How to Fix the 502 Bad Gateway Error

September 4, 2023 / Web Servers

When discussing websites, numerous errors can be downright frustrating and confusing. However, an even more prevalent issue is the 502 Bad Gateway error. Why has it happened? This is due to its frequent occurrence throughout the web, affecting not just WordPress sites, but also well-known services like Gmail, Twitter, and Cloudflare.

Take a moment to read this article, which explains the causes of this error and provides solutions for promptly resolving it.

What is a 502 Bad Gateway Error?

The 502 Bad Gateway error precisely indicates that the server received an incorrect response from an incoming server. Whenever you go to a website, your browser sends a request to a web server. The server gets and handles the request, and then sends the desired content along with an HTTP header and status code. Normally, you don’t see an HTTP status code unless there’s an issue.  Essentially, it’s the server’s method of alerting you that a problem has occurred, and it provides a code to help identify the problem.

There are other categories of 500 errors including:

  • 501 – Not Implemented
  • 503 – Service Unavailable
  • 504 – Gateway Timeout
  • 505 – HTTP Version not supported
    And many more.

What is the reason for the 502 Bad Gateway Error?

The probable reasons behind the 502 Bad Gateway error include-

  1. Server overload: When the server exhausts its resources and crashes, leading to an HTTP error 502. This could be due to sudden surges in traffic or insufficient memory.
  2. Browser issues: Outdated browser versions or corrupt files in your browser cache may lead to this error.
  3. Firewall blocks: Your firewall might falsely identify threats and block internet providers or IP addresses.

How to Fix the 502 Bad Gateway Error

Usually, a 502 Bad Gateway error indicates a network or server issue, but it can also stem from the client side. Hence, we’ll explore both aspects. Discover these common solutions to resolve the 502 Bad Gateway error and restore your operation.

  1. Refresh your Page
    The initial solution is quite simple wait for a minute or two and then refresh the current web page. Many times, this error arises due to a sudden influx of traffic.
    So here you need to refresh the page. As a quick tip, Windows users can press F5 or CTRL + F5, while Mac users can press CMD + R.
  2. Change the Browser
    Try to use a different browser. For instance, if you’re currently using Google Chrome, experiment with Microsoft Edge. If the error goes away using the alternate browser, it might be worth considering uninstalling and then reinstalling the original browser you were using.
  3. Use the Incognito Mode
    Another approach is to use the website in Incognito mode. If the 502 Bad Gateway error doesn’t occur, it is possible that a browser extension is causing the issue.
    However, identifying the problematic extension can be a bit tricky but you can attempt a step-by-step disabling of extensions, checking if the website behaves normally after each one is disabled. When you encounter the point where the error stops, you will have pinpointed the extension that was obstructing your access.
  4. Delete the DNS Server
    Sometimes deleting the DNS server might help you. The error can also arise from DNS issues, it includes incorrect IP addresses and unresponsive DNS servers. In this scenario, you need to resolve the problem that might involve flushing your DNS cache. This process is similar to the action of clearing your web browser’s cache, as it removes problematic files from your DNS server.
    Another option is to temporarily switch your DNS servers. While your ISP typically assigns DNS servers, you have the flexibility to opt for third-party servers like Google Public DNS.
  5. Try to use other Device
    If the previously mentioned solutions haven’t resolved the HTTP error 502, it is advisable to assess the connection on a different computer or mobile device and check you’re on an alternate network. Additionally, attempt to restart your PC and other network equipment. To do this, power down your computer and disconnect your wireless router. Wait briefly before plugging them back in.
  6. Look out for your web hosting provider
    The main cause behind encountering a 502 Bad Gateway error is often related to problems with the web host provider. Occasionally, a query, script, or request might exceed a certain time limit and get terminated or stopped by the server. Many hosting providers, particularly those offering shared hosting, employ what’s called a “kill script.” This script is designed to end a request after a specific duration, preventing it from affecting the site’s performance or disrupting other users.
  7. Check your website status
    If you’re still encountering the 502 Error code even after attempting most of the methods mentioned, it’s possible that the origin server could be undergoing a period of downtime. Fortunately, there are numerous online tools available to verify if a website is down, such as Down for Everyone or Just Me and IsItDown. Just enter your URL and assess your website’s status.
  8. Get in Touch with Customer Support
    If none of the previously mentioned solutions have resolved the error, it’s recommended to reach out to the customer support team. When explaining the problem, detail the troubleshooting steps you’ve already attempted. Share as much information as you can, allowing the support team to assist you effectively.

You’ve now seen several steps you can take to troubleshoot and resolve a 502 gateway error on your website.

Did we overlook anything? Do you have another tip for troubleshooting 502 gateway errors? Feel free to share your insights in the comments section below.

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