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internal server error after activating bp

  • Hi, < very new to BP as you’ll gather. I’ve uploaded the files to plugins folder and activated but I’m getting an internal server error across my entire site – I have to delete the folder to restore access. I’ve triple checked that folders are ch modded to 755 and files to 644. I suspect it’s a htaccess issue as frankly I don’t have a clue what a ‘correct’ ht access should read; I’ve just tried copying and pasting a few example ht accesses and none have worked. I’ve tried disabling all plugins whilst installing to no avail. I’m using standard WP. I really want to get this up and running but can’t seem to get around this issue. Help appreciated.

    Edit: Just a thought, I only have about 20mb left on my hosting space, after you activate BP does it ‘expand’? IE will it need more than 20mb, and is it worth asking my host ( to increase my hosting space for a month to see if it works?

Viewing 22 replies - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Edit: Just got this reply from my hosting.


    I could see the following error from the site error logs

    [Thu Mar 11 20:19:50 2010] [error] [client] mod_rewrite: maximum number of internal redirects reached. Assuming configuration error. Use ‘RewriteOptions MaxRedirects’ to increase the limit if necessary., referrer:

    Please check your redirect rules set in .htaccess file.

    This is probably completely wrong, but I’m using this for .htaccess and the file is in cgi-bin

    # BEGIN WordPress

    RewriteEngine On

    RewriteBase /

    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

    RewriteOptions MaxRedirects=200

    # END WordPress

    Can anyone shed any light about whether I’m heading in the right direction or am I completely barking up the wrong tree?

    Jeff Sayre


    First of all, an Error 500 (internal server error) message usually means something is not working properly with one of the software components on you server. It is not directly a WordPress or BuddyPress issue.

    I’m guessing it’s an issue with your PHP install. Forcing the server to run PHP 5 instead of 4 may do the trick–assuming your site is being served under PHP 4. This is just an initial guess. See these threads for more detail:

    However, there could be something else causing the problem. What you need to do is distill your environment down to the lowest common denominator. Make sure WordPress is working fine by itself before installing BuddyPress. To do that, you deactivate all other plugins and test WP by itself. If it is working without issue, then you reinstall BP and activate. You should not have any other plugins besides BP activated and you should be using the default theme that comes with BP when testing.

    By the way, I suggest doing a clean install of BuddyPress. This means making sure the entire BP directory is removed and then starting over with a clean install of BP. Of course, as always, backup any data before you do any upgrades or reinstalls.

    If you do not have any issues with WP running only the BP plugin using the default BP theme, then you know it has something to do with a custom theme, one of your other plugins, or some combination of the two.

    You then start going back up the ladder one step at a time. Switch the default BP theme to your custom theme. Does the problem return? It not, then is has to do with your plugins. Activate one plugin at a time until the issue returns.

    But, with an Error 500, I’m guessing it is something outside of WP and BP causing the issue. Show the links above to your hosting firm. They are the only ones that can help you.

    Also, as another resource, search the WordPress forums to see if anyone there has reported a similar issue.

    Pedro Miguel


    The .htaccess file should not be on cgi-bin but on public_html folder

    Try also to remove RewriteOptions MaxRedirects=200 from the file

    Dragging things back to opening post I noticed a reference to only having 20MB HD space remaining! is that serious and accurate?

    I can’t vouch for WPMU/BP requirements but can tell you that in certain circumstances this could prove fatal for instance as an example We have production servers for a bespoke application we run (nothing to do with BP) this application has a series of tasks to run periodically throughout the day with the big ones being data import and processing of property details along with Images to be resized and duplicated, one of our tasks ran into issues where it wasn’t deleting the original file imports and simply stacking them up in it’s import folder resulting in ever increasing number of files until that one folder had 80GB of images! this crashed our tasks completely as available HD space had been reduced to less than a few MB and all tasks failed as they simply couldn’t create temp space where required.

    If you can definitely increase you available HD space You will need it ultimately if you are allowing blogs to be created and/or user uploads to occur.




    I just visited your hosting company’s website. You’re very likely going to have problems with such a small company.

    I would suggest, as an essential first move, transferring your domain to a host that offers unlimited space and bandwidth.

