503 Service Unavailable WordPress

503 Service Unavailable WordPress


Do you see a 503 service unavailability error in WordPress? The problem with error 503 is that it gives no indication of what causes it, which makes it extremely frustrating for beginners. In this article, we will show you how to fix the 503 service unavailability error in WordPress.

Causes of 503 Service Unavailable Error in WordPress

A service unavailability 503 error may be caused by a number of factors, including (but not limited to):

  • Buggy plugins or themes
  • A custom PHP script that behaves badly
  • Insufficient server resources
  • Server issues
  • Malicious attacks such as the famous Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack

How To Fix It

  1. Manually Disable All WordPress Plugins

To determine if the error is caused by a plugin, we must disable all plugins. You can manually disable all server-side plugins by simply renaming the WordPress plugins folder.

Step 1: Login To Your Server

First, we need to connect to your server to find all WordPress files related to your website.

You can connect to your server using the CPanel Web File Manager or an FTP client such as FileZilla. For the demonstration, we will use CPanel File Manager because it is accessible to all.

  1. To open your CPanel server, type / cpanel at the end of your domain name (for example: yourwebsite.com/cpanel)
  2. Enter your CPanel username and password to log in.
  3. Find the File Manager application and open the public.html folder.

Step 2: Rename The Plugins Folder

To disable plugins, all you have to do is change your default plugins folder.

  1. 503 Service unavailable error-plugins-2
  2. Open the WP-Content folder
  3. Find the plugins folder and rename it to bad plugins
  4. Create a new empty folder and name it plugins
  5. 503 Service not available error-plugins-3
  6. Now, try loading your website and see if it fixes the problem.

Step 3: Find The Culprit

If your website works and returns to normal, the error is due to a faulty plugin. Let’s see which plugin caused the problem.

  1. Refer to the WP-Content folder
  2. Delete the empty plugins folder that you just created.
  3. Rename the old plugins-bad folder to its original state in plugins only.
  4. This will restore all the plugins you had previously on your website. But do not worry, all these plugins will not be disabled.

Log in now to your WordPress admin dashboard and reactivate your plugins, one by one, until you find the plugin causing the problem.

2. Change The Default Website Theme

If disabling the plug-ins has not fixed the error, this is probably due to a faulty script on your WordPress theme. Let’s try to disable your default theme.

Step 1: Connect to your server

Just follow the instructions in the previous method to connect to your server using an FTP client application or CPanel.

Step 2: Delete the default theme

Once on the server, locate the Themes folder.

  1. 503 Service unavailable error-delete-theme
  2. Go to the WP-Contents folder and open the themes folder.
  3. Start by making a backup copy of your default theme, or better yet, download it to your computer.
  4. Now delete the folder related to your default theme.