8 Effective Ways of Fixing 502 Bad Gateway

Fixing 502 Bad Gateway - When you are browsing on the internet, you may have experienced several errors such as "Error establishing a database connection" or "HTTP Error 500". One of the most common types of website errors is "HTTP 502 Bad Gateway Error". This is one type of error that doesn't only occur on WordPress websites, but sometimes also occurs on Gmail, Twitter, and Cloudflare. This time, we will discuss "What is HTTP 502 Bad Gateway Error?" and the most effective ways of fixing error 502 bad gateway.

What is the meaning of "502 Bad Gateway" Error?

Before we discuss how to troubleshoot 502 bad gateway error, we will explain what a 502 Bad Gateway Error is. Every time you visit a website, your browser will send a request to the web server. Then the web server will receive and process the request. After that, the web server will send the requested resource back together with the HTTP header and HTTP status code. Usually, the HTTP status code won't be visible unless something is wrong. The HTTP status code works as a notification if something is wrong. The number you see is a code that can help you find the right solution.

One of the most commonly seen error codes is 500 status error codes (for example 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, etc.). Each number has different meanings. These codes indicate that your request was received, but the server didn't allow the request to be fulfilled. 

502 Bad Gateway is an error that indicates that the server that works as a gateway or proxy, receives an invalid response from the inbound server.

Kinds of 502 Bad Gateway Errors

  502 Bad Gateway Nginx
With the large number of browsers, web servers, and operating systems (OS) in the world, 502 Bad Gateway can appear with several different views, but basically, they all have the same meaning. Some kinds of the 502 bad gateway error that you might see while browsing on the internet are:
  • 502 Bad Gateway
  • HTTP Error 502 – Bad Gateway
  • 502 Proxy Error
  • Error 502
  • HTTP 502
  • 502 Service Temporarily Overloaded
  • That’s an error. The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request. Please try again in 30 seconds. That’s all we know.
  • 502 Server Error: The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.
  • 502 Server Error
  • 502 – Web server received an invalid response while acting as a gateway or proxy server. There is a problem with the page you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed. When the web server (while acting as a gateway or proxy) contacted the upstream content server, it received an invalid response from the content server.
  • Nothing appears, just blank white screen
There are also websites that have their own page to display 502 Bad Gateway error, and usually, their custom web page is user-friendly, like this one.

The Effect of 502 Bad Gateway on SEO

In contrast to the "Short for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute" error, which is used for maintenance mode on WordPress and tells Google to check the website again at a later time, error 502 Bad Gateway directly affects SEO if it's not fixed quickly.

If your website experiences 10 minutes of downtime and your website is crawled by Google consistently, the crawler will usually crawl the page from the cache of the page. But if your website downtime is really long for example 6 hours more, then Google might see Error 502 Bad Gateway on your website. This can drop your website ranking on Google directly, of course you don't want that to happen right?

Fixing 502 Bad Gateway Error Quickly

The 502 Bad Gateway error is usually related to network or server problems. However, this error can also be caused by the client-side issue.  So, we will tell you about some effective ways of fixing 502 Bad Gateway error from the server side and client side.

Reload the Page and Clear Web Browser's Cache

The first step you should try when you get a 502 bad gateway error is waiting for at least one minute and reload or refresh your website page. There is a possibility that a 502 bad gateway error occurred because the server was overloaded and soon, the website will be normal again.  

How to Reload Webpage in Google Chrome - Fixing 502 Bad Gateway
When you wait, you can also try opening another website in order to see if the problem is on the website or not. In addition, you can also check DownForEveryoneorJustMe.com. This website will tell you if your website is actually down or there is a problem on the client side. 

If you have reloaded the website page and you still see this error, you can also try to clear the browser cache. If you don't know how to do it, visit this website called RefreshYourCache.com to understand how to do it step by step.

