Internal Server Error After Every Posting In WordPress

For couple months I have noticed that every time I publish a blog post, WordPress always give me Error 500 – Internal Server Error. For first few occasions, I thought that something to do with the content in the post -or- just a glitch and basically I ignored it. But after a while it become consistent and annoyed me.

The Problem

Some symptoms of the problem:

  • When I publish a post (click ‘publish button’): the content in the form/editor is POSTed, the screen go refresh as normal, but did not comeback to the back-end. Instead, it goes to Error-500 Internal Server Error page.
  • At this state the error.log will have new entry: “Premature end of script headers” on post.php
  • At this state, not only the new post have been published (open new browser go to the homepage, it’s there) but the post has been pinged as normal (go to and got that ‘Slowdown, Cowboy!” message)
  • But the Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger did not catch the log (no new log entry)
  • Without doing anything, if I click ‘refresh’ button, it will go back to the editor without any error.
  • The version of the WordPress seems to be not relevant (I have few  WP 2.6, 2.7, and 2.7.1 blogs and all were affected – but the same version, on different blog is affected).

The Troubleshooting

Research on internet produced limited suggestion about increasing memory limit, about stall cron-job and some pointer towards a bug in WP-SuperCache plugin (which nobody should run without it !!).

Starting with what I found, I execute phpinfo() and it reports that the memory_limit on my shared server is already 90MB, much higher than the suggestion to increase from 16MB. Furthermore, I have sites that not affected by this problem although only have $40MB limit, so memory is not a problem.

Then I try to deactivate the WP Super Cache plugin, writing new content and Publish it…. The problem is still there.

With so many plugin on the list, I started to worry how long it going to be… But then I just try to deactivated this Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger (version 3.0) for the time being, ….. and this problem’s gone.

Yes,  I deactivated Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger (version 3.0) and this eliminate the problem.

The strange thing is that while I have several sites that have this plugin installed, only some are affected. At first I suspect the combination of plugin may have caused this, but this is proven to be not the case. (I have deactivated all plugins except Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger, the blog that affected, will still have the problem. While the one not affected, with full list of plugin still not affected)

Then I focus my attention to the .htaccess file. But even using total basic .htaccess the site that affected will still be affected.

At this stage, I can only think that the variability will be on the Apache webserver itself. Perhaps there are some module that is not compiled together, or there is mod file which is incompatible, etc….

The Solution

At this moment, the real solution that can answer this problem is just to deactivate Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger. With this plugin in active, none of all my affected site have this problem any more.

So applying 80/20 rule, I decide to stop my investigation and simply stop using Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger. I also have the replacement of this plugin that actually do better jobs. Click here.

Hope this helps people that have the same experience out there.

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2 Comments on Internal Server Error After Every Posting In WordPress

  1. on Thu, 12th May 2011 5:47
  2. Thanks for the info, this is driving me nuts! Unfortunately for me it doesn’t happen on EVERY post so it’s very difficult to test which plugins are causing this. I’m not using the smart update pinger so it must be another plugin for me. Any ideas on how to identify the culprit or get around this some other way?


  3. ranga on Fri, 20th Sep 2013 19:56

    In this pingomatic open after i submitted Blog Name and Blog Home Page after “sendpings” normally it submitted but most probable “””Slow down Cowboy! “””error displayed hoe to solve this “””Slow down cowboy !”” msg and again submitted .

    Iam face this type of problem mostly how to solve i dont can you help me …..

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