Any error that makes your WordPress site unusable is a serious concern because it means lost revenue, poor SEO rankings, and a lot of unnecessary stress on you. One of the most notorious errors on the internet is the 502 bad gateway error. This is an annoying and frustrating problem because it can pop up for a number of reasons, making troubleshooting and fixing difficult.

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. If you want to fix the 502 bad gateway error on your WordPress site, take a break as we have some tried and tested solutions for you. By the end of today’s post, you should get rid of the 502 bad gateway error once and for all.

If this sounds like the kind of deal you’d rather not give up, grab yourself a coffee and let’s get started.

What is a 502 Bad Gateway Error?

First of all, in the name of asking, what is a 502 bad gateway error? This is a small lesson on Substance Custody. Hosting your WordPress site usually involves several servers.

The most basic setup might involve four or five(ish) servers, namely:

  • An application server that handles your PHP code and any other dynamic content on your site
  • The database server where the database is located
  • Reverse proxy servers, such as Nginx and Apache, are used to control where HTTP requests go
  • A web server that stores all static files such as images, CSS, and JavaScript
  • CDN (optional performance server)

Now when you enter your website URL in your browser and click Enter, The browser sends several HTTP requests to the reverse proxy server.

The proxy server is then reserved to route the request to the appropriate server. For example, requests for data stored in a database are routed to a database server. Requests for static files are routed to the web server, and requests requiring PHP are handled by the application server.

Each server then sends the data back to the reverse proxy server, which then sends the data to your browser and loads your website. As simple as A, B, C – don’t let strong words like reverse proxy confuse you.

If one of the servers sends an invalid response to the reverse proxy server, your website will not load in the browser as expected. Instead, the reverse proxy server shows you a 502 bad gateway error.

many different forms of animals

502 bad gateway errors can and take many different forms, such as:

  • error 502
  • 502 Gateway Error NGINX
  • 502 proxy error
  • 502 Service temporarily overloaded
  • HTTP Error 502 Bad Gateway
  • 502. This is an error. The server encountered a temporary error and was unable to complete your request. Please try again in 30 seconds. That’s all we know.

What causes a 502 Bad Gateway error?

While a 502 bad gateway error usually occurs on the server side, it can also occur due to issues on your side. Here are a few reasons why you might encounter a 502 bad gateway error (in no particular order):

  • Your upstream server may be overloaded due to a surge in traffic
  • Offline servers will throw you a 502 bad gateway error
  • Server misconfigurations that can occur for a variety of reasons (such as human error), especially if your host moves the server
  • There is a problem with your Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Misbehaving browser cache
  • DNS problems
  • PHP code errors due to problematic plugins or themes

As you can see from the short list above, a 502 bad gateway error can be caused by a variety of reasons. This means you have to try different solutions to fix the error.

Having said that, let’s troubleshoot and fix the 502 bad gateway error on your WordPress site.

How to Fix 502 Bad Gateway Error in WordPress

While this bug may seem problematic to the average Joe, it’s actually pretty easy to fix. You just need a little patience to try the solutions below.

1. Refresh/reload your website

As we already mentioned, most of the time the infamous 502 bad gateway error happens on the server side, especially if you are on shared hosting. A sharp spike in traffic can drain your server resources, sending you into this nasty error. Other times, your server may be running or offline for a number of reasons.

Hosting providers usually fix the problem right away, as website owners hate downtime so much. Also, as long as the site is offline, they lose revenue.

So before you pull out your hair and suffer a panic attack, try refreshing your WordPress site a few times and see if the error clears up on its own. Also, try another browser or device to see if the error resolves itself. However, to make sure the problem isn’t on the server side, test your site with a tool like isup.me.

However, if the error persists after trying the fixes above, move on to the next solution in this article.

2. Clear your browser cache

Are you unable to fix the 502 bad gateway error even after refreshing your browser? If so, perform a hard refresh on the browser (CTRL + F5 on Windows systems and CMD + CTRL + R on OS X systems). Does performing a hard refresh remove the hassle of the 502 bad gateway error? No?

Well, you can try clearing your browser cache directly using the tips we outlined in How to Clear Your WordPress Cache. Did the pesky bug go away after clearing the cache? If so, stop reading and do a happy dance. Even backflips. Joke aside.

