503 Service Unavailable Error Message

If you receive a 503 Service Unavailable error message, please review the information below. You can always contact support via live chat, telephone or submit a ticket regarding this issue.


What is a 503 Error?

A 503 error message indicates that there is an issue preventing access to the site but also lets visitors know that, although the service or data is temporarily not available, the target site still exists. 

Note: Search engine rankings temporarily remain in place while a 503 error page is displayed. This gives an opportunity to address the underlying issue while maintaining search rankings. If the underlying issue is not resolved, however, search engine rankings will ultimately be affected.
A typical 503 error looks like this:

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(You might see a different message saying the page cannot be found.)

What Causes a 503 Error?

503 errors are specific to certain issues. Typically if you are seeing this when connecting to your HostGator site it is related to one of the issues below:

Exceeding the Processes Limit

 HostGator may need to block access to a website using more processes than allowed by our Terms of Service. This is often due to a script or plugin on your site misbehaving and using excessive resources - this can threaten the stability of the entire server.

If this is the case HostGator will send email to the account in question. Please review your mail for any message from HostGator with the phrase "TOS/CPU" or "TOS/MySQL" in the subject. This message will include details of the issue and the steps we recommend to help resolve it. (Remember that you can usually  view your site's processes in your cPanel. )

Related articles:

File Permission Settings

HostGator has permission restrictions in place for files on shared servers. This might cause the issue you are seeing (or sometimes a 403 error  or 500 error.) More information about setting and modifying your file permissions is at:

Password Denial, Insecure Scripts or Other Security-Related Issues

Several security issues can result in a 503 error on your site. Please review your mail for any relevant message from HostGator regarding such an issue. The article below is also useful for reviewing and improving your site's security: