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April 30, 2024

Scaling Your Business 4 min read

How to Fix a 502 Bad Gateway Error in 6 Easy Ways

Having a website is table stakes nowadays for businesses. However, the "502 Bad Gateway" can hamper your web presence. The good news is that you can easily fix this WordPress problem. 

As a website owner, you can diagnose and fix this issue on your own. In this short guide, we will learn how. 

But First, What Is a 502 Bad Gateway Error? 

To understand what is a 502 bad gateway error, you need to first learn about how this process works: 

When you visit a website, your web browser sends a request to the website's server. This server sends back the web page (aka content) you want to see. 

Now, here's where it gets interesting. 

Sometimes, things don't go as smoothly as you'd like. When this happens, you will get an HTTP status code. 

Think of it like a signal from the server telling your browser that something is amiss. Along with this code, you may also get a little message explaining the issue. 

One of these status codes is 502 Bad Gateway. This 502 status code pops up when the server gets a weird response from another server. This often occurs when a website uses a proxy server or a gateway server in the mix. 

Now, depending on your web browser and the specific server you're trying to access, you may see all kinds of 502 response code error messages, such as: 

  • "502 Proxy Error" 
  • "HTTP Error 502 – Bad Gateway" 
  • "Error 502" 
  • "502 Service Temporarily Overloaded" 
  • "Temporary Error (502)" 

The root cause of a 502 error can vary drastically: 

  • Server Overload: When the web server is overwhelmed by too many requests, it may struggle to communicate with other necessary servers. 
  • Proxy Server Issues: If you use a proxy server or content delivery network (CDN), problems with these services can trigger a 502 error. 
  • Network Problems: Issues with the network connection between servers can also lead to this error. 
  • Application Errors: Faulty code or misconfigurations in your website's applications can cause this error, particularly if you are requesting data from other servers. 

What It Takes for a 502 Bad Gateway Fix: 6 Easy Tips 

Let's understand how to fix 502 bad requests: 

Tip #1: Refresh the Page + Try a New Browser 

The simplest solution is reloading the page or accessing the website on a different device/browser. Doing so will help you assess if the problem is on the client or the server side. 

Tip #2: Try Clearing Your Website's Cache 

Your browser stores temporary data to speed up future visits to websites. Sometimes, this cached data can cause conflicts. Clearing your website's cache can help solve the 502 Bad Gateway error.  

To do this, head over to your browser's settings. There, you’ll find an option to clear your cache. You will usually find it under the "Privacy" or "History" section.  

Simply follow the prompts to wipe away the cached files. 

Tip #3: Try Clearing the DNS Cache 

Like how your browser stores temporary data, your computer also keeps a record of website addresses to find them later. But if these records get outdated or corrupted, it can lead to errors like 502 Bad Gateway. 

To fix this issue, open your command prompt or terminal (note that it's different for Windows and Mac). Then, type in a specific command to flush the DNS cache. Note that it's usually something like "ipconfig /flushdns" for Windows or "sudo dscacheutil -flushcache" for Mac. 

Tip #4: Cross-Check Your Site's Error Log 

An often-ignored solution, check if your website's server has logged details about what went wrong. This error log can provide valuable clues and help you to correct course faster. 

To do this, you'll need to first access your website's server via FTP or a hosting control panel. Then, look for the error log file (often named "error_log" or something similar).  

Finally, open it and examine the entries to identify the root issue. 

Tip #5: Deactivate Corrupted Plugins and Themes 

Sometimes, a poorly coded or incompatible plugin/theme can clash with your site's functionality and lead to errors like the 502 Bad Gateway. 

To disable the plugins/themes, access your website's backend (usually through your Content Management System such as WordPress). Next, deactivate your plugins one by one and test your site after each deactivation to pinpoint the source. You can follow the same process for disabling themes. 

Tip #6: Disable Your CDN or Firewall 

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and firewalls can enhance security and performance, but they can also introduce complications. In most cases, if you are using Cloudflare, the tool will check to see if there are any problems.  

To manage or disable your CDN, log into your CDN or firewall service provider's dashboard. Then, look for options to temporarily disable or pause these services. 

Pro tip: Remember to reactivate them once you've identified and fixed the issue to maintain the security and performance benefits. 

The 502 Bad Gateway Error Can Be Resolved Easily... 

Fixing the 502 Bad Gateway error is not as impossible or technical as it seems. Follow these tips and get your site's performance back up in seconds. 

If you are looking for a hosting provider who can help you with these kinds of technical issues and offer 24/7 chat support, our technical team at Vodien is here to help. 

So don't hesitate any longer. Get in touch with us today!

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