How to fix 503 service unavailable error in WordPress

Are you facing 503 service unavailable error in your WordPress website? The problem with the 503 error is that, you can not get any sort of idea, why you are getting this error. I will show you how to fix the 503 service unavailable error in WordPress.

What is the reason behind 503 Service Unavailable Error in WordPress?

There maybe many reasons behind 503 Error. WordPress hosting companies offer fixed amount of resources for each hosting account. Shared hosting can not handle heavy traffic on website and heavy usage of server resources.

The 503 service unavailable error occurs when web server is unable to get a proper response from a PHP script. PHP script could be a complex WordPress plugin, a poor written theme, or a custom code. If this error is caused by heavy usage of server resources, or a DDoS attack then it could automatically disappear in a few minutes.

If it is caused by bad Plugin or poor Theme, then it will keep occurring unless you remove the code that’s causing it.

Let’s take a look at how to fix 503 service unavailable error in WordPress.

Real Solution : Fixing 503 Service Unavailable Error in WordPress

As shown in below steps, we will disable all unnecessary PHP scripts one by one until the error is resolved.

Deactivate All WordPress Plugins

As you cannot login to WordPress dashboard due to the 503 error, you will need to connect to FTP client or File Manager in cPanel. Once connected, go to /wp-content/ folder and rename the plugins folder to something plugins-backup.

Now, you need to create a new folder named plugins.

Now check if this trick resolved the error.

If it did, then some installed plugin was causing the error. Now you need to figure out which plugin was causing the issue. For that you need to go to /wp-content/ folder and delete the empty plugins folder.

After that you need to rename the plugins-backup folder to plugins. This will make all your previously installed plugins available deactivated state.

You need to visit the WordPress admin area and then go to the plugins page. You can activate your plugins one by one and check which plugin is causing the issue. You need to repeat above step until you find the plugin causing the 503 error.

If above trick did not solve your issue, you can move on to the next step.

Switch to a Default WordPress Theme

The next step will be to switch to a default WordPress theme. This will deactivate your current WordPress theme.

As you did for plugins, connect to FTP and go to /wp-content/themes/ folder.

Download your current WordPress theme as backup. Now, you can delete active theme from server and make Twenty Seventeen or Twenty Sixteen default theme. Now check if it solve 503 error.


If above both methods fail to resolve your error, then you have to follow following steps:

  • Please contact your WordPress hosting company because they may help you to find exact issue.
  • As a last option, you can reinstall WordPress with a fresh copy (Personally i do not recommend this).

I hope above article helped you to solve 503 Service Unable issue. Kindly leave your comments below.

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