502 Bad Gateway is a common HTTP error status code that usually happens because of problems on the server. That is when the error is with the website’s server and not with the client (your browser).
When Cloudflare cannot reach the origin server or if its services are down, it can generate the 502 Bad Gateway error.
Even though it is a temporary error, it can happen a lot depending on who hosts your website and how it is set up.
So why does this error happen, and how do you fix a 502 Bad Gateway Cloudflare error?
Let’s find out.
- Cloudflare Error 502 Bad Gateway: What Does It Mean?
- How to fix Cloudflare’s 502 Bad Gateway error?
- Summary: Cloudflare Error 502 Bad Gateway 2023
Cloudflare Error 502 Bad Gateway: What Does It Mean?
Cloudflare gives you a 502 Bad Gateway Error when it has trouble connecting to your original web server. The error message can also appear if Cloudflare is not configured properly or is not working.
Was that a bad way to explain it? Let me try again, I’m sorry.
(Or, if you just want to know how to fix this 502 Bad Gateway Cloudflare error, click here.)
When you go to a website, the browser sends a request to the server where the site is stored. The server then handles the request and sends it back to the browser with an HTTP status code.
But when you use Cloudflare on your website, the request goes to Cloudflare before it gets to the client.
A 502 Bad Gateway error happens when Cloudflare can’t make a good connection with the web server that runs your website.
Even though this error message has to do with the server, it can also happen if the Cloudflare service is down or not set up right.
Different Variations of a 502 Bad Gateway Error
The 502 error might look different depending on your web server and browser, but it means the same thing:
- 502 Bad Gateway
- Error 502
- 502 Proxy Server
- HTTP 502
- 502 Proxy Error
- Temporary Error (502)
- HTTP Error 502 – Bad Gateway
- 502 Bad Gateway Nginx
- 502 Server Error: A temporary error prevented your request from being completed by the web server
- 502. That’s an error
- 502 Service Temporarily Overloaded
Some sites can also change the look of a bad 502 gateway error.
But no matter what it says, it means that the server acting as a proxy has not gotten a valid response from the server that sent the request.
Error 502 Bad Gateway caused by Cloudflare
This error can be caused by two things:
- The origin server returned a 502 status code
- Cloudflare error 502
When servers are overloaded or a network problem occurs, they can generate error codes.
If you have a WordPress site, request timeout can happen if you have too many MySQL connections or not enough PHP memory. Because of this, the site starts to load slowly and gives 502 errors.
A bad gateway error can also be caused by wrong DNS records, requests being blocked by a firewall, services failing (such as PHP-FPM and caching services), or a conflict between a plugin and a theme in WordPress.
How to fix Cloudflare’s 502 Bad Gateway error?
- Reload the page after clearing your cache
- You should check your DNS servers
- Make sure your website is hosted correctly
- Cloudflare proxy should be disabled
- Conflicts between WordPress plugins and themes
When a 502 Bad Gateway error happens, it’s usually because of the response from the server, but Cloudflare can also be responsible for it. So, here are some things you can do to fix the problem and get your website back online.
1. Reload the page after clearing your cache
Getting a massage from your IT guy about resetting your modem or rebooting your computer is one of the most annoying things you can experience.
But they do it because it’s the easiest and most common way to fix the problem.
Most 502 Bad Gateway errors related to Cloudflare are caused by temporary connection problems.
So all you have to do is wait 5 minutes and reload the page.
If you still see a 502 bad gateway error, clear your browser’s cache and reload the page.
Holding down Ctrl + F5 on Windows and Linux browsers, or Cmd + Shift + R on Mac browsers Chrome, and Safari will clear the browser’s cache.
This shortcut called a “hard refresh,” will skip the cache for the page you’re on. If it’s just a temporary connection problem, the site will load again.
2. Check Your DNS Servers
DNS can also sometimes lead to 502 bad gateway errors.
If you just switched web hosting companies or moved to a new IP address, you should wait 24 hours for the DNS changes to take effect.
You can also use Google DNS or any other third-party DNS server to see if that fixes the 502 error.
3. Check Your Web Hosting
There are several reasons why a Cloudflare 502 Bad Gateway error occurs. This is especially true in shared hosting, where servers kill long-running processes.
When this happens, Cloudflare sends back an HTTP 502 bad gateway error with the Cloudflare brand.
Your hosting provider can help you fix this by making sure the web server is operating properly.
When there is a sudden rise in traffic, the web server can also crash. When this happens, the server temporarily gets too busy, and the server and Cloudflare lose contact with each other.
Servers can also get too busy when too much CPU and memory is used.
A lot of hosting services also shut down servers for maintenance without telling anyone. In this case, the only way to fix the problem is to wait until the server maintenance is done.
So, if the problem is with the host, it’s best to call the hosting company’s customer service because they can help you faster.
4. Disable Cloudflare Proxy
If your hosting and DNS are working well, you can turn off Cloudflare’s proxy for a while and then go back to the site. If you are also using a dedicated CDN (content delivery network), you can turn that off as well.
Cloudflare and CDNs can also have system outages, which don’t happen very often but are possible.
If the 502 error goes away after you turn off the Cloudflare proxy, you’ll need to talk to Cloudflare support to figure out what went wrong.
Disable the Cloudflare proxy and provide the following information to Cloudflare support if you would like to troubleshoot this issue:
- When the error occurred and in what time zone
- URL of the website
It usually takes Cloudflare one to three business days to respond to users on the free plan. Cloudflare’s community platform may also be able to solve your problem faster if you post it there.
Before going to the Cloudflare support center, it’s a good idea to check their System Status to make sure that Cloudflare’s services are working properly and that the 502 bad gateway error is only happening on your end.
5. Plugin/Theme Conflict in WordPress
In addition to PHP scripts taking a long time to run, some WordPress themes and plugins can also produce a 502 error when they run too slowly.
In the dashboard of your WordPress website (yourwebsite.com/wp-admin), you can disable plugins by selecting “Plugins”. Then, verify that the website is working.
If this solves the problem, turn on each plugin one at a time and reload the site after each one. When you see the 502 error message, you know what’s wrong.
It is also possible to disable your plugins via FTP if you are unable to access the WordPress dashboard by renaming the “Plugins” folder to something else, such as “Old Plugins.”
Once you’ve found the plugin or theme that’s causing the problem, you can contact its developers to let them know about it.
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Summary: Cloudflare Error 502 Bad Gateway 2023
Bad Gateway errors are frustrating because they are not expected. The best way to fix it is to make sure that your DNS and web server are both running well.
You can also look at the server error logs to find out if a problem was caused by an application that was just added.
If the problem is with Cloudflare, keep the proxy turned off and open a ticket with their customer service.
Lastly, if nothing else works, contact your hosting company and tell them about the error. They can tell what’s wrong on their end and also help you fix it.
Please send me a direct message (DM) if you have any questions about this article about Cloudflare (or if you have any suggestions to make it better ).