If you are still encountering the error, the following solutions may help.

3. Temporarily disable your CDN

Do you use a content delivery network like CloudFlare, KeyCDN, or other CDNs for WordPress? CDNs usually route your website traffic to their servers in order to provide you with better website performance and security.

Problems on their servers can get you a 502 bad gateway issue. Also, if your CDN is not configured correctly, you may encounter a 502 bad gateway error.

To find out if your CDN is at the bottom of a 502 trap, pause your CDN and refresh your website. This forces your site to load directly from your hosting server.

Did the error go away after pausing the CDN? If so, please suspend service and contact their support department. Usually, they fix things quickly, which means you’ll have to go without a CDN for a short period of time.

Each CDN has a different interface, which means you’ll need to confirm with your CDN how to suspend service. However, in my experience, pausing a CDN is as easy as pie, so I don’t expect any issues for you.

4. DNS problems

DNS (short for Domain Name System) is how domain names (such as wpexplorer.com) match their respective IP addresses. If there is a problem with your DNS settings, you may encounter 502 bad gateway errors and other issues.

Recently moved to a new owner? Migration involves reconfiguring DNS servers. DNS propagation takes time, sometimes up to 48 hours or more.

If you encounter a 502 bad gateway error after migration, please wait for your DNS changes to propagate and contact your host for further advice and assistance if needed.

Since we’re talking about DNS, you can also try flushing your local DNS cache. For Windows users, open a command prompt (cmd.exe) and run the following command: ipconfig /flushdns. As a Mac OS X user, run dscacheutil -flushcache in the command terminal.

5. Check your themes and plugins

Can’t seem to fix the bug so far? Maybe the problem is with your plugin or theme. Your theme or one of your plugins may trigger scripts that are not compatible with your server.

As a result, the server killed the script, resulting in a 502 bad gateway error. what to do? Let’s start with your plugin.

6. Plugin Troubleshooting

Due to this error, you may not be able to log in to your WordPress admin dashboard. So how would you troubleshoot a plugin without accessing WordPress admin rights?

Well, it’s simple.Login to your WordPress root directory (usually public_html But it could be something else, depending on where you installed your site) use an FTP application like Filezilla or file manager in cPanel.

After that, navigate to wp-content and find plugin folder.rename the folder to plugin.old Disable all plugins at once. Don’t worry, you won’t lose any data.

Refresh your site to see if the error goes away. If you’re seeing your website instead of an error, then one of your plugins is the problem.

rename plugin.old back plugin and log into your WordPress admin dashboard. Time to find the plugin in question.

Activate the plugins one by one as you reload your site after each activation. Repeat this until you pinpoint the plugin that’s causing the problem. The plugin in question apparently recreates the 502 bad gateway error on activation, which can lock you out of the admin area.

Deactivate or eliminate plugins via FTP or completely file manager, get an alternative or contact the developer for further support.

7. Troubleshoot your event theme

If your problem started after updating your site (ie theme, plugins and WordPress) and deactivating plugins didn’t fix anything, you need to troubleshoot your WordPress theme.

Checking if your theme is the problem is a bit different than troubleshooting plugins. Let’s wrap it up and be done.

Log in to your WordPress root directory via FTP or a file manager.then navigate to wp-content>theme and find your event theme.

Rename the active theme folder to Total. Old. This will deactivate the active theme and activate the default WordPress theme.

Reload your website to check if the error goes away. Is the error still there? This means your theme is fine, in this case you should rename the theme folder to its original name.

If the error disappears, contact your theme developer for more help, or invest in a professionally built theme such as our own Total.

8. If the problem persists, contact your landlord

Even after trying all the above solutions, still can’t seem to fix the 502 bad gateway error on your WordPress site?

Maybe the problem is on the server side, so just contact your host and get professional help. In the meantime, consider investing in top-tier hosting to avoid this error due to fewer server resources available on shared hosting plans.

in conclusion

While a bit confusing and frustrating, 502 bad gateway errors can be easily fixed using the solutions we outline in this post. We hope our post pointed you in the right direction in this regard.

Do you have any ideas, questions or additional fixes? Help us expand this article by sharing your tips, questions, and thoughts in the comments section below.