How to Fix Http 503 Error – A Complete Guide

How to Fix Http 503 Error – A Complete Guide

How to Fix Http 503 Error

Browsing the internet is not always pain sailing. There are numerous errors that can pop up and disrupt the whole user experience and a few informed ones easily scoot past such trivial blunders.

A sudden-panic situation arises in the absence of troubleshooting options and all it takes is some knowledge of simple steps to alleviate this unfortunate little hindrance or stress.

A Complete Guide - How To Fix http 503 Error

In this post we will discuss what is http 503 error code and simple practical and effective ways to fix the http 503 error code.

What does HTTP 503 Error mean?

What is http 503 error code? A http 503 error code appears when there is something preventing your browser from accessing the target server and that server is unable to handle the request for some reason.

What Does HTTP 503 Error Mean

Users are often presented with a handful of suggested actions once an error appears including trying to access the website after an arbitrary period of time.

Some websites do not even offer this advice or just presents users with a blank error page which is fairly useless in solving the issue.

What is Http 503 Error Service Unavailable?

They are Hypertext Transfer Protocol – HTTP response status codes that are used for communication from server to client. These codes point out whether or not an HTTP request was able to be fulfilled.

Among the five types of HTTP responses – server errors (500- 599) sum up the fifth category and the http 503 error code is in this family of classification.

What is Http 503 Service Unavailable Error

It is absolutely important to understand the significance before we can deal with the http 503 error code causes.

A 503 error service unavailable is a HTTP status code which stipulates that a web server is unavailable to process the request which is being directly accessed or where the web browser is attempting to gain access to.

What is http 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable

On the other hand a http 503 error page can also indicate an internet or network inadequacy, a temporary error or pointing out that a server is temporarily unavailable. It does not necessarily mean that a server has crashed or shut down.

Anybody trying to gain access to a website, application or a browser through any operating system can come across this error.

In simple terms a http 503 error code arises due to a problem on the server end or fault in the internet connection which can be resolved with a fully functioning server.

A server sided error like this is different from client sided errors like 400-Bad request, 403-Forbidden, 404-Not Found, 408-Request Time Out, etc.

What is Server Side Error?

All those status codes that initiate with the number 5 indicate the instances where the server has met with an error – http error 503 backend fetch failed or http error 503 server too busy.

There are 11 such server sided errors which are not similarly related to each other.

Server Side Error

Most of them represent a server error response and each individual response stand for different server errors which are resolved in different ways.

All server sided errors can only be resolved by webmaster or app builder due to limited server access.

HTTP 503 Error Causes

In order to deal with http 503 error code it is essential to get to the root of the problem and recognise its causes.

As previously mentioned a http 503 error status code pops up due to server problems.

The failure of a web page or website to access any serve can be due to:

Server down for Maintenance

Ongoing server maintenance for example during a plugin, theme or software update can cause this http 503 error code.

In this case the website goes into maintenance mode and may display a message like – Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute. You can also check if your site is down for others too.

server down for maintenance

On the same page the http header communicates the time or date after which the server would be able to accept and process requests.

The maintenance mode only restricts the audience’s access until maintenance is fully completed and gives the administrators full autonomy.

This can also be the case if your WordPress site is in maintenance mode.

Technical Difficulties

Technical trouble encountered by the host provider can also contribute to the cause of http 503 error code resulting in communication blockade between a server and the website.

technical difficulties

Therefore it is always advisable to make sure you or your responsible administrator opt for a trusted and reliable hosting provider like Best-Digital Marketing Services who are able to provide the best and are available when needed.

Server Inadequacy

The incapacity of the server to support an overwhelming number of users due to an abrupt increase in traffic can also cause this http 503 error code. The sudden rise in traffic catches the server off-guard and throws it offline.

Therefore effective configuration of the website or application can aid to process these requests and in other times the service providers opt for bandwidth throttling to lower website congestion or to promote their other unlimited bandwidth services.

Throttling sometimes is purely a planned move by Internet Service Providers -ISPs.

