How to Fix Index Coverage Issue Server Error 5xx WordPress

How to Fix Index Coverage Issue Server Error 5xx WordPress

 In WordPress

The new Google Search Console Index Coverage report is picking up URL’s which are part of normal WordPress operations, such as /wp-includes/ and also /wp-content/themes/ folders, and, whatever .php files which are required for WordPress site to load. If you are seeing these types of Index Coverage Server Errors, then, here’s how you can fix them.

How to Video for Fixing Index Coverage Server Error 5xx for WordPress

Simplified Version for Fixing Server Errors (5xx)

Search Console Index Coverage Report Server Errors 5xx

Shows Google Search Console Index Coverage Report User Interface

Basically, these default (required) core WordPress files are being picked up Googlebot, thus, it requests these URL’s trying to find what is on those URL’s like the sample ones below

  • /wp-includes/class-wp-customize-section.php
  • /wp-includes/class-walker-page-dropdown.php
  • /wp-content/themes/Jupiter/sample.php file

But since these files shouldn’t be accessed, most web servers with WordPress installation often throws 500 Internal Server Error.

That means, the best way to remedy these errors is by first making sure that whichever XML sitemap you’ve submitted to Google Search Console does NOT produce such URL’s due to wrong setup (rare but could be caused by XML Plugin or Content Management Systems different than WordPress).

If the XML sitemaps are correctly working, then, you need to make sure that /wp-includes/ etc. folders and files within them are NOT accessible by the general public (because if it is, then Googlebot will usually find those URL’s thinking they are part of your WordPress site).

So you can include this in .htaccess file

<IfModule mod_autoindex.c>
 Options -Indexes

Which should disable directory browsing, thus, will also tell Googlebot “hey, these folders are not part of the general public view of my website

You can then validate fix in Google Search Console Index Coverage Report, if however so far all is okay after you try these troubleshooting techniques, then, the last option could also be, blocking Googlebot access to those .php files through robots.txt file directives like:

User-agent: Googlebot 
Disallow: /wp-includes/*
Disallow: /wp-includes/themes/YourThemeName

This last option should be coupled with Search Console fetch as Google feature upon validating the problem and triple check that Googlebot can see your website as intended. Try these and you can confidently validate these errors as fixed.

Update: New Blog Post with new video lessons can be found here > Google Search Console Errors

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Showing 21 comments
  • raghwendra ojha

    I got an email from google search console “New Index coverage issues detected for my website. I feared what is this then i search thing problem on google and find solution at your blog. The very genuine solution you shared. Thank you very much.

    • RankYa

      Great to hear that Search Console index coverage solutions are here at RankYa Raghwendra

  • Alex

    After few days of search i finally resolve google webmaster coverage issues, thank you RankYa 🙂
    this post need to top when some searches for wp-include 5xx error.

  • me

    shouldnt that ROBOTS.TXT code be:
    wp-content/themes ???

    is there a themes folder in wp-includes???

    • RankYa

      You can put any directives within robots.txt file, however, keep in mind that robots.txt file directives are NOT to do with controlling how #Google search engine indexes a site. Robots.txt file is for crawling. And to answer your question: no you should NOT block Googlebot with wp-content/themes (also, there is no themes folder in wp-includes)

    • RankYa

      Fixing WordPress 5xx Server Error is to do with how WordPress Themes work. Some themes require certain files, so thus when accessed directly (as such in Googlebot’s case) web server will throw an error, therefore, that’s what Google Search Console shows in the report. Nothing to be too concerned about because its more than likely the theme will be updated with the next update release. You should definitely contact the theme support about their theme having issues. Jupiter Theme that I use always, had a similar issue in version 5, but now the WordPress theme developers have fixed it.

  • KulichangBlog

    Am also having similar issue..i tried it but still not working…Am currently using a VOICE wordpress themes….(removed) is my Domain URL

    • RankYa

      Contact Theme support section

  • Earl B

    Hi, I am currently getting 2 errors, they are for pages that no longer exist on my site.

    I recently switched the format of links on my site.
    From the date and then title format to just the plain title format.

    This is a valid link.
    URL removed

    how would I go about removing these from the search console?

    URL removed

    I am no newbie with websites or wordpress, i just have no idea where to find this info in the dashboard or if I have to go edit a ini file.


      • RankYa

        You would need to add that in header.php within HTML portion. What will it do? it will blurt out noindex directives for parts of WordPress such as Date Archives (they should not be in Google (that is the case for 99% of WordPress setups)) furthermore: it will do the same for Tags (you can remove or add more to it). Also, I think with your website, there is somehow a problem with your setup (could be .htaccess rules). Let us know the outcome. Importantly, when submitting sitemaps to Google, then, make sure you submit ONLY the XML sitemaps YOU WANT Google to rank / thus / index the rest will be waste of time (such as date or tag archives)

  • Afreen

    hello sir…

    i try to fix this but it comes more then before, now i and understood what is this? and what to do plz help me to solve this permanently

    • RankYa

      Usually a incorrectly coded WordPress Theme causes this, OR, it could be plugin conflict or error. You will need to either contact the Server Support Team, Theme support or provide more information

      • Steve smith

        My site has received server error 5xx issues many times and i solved all those but this time i received server issue for the tags which were deleted one.Actually it should show 404 error because the tags were deleted but it shows as server error 5xx

        • RankYa

          Yes, that’s correct Steve, it should show 404. Have you fixed it? Could be a temporary issue. I would clear cache and try again

  • awill guru

    Dear sir, you have nicely explained about the Server Error 5xx WordPress.
    On my google search console, Coverage>Server error (5xx) my original URL is effected due to this that URLs are not indexed in google
    what should I do?
    for example (URL removed)
    Please reply

  • Khan

    hello, I have php website, I am seeing this error on my website. I am wandering to get the solution but i couldn’t find it yet, can you please help me with this Server Error

  • Etalong

    hello google refuse to index my homepage, and also display a 5xx error

    • RankYa

      It is most likely that google refuse to index your homepage, because of 5xx error (fix the Server 5xx Error) and then Google should index your home page (as long as your home page has unique content)

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