How to fix the “Page Cannot Be Displayed” error caused by an internal server error?

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Page Cannot Be Displayed

Encountering a “Page Cannot Be Displayed” error on your website can be incredibly frustrating. This error often stems from an internal server error, which can disrupt your website’s functionality and negatively impact user experience. Resolving this issue swiftly is crucial to maintaining the smooth operation of your site and ensuring that visitors can access your content without interruption.

Understanding the “Page Cannot Be Displayed” Error

When you see a “Page Cannot Be Displayed” message, it typically indicates a problem on the server-side, preventing the server from displaying the requested webpage. This error can arise from various issues, such as server overloads, configuration errors, script malfunctions, or permission problems.

Diagnosing the Internal Server Error

To fix the error, you first need to diagnose the underlying cause. Start by checking your server logs, which can provide detailed information about what went wrong. Look for common status codes like 500 (Internal Server Error) that signal an internal server issue.

Common Causes of Internal Server Errors

Server Overload

When too many requests hit your server simultaneously, it can become overloaded, leading to an internal server error. This is often due to a sudden spike in traffic or insufficient server resources.

Configuration Errors

Misconfigured server settings, especially in crucial files like .htaccess, can lead to internal server errors. These errors might result from incorrect directives or syntax issues.

Script Errors

Scripts running on your server, such as PHP or Python scripts, can sometimes malfunction, causing the server to throw an error. Bugs, outdated scripts, or incompatible versions can be the culprits.

Permission Issues

Incorrect file and directory permissions can also cause internal server errors. The server needs proper access permissions to execute scripts and serve files.

Steps to Fix Server Overload

Identifying Server Overload

To identify if server overload is causing the error, monitor your server’s performance metrics. High CPU usage, memory usage, and excessive network traffic are indicators of overload.

Solutions for Server Overload

  • Upgrade Server Resources: Consider increasing your server’s CPU, memory, and bandwidth.
  • Optimize Code and Database: Ensure your website’s code and database queries are efficient.
  • Implement Caching: Use caching mechanisms to reduce the load on your server.

Resolving Configuration Errors

Incorrect Settings in .htaccess

The .htaccess file controls many aspects of your server’s configuration. Incorrect settings here can easily cause errors.

Fixing Misconfigurations in Server Files

Review and correct any misconfigurations in server files. Ensure that all directives are correctly formatted and that there are no syntax errors.

Addressing Script Errors

Debugging Scripts

If a script is causing the error, debug it to find the source of the problem. Look for syntax errors, deprecated functions, or compatibility issues with your server’s software.

Updating and Patching Scripts

Make sure all your scripts are up-to-date. Apply any necessary patches or updates to ensure they work correctly with your server.

Fixing Permission Issues

Understanding File and Directory Permissions

Permissions dictate who can read, write, or execute files on your server. Incorrect permissions can prevent the server from accessing essential files.

Correcting Permission Settings

Set the correct permissions for files and directories. Typically, files should be set to 644 and directories to 755.

Checking for Corrupt Files

Identifying Corrupt Files

Corrupt files can cause internal server errors. Use tools to scan your server for corrupt files.

Restoring or Replacing Corrupt Files

If you find corrupt files, restore them from a backup or replace them with fresh copies.

Ensuring Proper Server Resources

Monitoring Server Resources

Regularly monitor your server’s resource usage to ensure it has enough capacity to handle traffic.

Upgrading Server Resources

If your server consistently struggles with high resource usage, consider upgrading your hosting plan or server hardware.

Verifying Server Software

Ensuring Software Compatibility

Ensure that all server software, such as your web server, database, and programming languages, are compatible with each other.

Updating Server Software

Keep all server software up-to-date to benefit from the latest security patches and performance improvements.

Rebooting the Server

When and How to Reboot the Server

Sometimes, a simple reboot can clear up temporary issues causing an internal server error. Reboot your server safely to avoid data loss.

Precautions Before Rebooting

Before rebooting, ensure all data is saved and that users are notified of the downtime.

Implementing a Maintenance Mode

Why Use Maintenance Mode

When performing fixes, it’s helpful to put your website in maintenance mode to prevent users from experiencing errors.

How to Set Up Maintenance Mode

Most content management systems (CMS) offer maintenance mode features. Activate this mode before starting your fixes.

Testing After Fixes

Verifying the Error is Resolved

After implementing fixes, test your website thoroughly to ensure the error is resolved and everything functions correctly.

Tools for Testing Website Performance

Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to check your website’s performance and ensure it runs smoothly.

Preventative Measures

Regular Server Maintenance

Perform regular maintenance tasks, such as updating software, checking logs, and optimizing performance.

Monitoring and Alert Systems

Set up monitoring and alert systems to notify you of any issues before they become serious problems.


Fixing a “Page Cannot Be Displayed” error caused by an internal server error requires a systematic approach. By diagnosing the issue accurately, addressing common causes, and implementing preventative measures, you can ensure your website remains accessible and reliable. Regular maintenance and monitoring are key to preventing such errors in the future.


  1. What is an internal server error? An internal server error is a generic error message indicating something went wrong on the server, preventing it from fulfilling the request.
  2. How can I prevent server overload? Prevent server overload by optimizing your website’s code, using caching, and upgrading server resources as needed.
  3. What should I do if a script causes an error? Debug the script to identify the issue, update it to the latest version, and ensure it’s compatible with your server environment.
  4. How often should I check my server logs? Regularly check your server logs, ideally daily, to catch and address issues promptly.
  5. What are some tools for monitoring server performance? Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, and server monitoring software such as New Relic or Nagios can help monitor and optimize server performance.

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Written by techinpost