Web Hosting Packages

With Best-Digital Marketing Services you will never face the http 503 error page due to server inadequacy as we provide dedicated servers with SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, daily offline backup, daily malware scanning and clean-up, Let’s Encrypt SSL and 24/7 customer support by our experts with a starting price of just £39.99.

DDoS Attack

A Distributed Denial of Service – DDoS attack crams a website with innumerable access requests and causes it to malfunction thus affecting its functionality.

DDoS Attack

This prompts the website or its server to fall off the wagon and goes offline.

To avoid such an attack, the website owner or webmaster must invest in a good and dependable host provider that provides a great amount of security which proves to be beneficial.

Inaccurate DNS Configuration

A consistent http 503 error page can mean that you may have a faulty Domain Name System – DNS configuration. It is the DNS that converts a web address to its corresponding IP address.

This allows for websites to easily understand domain names instead of numbers which establishes a connection between domain name and IP address.

A faulty DNS configuration on your computer or router can easily redirect you to a different page and can display a 503 error service unavailable.

Configurate The correct DNS

The key to resolve a http 503 error is to figure out its cause and adopt appropriate measures and deal with each accordingly.

It is only with systematic supervision that such errors can be avoided. Our incredible well managed hosting can help you with your WordPress management and supervision skills.

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How a http 503 error code is projected on individual websites is totally at the mercy of website builder or designers.

Majority of big brands have their webpages built creatively with a touch of personality hence which can cause many different configurations and names of this http 503 error code.

No matter what or how – there will always be a http 503 error code present.

Identify http 503 Error

The http error 503 can present itself in the following ways:

  • HTTP 503
  • HTTP Error 503
  • 503 Service Unavailable
  • Error 503 Backend Fetch Failed
  • HTTP Error 503 Unable To Handle the Request
  • HTTP Server Error 503
  • 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable
  • 503 Error
  • Http/1.1 Service Unavailable
  • Error 503 Service Unavailable
  • Service Unavailable – DNS Failure

If any of the above http 503 error code pops up then the website administrators or app builders need to figure out its cause and act quickly.

A persisting http 503 error code can hamper the website or application popularity which depicts a server problem. It is not a computer system fault and nothing can be done on the user’s end to fix it.

How to Fix Http 503 Error?

There is not much that can be done to resolve this error from the user or client’s side – only a safe refresh and restart option.

On the other hand the website administrators need to carefully analyse the http 503 error codes that is causing it. Correct diagnosis of the error is essential so the appropriate troubleshooting measures can be applied.

how to fix http 503 error

Now let us discuss how to fix http 503 error codes. Most of the time the actual cause is not that severe but take your time to figure out the root cause.

How to Resolve Http 503 Error Service Unavailable

There are a couple of measures that can be taken to get ahead of the 503 error service temporarily unavailable which is caused by the server side.

The common fixes given below are divided into two section:

for the users

for developeres or web administrators

Http 503 Error Fixes for Users

1. Refresh or Reboot

A common way to address a http 503 error service unavailable is to refresh or reboot your laptop or computer.

Sometimes a temporary problem like this can be resolved in seconds by refreshing the page.

Refresh or Reboot

On the client or user end you can press the F5 button or Ctrl+R or the refresh button on the address bar which may solve the issue but more than often the http 503 error can only be dealt with from the administrator end.

Another option for users is to restart their devices if they encounter an http 503 error code is when they suspect an incorrect DNS configuration to be the cause.

Error arising due to a DNS fault is mostly conveyed through a message like Service Unavailable – DNS Failure.

Restart Your Devices

Simply restart the computer or router or as an alternative – choose a public DNS server (Google Server) and change the settings for both the computer and router.

If the error still persist after taking the above two measures then users can contact the website and ask for help. All legitimate websites usually supply their contact information with email addresses or contact numbers.

Developers, administrators and webmasters can oversee and remove this server side error more efficiently than any user could.

The following solutions could be used:

Despite going into specific troubleshooting options a website administrators can safely select the alternative to boot the server which quickly restarts the web server.

Reboot The Server

This removes any congestion in the server chain thus providing a smooth server reconnection and removes the 503 error in seconds.

Usually web hosting provider will always plan their reboots across multi servers in manner that would not disrupt the users browsing experience.

