PHP timeouts, you can recognize these slow scripts that might be causing the 502 bad gateway error.

There are a few methods to check for PHP timeouts. One is to enable debug mode, which can deliver some PHP error details.

7. Contact Your Hosting Provider

The final solution is to reach out to your web host’s support, as it’s also likely that the problem is on their end.

If not, they can also assist you with checking your server’s error logs to see what’s occurring to your website.

Make sure to let them understand the issue and mention all the troubleshooting steps you have taken. All good WordPress hosting companies will be able to resolve the issue if it was generated by a server misconfiguration.

How to avoid the 502 status error in the future

As we have noticed, the 502 status error can make your site inaccessible, which can damage your search rankings and conversions. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to control bad gateway errors in the future. Let’s look at some useful precautions. 

  • Vet new plugins and themes
  • Boost to a more powerful hosting solution
  • Review your WordPress error logs


After reading this article, I expect 502 Bad Gateway Error will not look so difficult the next time you see it. The troubleshooting is straightforward if you can predict the source and use the methods listed in this article to resolve it.

You can still resolve the WordPress 502 Bad Gateway Error just by reloading and clearing the browser cache.

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