What does error 503 mean
A 503 Service Unavailable error is a HTTP status code which means that the website server is currently unavailable. This could be because it is too busy, undergoing maintenance or requires deeper analysis.
Many people think this is a common error and that simply refreshing the page can easily solve the problem. But sometimes this easy action will not be enough and you will need to take additional steps.
In this article we will explain the most popular causes of error 503 and how to fix them.
How to correct error 503 as a user
If you are an internet user and you see "Error 503 Service Unavailable" on a potential web page, there are simple steps you can take to easily resolve the error and visit the desired site:
- press the F5 key and reload the page, as the problem may be temporary and will go away after the update;
- if the problem persists after several restarts, try opening the page from a different browser;
- if the previous methods didn't help, try clearing the cache in your browser; in Google Chrome, for example, you can clear the cache by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete.
- try opening the page from another device (phone, tablet), if possible connect via another network source to rule out the possibility of internet service provider malfunction;
- in situations where the above options do not work, contact the platform owners using the feedback service.
These simple steps will determine from whose side the difficulty arose. If you are unable to resolve the problem, wait for the site owner to fix the error and try visiting the page a little later. Often the site administrators are already aware of the situation and are trying to fix it.
How to fix a 503 error for the website owner
When you own a resource, the appearance of a “503 error” adversely affects your business. The position of the resource in the search engines can go down, causing a decrease in traffic and customer attendance to the project.
Since you cannot be sure what caused error 503 in a particular situation, you will need to deal with it methodically. You should not ignore this situation and you need to get on with solving it as quickly as possible.
Why does error 503 occur and how can it be corrected:
- exceeding the limits set by your hosting provider. Find out in detail about the features of your hosting plan and select another one if the problem occurs frequently;
- the hoster cannot handle the huge amount of traffic that comes to the website. Switching to a different plan or choosing a new hosting provider can help;
- the presence of outdated versions of plugins or other components. You can deactivate the existing plugins in your CMS one by one and analyze the site's performance after deactivating each one. If there is no result, update the plugins to the latest version, and if there is no change, try picking up an alternative plugin;
- you should systematically update the CMS and its component parts. Each subsequent update aims to improve activities, remove bugs and improve security, so delete items you don't use to reduce server load;
- it is important to analyze the scripts on the site, as a 503 error can be triggered by their incorrect activity. You need to test and make sure there is no work on the page;
- it is recommended to enable mass mailings during times of the lowest activity on the site and similarly carry out technical configurations on the server and website;
- it is advisable to adjust the caching in the CMS or hosting; there are often caching configuration tools in the hosting management panel;
- the presence of a large number of http links to files that are loaded with the creation of a new query, such as tables or images, it is recommended to reduce their number when an error is issued;
- error 503 may also be the result of a malicious DDoS attack. If this is the case, it is worth contacting the company hosting your site to discuss steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.
"Error 503: Service Temporarily Unavailable" can appear on any site and there are many options to resolve it, ranging from simple actions that a common user will do, to quite complex manipulations, which only system administrators can perform.