2. Examine Firewall Configuration

A firewall’s function is to sort the incoming traffic into potentially harmful and safe elements therefore it is essential that a significant security tool for website safety is used.

However in avoidable circumstances a faulty configuration can cause a firewall to malfunction which can cause some vital traffic to be barred from accessing the website.

Check Firewall Configuration

Normally Content Delivery Network – CDN based applications will undergo this firewall problem frequently.

Automatic firewall resources allow the CDNs to function as responsible third party platforms to hold the heavy content so as to maintain the application’s speed and smoothness.

But sometimes this firewall prevents even the secure data to pass through which then causes a http 503 error code.

Inspect the firewall or temporarily disable the CDN as one of the troubleshooting options.

3. Faulty Server Connection

Http 503 service unavailable errors can crop up due to a server connectivity issue.

In a chain of servers there might be one that would not be responding due to an ongoing maintenance or connection breakdown.

In this instance, all the administrator can do is try to detect the fault in the server connection or look out for the server in maintenance mode.

4. Detect Maintenance Mode

Server maintenance is the most common cause of http 503 error codes. In a planned maintenance schedule, the administrator will be aware and can select a specific time to execute the planned maintenance.

Check Maintenance Mode

There are some applications that may trigger an automatic maintenance mode which is true for WordPress and this automatic maintenance is uninformed therefore resulting in a http 503 error code.

It is advisable to webmasters to locate for any kind of maintenance before panicking at the sight of such an error.

5. Look into Web Server Resource

If there is an increase in traffic on the your website which is causing the http  503 error then it is high time for you to optimise your web server requirements.

Majority of the time it is the cheap hosting usage that causes this error. Growing popularity of your website is directly proportional to a spike in traffic.

Therefore using a CDN, better website hosting, limited plugins, reducing JavaScript and CSS files, adopting Gzip compression and more are the best ways to reduce these errors from arising.

Look Into Web Server Resources

Current hosting provider will resolve this 503 error momentarily and they will suggest you go for their upgrade version which will be costly but unnecessary in the first place.

With Best-Digital Marketing Services you will never face the http 503 error page since we provide dedicated servers with SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, daily offline backup, daily malware scanning and clean-up, Let’s Encrypt SSL and 24/7 customer support by our experts with a starting price of just £39.99.

See our affordable plans offering a whole lot more of possibilities.

6. Check Server Logs

You should always look at your logs since they provide valuable information regarding your server, website errors and application functioning.

Server log conveys valuable information regarding the server used for running the website or the application. These logs can be further inspected via Cpanel to detect the status of the various other connected services.

Check Server Log

A closer look into these logs can help sort the http 503 error service unavailable issues once the root cause is established. A website also displays error logs that can provide a good lead to begin your root analysis.

7. Deactivate or Limit Themes or Plugins

A http 503 error service unavailable can sometimes be caused due to excessive plugins or unsupported themes. This is very common in WordPress hosted sites.

It may be possible that a plugin might be incompatible with your website. Disable the plugins via a FTP client and dive into the WordPress root folder.

Here in the wp-content, the plugin folder exists. Rename the folder – plugins_old so the plugins remain unrecognised by WordPress.

De-activate Plugins

Check and see if the 503 error has been removed. If the error is gone then it was the plugin that was causing unnecessary issue.

Otherwise there is also the theme set up that could have caused the error. In the WordPress database, change the website theme to a default one.

If it is the theme that is causing the error then this step will help to remove the http 503 error service unavailable.

Both the users and web administrators can make use of any of the troubleshooting options above to eliminate the http 503 error status code.


The upset of any http status code indicates a disturbance in the smooth operation of your website. The https 503 error code signifies a server fault or issue.

Despite that there are available options both for the client and server end as mentioned above. All you need to do is carefully identify the actual reason for the error and remove it.

For any server side issues it would be advisable to switch providers to a more reputable hosting provider like Best-Digital Marketing Services d to remove this problem altogether.

If you think that doing this is difficult then contact us today or our support team at Best-Digital Marketing Services who specialises in web performance optimisation.

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How to Fix Http 503 Error – A Complete Guide.