Resolve The 503 Service Unavailable Error with Effective Fixes

Resolve The 503 Service Unavailable Error with Effective Fixes

userPosted by Mason Lava

Many errors can arise in a web browser. A common one among them is the 503 service unavailable or 503 error. It occurs when the server is temporarily unavailable to fulfill a specific request that the user makes. In a majority of cases, this error is always on the website itself. So, the user cannot do much about it other than try to open the website later on. This error can occur in any operating system and browser. It means that every OS, whether Windows 10, Windows XP, Linux, or macOS isn’t immune from it. Moreover, the error can also happen on your smartphone. But there are a couple of quick steps you can take to resolve it. Keep reading to know more about the fixes.


What Does the 503 Service Unavailable Error Mean?

This error signals that your web server cannot handle a request temporarily. This web server can be the one you want to access or a server that your web server is attempting to access. The error is known as a 503 error due to the fact that it’s the HTTPS status code that the web server utilizes to delineate that type of error.

Error 503 service unavailable can arise for various reasons. However, the most prevalent ones include:

  • The web server is overburdened with requests.
  • The web server is undergoing maintenance.

Do not confuse the 503 error with a 500 Internal Server Error. The former happens when something hinders the server from fulfilling your request. On the other hand, the 500 Internal Server Error message implies that something is amiss with the website itself. It is not an issue with the browser you are using, your PC, or your internet connectivity. It’s an issue with the website you are attempting to visit.

Like many other errors, website developers and designers can personalize the appearance of the 503 error. It is possible for you to find 503 pages looking differently on varied websites. Some of the prevalent ways you might notice the 503 error include the following.

  • 503 Error
  • 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable
  • http/1.1 Service Unavailable
  • Service Unavailable – DNS Failure
  • HTTP 503
  • HTTP Error 503
  • Error 503 Service Unavailable
  • 503 Service Unavailable


503 Service UnavailableA Server-Side Error

Every HTTP response status code that falls in the 5xx category is called server error response. A 503 service error denotes the temporary unavailability of the server to meet the request. But the server is otherwise functioning as usual. It is different from other gateway-associated 5xx response codes. They denote problems on another server upstream or on the webserver. The 503 error code typically demonstrates a problem on the real web server that’s hosting the user’s application.

In most cases, the web server must present a user-friendly page that demonstrates the service being temporarily unavailable. The application should also dispatch a ‘Response-After‘ HTTP header. This header signifies to the client the length of time they must wait before requesting again. This length of time is either a ‘Date Value‘ that shows the timestamp in which the service will become available. It can also be a numeric value that shows the number of seconds from the present moment that the client should wait before attempting again.

The 503 service not available demonstrates that something is not right within the server of the application, not the client-side components. Thus, those starting to diagnose a problem with their application can neglect client-side components like CSS, HTML, and client-side JavaScript. Likewise, if you are utilizing an app on your smartphone and encountering this error, remember that the issue is not with the app you have installed on your phone. It’s related to the server-side.



What to Do Immediately on Encountering the 503 Service Unavailable Error

You need to be very cautious when you start fixing this error. When you exercise caution initially, you’ll dramatically lower the likelihood of screwing something up. When this error arises, it’s imperative to execute a complete backup of your app, database, and the like. Do it before you make an attempt to change or troubleshoot this problem. If you don’t back up, you may get additional and latent errors. Latent errors are the bugs that are in the service already but haven’t yet surfaced.

A good practice is to create a full copy of your application into another staging server that is not otherwise active. It will provide you with an unambiguous testing ground. You can then test all the needed fixes and troubleshoot the issue. You can carry out all the fixes without hurting the security of the live application.


How to Troubleshoot the 503 Service Unavailable Error

Now that you are well aware of the reasons and nature of this common error, you can proceed with the troubleshooting techniques. Below are various effective tips to fix the factors behind this error on the server-side of things.


1. Conduct a server reboot

An easy way by which you can try to fix error 503 service unavailable is by restarting the application that hosts the web server. If the application is spread over numerous servers, ensure that each is rebooted correctly. It will enable the system to come back online. This error code is often the outcome of an obstacle in the server chain hosting your application. That’s why a reboot, by refreshing everything, can help you use the website again.


2. Refresh the web page

The 503 error is temporary in nature. Its cause can be as simple as the website getting loaded with traffic. In such a case refreshing the web page will resolve this error. In various browsers, the F5 key can refresh the page. The browsers also have a refresh button that’s present on the address bar. This method takes only a second to execute and, in most cases, resolve the problem.

However, be cautious when the error arises while you are in the midst of making a payment. If you refresh a page during this critical moment, you may get charged twice.


3. Find if the website is down for others as well.

Whenever you cannot access a site, you can always find if the problem is something that other people are also facing. It will help you determine if the site is down for some reason. Use tools like and They are very easy to use. You only need to enter the website URL you desire to access. It won’t take much time to know if the site is down for everyone or not.

If it’s down for everyone, there’s no use in trying to fix it by yourself. The best thing to do is to check the site later on. But if the report from the tools shows that the site is up, the issue is at your end. However, it is very rarely the case with 503 errors.


4. Look out for unanticipated maintenance.

At times, your application or server are configured automatically to go for maintenance. Various advanced content management systems such as WordPress download and install updates automatically. They don’t require your intervention. The web server can issue the 503 services temporarily error at this time. It is especially true for those whose application is present on a shared host or a slower server.

If you can access the administration settings of the server, see the automatic maintenance scheduling configuration options. You can disable such an option if you want to have direct control over this process.


5. Fix improper Firewall configurations

A Firewall is the website’s gatekeeper. It tracks network traffic and determines which of it is safe and which is malicious. It protects your website from distributed denial-of-service or DDoS attacks. However, it’s also possible for the Firewall configured on your network in which the application is operating to prevent essential traffic from passing through.

A faulty Firewall configuration makes the firewall regard requests from a content delivery network as a potential attack on the server. It rejects the, which results in the 503 services unavailable error. It can also reject applications that function as a third-party host for images, videos, and other heavy content. Although it enables your application to preserve its speed and productivity, you encounter the 503 error. The best solution is to go through your Firewall configuration and fix the problem.


6. Inspect the server-side logs

Server logs and application logs are two kinds of server-side logs. Server logs give data regarding the hardware operating on the server. Through it, you can find about the status and health of the server. Application logs give you the complete history of your website. Through it, you can view all the web pages that have been requested by the servers and visitors that they linked to.

You can check both these server-side logs to find any suspicious data about your website or server. On the search engine, type’ logs [PLATFORM_NAME]’ if you use a CMS. If you are operating a custom application, you can input ‘logs [PROGRAMMING_LANGUAGE]’ to get more data on discovering the relevant logs.


7. Go through the site code to uncover bugs.

In case there’s an error in the code of your site, it may hinder the web server from accurately meeting the content delivery network’s requests. You can try diagnosing the source of the issue by manually debugging the application.

Go through the code to pinpoint bugs. You can also copy the code into a development machine. It’ll execute a complete debug procedure, which will simulate the precise situation your 503 error happened in. Thus, you’ll be able to determine the exact time the issue occurred.


Final Words

Irrespective of the cause and the appearance of the 503 error, its important to resolve it earlier on. It is especially true for business owners who have numerous customers visiting their site daily. You can reach out to a professional WordPress Supports service in case you aren’t able to diagnose and fix the issue. The technicians are adept at resolving errors of varying complexity on the WordPress CMS. You’ll surely benefit from a speedy resolution to all your technical concerns.

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