    A Google search for “unlimited hosting space uk” brings up several affordable options.

    Hmm however ‘unlimited’ is somewhat of a misnomer, there isn’t really such a thing!

    I’m afraid that google search does not really throw up any particularly good hosts or ones hugely suited to WP/BP

    Far more important than unlimited space and bandwidth is a server set up to accommodate WP & BP, that will tend to rule out shared hosting or reseller hosting as you might not be able to configure crucial aspects of the server.

    A VPS solution is the best starting point really and even cheap/basic plans should provide enough HD space and bandwidth initially.

    I do stress the word ‘Tend’ in the above :-)

    It might be worth looking at the hosts that WP recommend as they are naturally all suited to WP WPMU BP

    Thanks for all of the suggestions so far. Unfortunately, 20mb is accurate; I’ve ‘got by’ on a minimal amount of space for a fair while now and I suspected that it was far, far from ideal. I assumed UH would be a fairly larger sized host.. shows how little I know..! They do have very good customer support and are very responsive to any issues I have, I would like to stick with them if their hosting will hold BP (even if I have to upgrade my package to buy more webspace). Is there anything I should ask them? They said they would be more than happy to tweak anything ‘serverside’ or alter anything to do with the php. I have also tried .htaccess in the public html folder, as to whether the .htaccess is correct is a different matter.

    Joining new hosting and transferring my wordpress installation/database over sounds like a very sticky task and not one I’d be confident undertaking. I’d rather take suggestions onboard and see what I can do :) I think I’ll start with increasing filespace?

    tbh having looked at your hosts site as well I wouldn’t have been able top pass a judgement as to whether they were big or small, there are a lot of factors involved in good hosting and these are not necessarilly apparent just by looking at a site.

    If they have offered to tweak settings to you requirements that is a good sign, good customer support counts for a great deal with hosting.

    If your happy with this host I would stick with them, especially if they are willing to tune things as you need them.

    As for basic requirements you need Apache to allow overide so that .htaccess rules will work, you need mem limits for scripts in PHP set quite high (higher than default) PHP version is best at 5.2 or above.

    There are probably guides to optimum and required settings if you look around and and perhaps other members will chip in with min requirements for a healthy installation.

    Out of interest what sort of hosting account do have presently and what do you plan to upgrade to? and are you intending running WPMU for it’s blog creation capabilities.

    Jeff Sayre



    Worrying about HD space is not relevant at this stage. Although the HD space is an issue once things are working, I was under the impression that you could not even get WP with BP working, that you kept receiving a Error 500. If this is the case, the allocated HD space is a moot point at this time.

    Are you still having Error 500 issues? If so, that is where we need to be focusing the attention, unless you are planning on switching to a different host. Please read the threads that I linked to above. Is your site running under PHP 4 or PHP 5? Also, as @hnla states, there can be other issues with PHP memory limits.

    Finally, I am a little concerned that you have manually edited your .htaccess file. If you’ve deactivated and uninstalled all plugins, then the . htaccess file that comes with WP should work fine. Is WordPress working fine by itself once you’ve distilled your WP install down to the lowest common denominator as I detailed in my first post above?

    Let’s get WP working first and worry about BP later.

    Hello Jeff, I have just uploaded buddypress and uploaded the default wordpress .htaccess into my public_html folder. I then deactivated all of my plugins and solely activated buddypress. I immediately got the internal server 500 error, so I have just contacted my host to ask if I’m running PHP4 or 5.

    Just got the following response:

    Php version in the server is 5.2.8.

    If you need us to make any changes at the serverside / in php settings etc, please feel free to ask.

    Jeff Sayre


    Okay, let’s try something else. Back up one step by deactivating BuddyPress once again. Next, make sure that you are using the default WordPress theme. We are trying to make sure that WordPress is working by itself without issue. I assume it is, since you have to activate BP from the Admin panel. But, let’s do this anyway.

    Once again, before doing anything, make sure you have backed up your Data and have offsite copies of any non-default themes and your plugins. It is just a standard precaution that makes it much simpler to restore your environment if anything goes wrong.

