502 bad gateway error

502 Bad Gateway: What Is It, How To Fix The 502 Bad Gateway Error And More Questions Answered

Error 502 bad gateway is a common and popular error message seen from time to time on various websites. It can be very confusing why the website is going through such an error, which worked just fine a few days ago. You can try restarting the browser, refreshing the website – even clearing the cache and still having no luck opening the website in question properly. Turns out that 502 errors generally occur due to server-related issues, over which the user has minimal to no control. In this article, we’ll take a look at what exactly 502 bad gateway is and how to fix it.

What is a 502 Bad Gateway error?

502 bad gateway error

A 502 Bad Gateway error is an HTTPS status code displayed on a website when the browser receives an invalid response from the website’s server. This invalid response can be caused by an unknown problem within the web server or hosting and when that happens an error 502 is one way to display such errors.

How To Fix 502 Bad Gateway Error

Whether you are a website owner or a visitor, to find a solution for 502 bad gateway errors, you can go through several troubleshooting methods and hopefully fix the problem.

Reload the page

One of the easiest ways to fix an error 502 is to reload the website. Sometimes, such an error can be caused by a sudden increase in traffic, which prevents more users from accessing the website at that time. If the problem persists even after the refresh then go for other troubleshooting steps.

Incognito Tab

Browsing in an incognito or private tab on a website will temporarily disable the browser’s extensions and plugins, which can disrupt the website’s server and lead to a 502 bad gateway error.

Clear browser cache

The browser you are using may display a cached version of the website or URL you are trying to visit. In such cases, you can go ahead and try to clear the browser’s cache and see the latest version of the website, once it is refreshed.

Contact hosting provider

If you are a website owner and are getting error 502 on all or some URLs, please contact the hosting provider for assistance. It is possible that other websites on the same hosting are facing such errors, or if the problem is just yours, the technicians can figure out the cause and even fix it for you. Either way, contacting your hosting provider can be considered the first point of contact for website owners.

server down

A website may also display a 502 bad gateway error when the server is down and performing unannounced maintenance. In such cases, the only solution is to wait for your hosting and web servers to be operational again.

Check your plugins and extensions

Make sure that the plugins and extensions installed on your website have the latest versions. This is because sometimes buggy and unstable plugins can disrupt the functioning of the website and lead to errors like 502 bad gateway. The same goes for the extensions installed in your browser that give access to the websites you browse.

Restart your devices

If you encounter the error 502 bad gateway on a single device and have tried several troubleshooting steps such as clearing the cache and refreshing the website, then go ahead and give your device a restart.

Temporarily disable CDN or Firewall

CDN or content delivery networks act as an intermediary between the website server and browser, which helps in faster loading of the content such as text, images, videos, etc. within a website. When CDNs like Cloudfare face outages, it can cause problems like 502 errors on many websites. If that happens, you can either wait for the CDNs to come back up to date or temporarily disable them so that content isn’t routed through them and delivered directly to the user.

Check the error log

As the name suggests, an error log is a file that stores all the recently encountered errors on the website’s servers. Once you’ve managed to open the file, you can easily check the culprit causing error 502. On WordPress websites, the error log can be accessed by adding the following few lines to ‘wp-config.php’ in Cpanel.

define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true);
define( ‘WP_DEBUG_LOG’, true);
define( ‘WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY’, false );

Any errors generated will appear in the ‘wp-contents/debug.log’ file and accordingly you can take action to fix them.

What Causes 502 Bad Gateway Error?

Error 502 bad gateway is usually caused by network or server issues, but the problem can also be on the user side. Here are several ways you might see error 502:

Server overloaded

Users may encounter 502 errors on a website when the server is overloaded with traffic and runs out of resources to accumulate such volume. When that happens, the browser is unable to communicate with the server and thus returns a 502 error because it receives an invalid response.

Browser problems

Sometimes there are certain errors in the user’s browser that cause 502 errors. There can be several culprits that lead to such errors such as faulty browser extensions and ad blockers that interfere with getting a correct response from the server of a website you are trying to visit. Also, updating browsers to their latest versions and clearing the cache improves performance and stability from time to time.

DNS errors

If you’ve just launched a new website, the Domain Name System (DNS) may not be redirecting to the correct IPs yet. This takes about 24 hours to kick in and once that happens, errors like 502 bad gateway should be gone. In addition, sometimes the DNS servers may also fail to respond, which breaks the connection between a website and server, causing 502 or similar errors.

Firewall Blocks

Firewalls protect you from malicious or unnecessary traffic from shady sources. However, firewalls can have a certain flaw that blocks real websites, making them inaccessible to the end user.

502 Bad Gateway Error Variants

Example of error 502 bad gateway

Different websites may have different ways of displaying a 502 bad gateway error, but the main cause of such an error may remain the same, which is an invalid response from the server. Here are several variants of HTTPS status code 502 bad gateway you may encounter:

  • 502 Proxy Error
  • Bad 502 Gateway
  • 502 error
  • Error 502
  • HTTP Error 502 Bad Gateway
  • Temporary Error (502)
  • 502 Server Error: The server encountered a temporary error and was unable to complete your request
  • 502 – Web server received an invalid response while acting as gateway or proxy server

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