Clear Cache and Browsing Data in Google Chrome - Fixing 502 Bad Gateway

DNS (Domain Name System) Issue

The 502 Bad Gateway Error can also occur due to an issue with DNS. For example, the domain does not resolve the correct IP Address. If you have just migrated your WordPress website to a new hosting, you need to wait for at least 24 hours to ensure that the migration runs smoothly. This depends on the TTL value of your DNS. You can also try clearing your local DNS cache. The way the local DNS cache works is similar to the browser cache. In Windows, you only need to open a command prompt and enter the following code: ipconfig / flushdns. If that works, you will get a message "Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache", as shown below:

Clear the DNS Cache via CMD - Fixing 502 Bad Gateway
For Mac users, you can enter the following code into your Mac terminal: dscacheutil -flushcache. After that, you won't see any messages afterward. You can also temporarily change your DNS server. By default, the DNS server will be automatically selected by your ISP or internet provider, but you can temporarily change the DNS server to the public DNS server.

Hosting Issue

One of the main reasons why we get a 502 Bad Gateway error message is because of an issue with the website hosting. Sometimes queries, scripts, or requests will take longer than usual, and then the request is canceled or turned off by the server. Most hosting (especially shared hosting) implements a "Kill Script" system. Basically, Kill Script is a system where they will stop requests after some time so this request won't affect other hosting users.

Disable The CDN (Content Delivery Network) For A Moment

502 Bad Gateway Error in Cloudflare Websites - Fixing 502 Bad Gateway
A 502 Bad Gateway error can also occur due to a problem with the CDN (Content Delivery Network). If you use a third-party CDN provider, one way to fix 502 Bad Gateway errors quickly is by disabling the CDN for a moment. You can log in to your website via SFTP and rename the plugin folder to cdn-enable_old. This way, you can temporarily turn off the CDN connection, and don't forget to enable it afterward.

Extra Firewall or DDoS Attack Protection from Web Hosting Provider

Besides some of the causes above, the 502 Bad Gateway error can also occur if the web hosting service provider that you are using provides protection from DDoS attack and proxy services as well as those owned by Cloudflare because they do have extra firewalls. Error 502 often appears on the free Cloudflare service. Unfortunately, because Cloudflare is a full proxy service, it's not easy for you to turn it off.

Check Your WordPress Website's Plugins and Themes

In most cases, the reason for the scripts and queries cancellation by the server is because of bad code on your WordPress website. This bad code can come from plugins or third party themes. In addition, there are also some cases where there is a misconfiguration of the plugin caching which eventually causes 502 bad gateway error.

The most effective way you can do to fix this problem is to disable the plugin or change the theme of your website. Remember, you won't lose important data on your website by just deactivating the plugin. If you can still access your admin panel, the way to disable the plugin is to go to the Plugins option and then click Deactivate from the Bulk Actions menu. That way, all plugins on your WordPress website will automatically be deactivated. If this can fix the 502 Bad Gateway error, then the next step is to find out which plugin caused this error, by trying to activate the plugin one by one while reloading your website after each plugin activation. When you see the message 502 bad gateway error appears, it means that you have found which plugin caused error 502. Then you can ask for help from the developer plugin to resolve the problem or post a support ticket in the WordPress repository. It's easy, right?

Deactivate All Wordpress Plugins - Fixing 502 Bad Gateway
If you can't access your admin panel, you can enter your FTP and rename your plugin folder to plugins_old. After that, try checking the website again. If this method works, it means you only have to find out which plugin causes 502 Bad Gateway error, by renaming the plugin folder one by one while reloading the website to see which plugins are problematic. It's kind of the same thing.

As you can see, there are some effective ways of fixing 502 bad gateway error. Usually, this error occurs not because of issues on the client side, but rather related to issues on hosting and websites, the bad code from third-party plugins and themes, or queries that are not optimized. If you still have questions or want to share other ways that are also effective in fixing 502 bad gateway errors that might have been missed in this article, leave it in the comments column below!

Labels: Technology

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