sometimes procrastination helps

I surfed to my blog today, only to find the following, disturbing error message:

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, … and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

I checked my host’s status page to see if the server was down. Nope.

I have several websites running with this host. I checked several of them. Most were down, but not all.

I checked the php logs, in particular error.log (I won’t say where it’s located; you can find that out from your specific hosting service). In the log I saw this:

[Fri Sep 22 09:39:26 2017] [error] [client ...] Premature end of script headers: wp-login.php
[Fri Sep 22 09:39:27 2017] [error] [client ...] Premature end of script headers: index.php

I knew my host had recently updated WordPress, and I wondered if this was causing the problem. I started an internet search, but it turns out the “Premature end of script headers” error is quite common and difficult to diagnose.

I kept checking back at my blog, while doing all this, and suddenly, the page loaded.

It seems to me something was going on at my hosting service. I just happened to access my sites at an inopportune time. If I had gone away and waited a few minutes, the problem would have been solved by itself with no bother on my part. Sometimes it just pays to wait! And with a blog that gets almost no traffic, I can afford to.

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