    Next, you’ll want to remove all your plugins from the “plugins” directory. Of course, you first have to be absolutely sure that you have deactivated them all before doing this. You should copy your existing, deactivated plugins into a temporary folder. That way, you can add them back into your empty “plugins” directory after everything is back up and running.

    Now, you should have WordPress with the default theme and zero plugins in the “plugins” directory. Make sure that the plugins folder is still there. It should just be empty.

    Does WordPress work without issue in this bare-bones setup?

    If so, now you reupload the BuddyPress plugin into the empty “plugins” directory. Then, activate it. What happens?

    Ok, I’ve deleted all of the plugins folder and all of the themes folder (barring default – I backed these up too). I then uploaded BP and activated – exactly the same ISE 500 as before. I forgot to mention that I did actually install MU, out of curiosity, on my filespace yesterday and tried this exact same procedure and it gave the same results. So it would appear it’s doing the same with bare bones.

    Jeff Sayre


    How are you installing BuddyPress. Are you using the plugins search form in WP admin and automatically installing it from there? Are you manually installing it yourself? Or, are you using a service, an install script, that some Web hosting firms provide?

    Also, can you confirm for me that WordPress works fine before you installing BuddyPress.

    I’m opening my FTP prog (filezilla) and dropping the ‘buddypress’ folder into my plugins folder. I then go into the plugins menu in the dashboard and click on activate which prompts the server error.

    Jeff Sayre


    Okay, is WordPress working fine before installing and activating BuddyPress?

    Also, which version of WordPress and which version of BuddyPress are you using?

    You need to look at your error logs to find out more details–both PHP and Apache logs. Your host should be able to give you access.

    Finally, you can try adding this to the top of your .htaccess file:

    ### Set PHP directives ###
    php_value memory_limit 96M

    You may need to decrease that if your hosting company has not allocated that much memory for your account. You can try 60 then 30, for instance.

    WordPress was indeed working fine – I’ve never had a problem with it until trying to install BP. As soon as the buddypress folder is deleted, access to my site is restored. If the buddypress folder is there and *activated*, I cannot access any of my site. If I does the same on a fresh install of MU, then you’d assume the problem lies with something to do with the hosting, the server, or htaccess, right?

    WordPress – 2.9.2

    BP –

    Edit: I have my access and error logs here. Is it safe to publish a link them on here or is that a bad idea?

    Jeff Sayre


    I would not paste a link to your log files.

    Just paste the most recent errors, as in the errors that were logged with the most recent attempt at activation. Look at the time stamp. Please don’t include the entire log, messages older than the most recent attempt, nor any duplicate error messages. One of each should be sufficient.

    In fact, when debugging an issue like this, it is usually a good idea to clear out the error logs, start with a blank slate. Then, when you have the next issue, you know that any errors in the log are highly relevant.

    And please answer these — Having all that information in one post rather than throughout the whole thread would make it easier for others to help.

    I’d be quite interested in hearing opinions on my next proposed step to resolve this.

    I’m currently building a website for a friend who is on United Hosting’s most basic 200mb webspace package. Out of curiosity, I installed Buddypress. It worked. Immediately.

    So, I had the little idea of registering for a brand new, basic hosting package for one month (£5 to get this sorted is perfectly acceptable I’d say) where I will install Buddypress on it and get it configured.

    I could then import the database tables of my other wordpress install on my other hosting package and go from there, importing themes/plugins etc back bit by bit being very careful as to avoid getting the internal server error again.

    I cuold then cancel the old hosting account and stick with the new one, upgrading it to the hosting package I’m currently on. Is it hard to import and export a rather large WP databse with other 2400 articles in it?

    Is this solution advised? I can’t think of anything else.. nothing as immediate, anyway.

    That said, if it’s something in my WordPress database causing the internal server error, I guess I’m as good as screwed.

    Well, I solved it. How? Started up a new hosting account with United Hosting. The exact same package. Guess I must’ve been on an old server, or the old Ensim control panel couldn’t handle it. I’m not bothered either way, I’m up and running :)

    Jeff Sayre


    Glad to hear you’re in business! Sometimes switching hosts is all that is needed.

    I’m setting this thread to resolved.

Viewing 22 replies - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
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