Home Forums ACF PRO Server 500 error trying to update page w/ACF and very high PHP.ini settings..


Server 500 error trying to update page w/ACF and very high PHP.ini settings..

  • Hello,

    I have a toughie of a snag, and hoping to find some insight, as I am stuck. Insight, solution, workaround – any of those would be awesome.

    I have a page with a Repeater; it has about 10 fields. They are all text or number, plus one file. You can see the page here: All of the data except for the PDFs to upload to the file fields has been added to the fields, around 400 rows.

    Now, every time i try to update the page, even just trying to upload one file to one row’s file field, i get a 500 Server Error. I can just change some text – it doesn’t matter how small the change is, i get the error.

    The page’s front is loading fine. This is on a Bluehost shared hosting plan. In order to fix this, I have tried cranking up the PHP.ini settings way higher than any site I’ve ever worked on, and it does not affect it. PHP settings

    Does anyone have any ideas? Bluehost support I have spent a lot of time chatting with, and they once fixed it temporarily by killing some server processes, but it always comes back to this issue.

    I need to get these files uploaded to be done with the project, but they also need to be able to update the page in the future.

    Any ideas would be awesome.

  • You have 400 rows with 10 fields each, that is 4001 fields including the repeater itself. This does not include any other fields on the page.

    max_input_vars is not high enough, but I doubt that is the cause of your issue. This setting being too low would mean that not all of the data would be updated as expected. Missing input might cause the error, but from experience I would say not.

    More than likely you are seeing the save time out during the process of updating all of those fields. A browser will time out after about 30 seconds and this is not affected by max execution time. The server will continue to process even after the browser indicates a timeout.

    400 rows is a lot and I would have looked at other ways of storing this data than a repeater field if this number was expected.

    But there are cases where it cannot be avoided. I have a plugin that I use for this type of problems

  • More server capacity. CPU, memory and all? Does it help?

  • Thank you both for replying.

    John, unfortunately your plugin did not work. I haven’t had a chance to troubleshoot as in disable other plugins, check logs. The temporary screen doesn’t appear.

    I also cranked the PHP settings by adding two zeroes to the already huge numbers I had the time-related settings to. That, and upon my advisement client switched to a higher tier hosting package, at Bluehost, and nothing has changed. Still get the same error, we simply cannot save the page.

    The hosting upgrade was also a nightmare as we ended up with all sites down for hours! It was almost as if Bluehost had never ever done that before.

    I told the client that we could upload all of the files that still need to be saved which is one PDF upload per row for 400 rows, via FTP, and manually copy and paste the file address into the database. I don’t wanna do that but I have to get this done with him somehow

    This site was Hebrew and English site which I did layer of complexity the whole way.

    The client does can use Selenium script to fill in the fields so yes I can get these fields working, the data entry part is easy. What boggles my mind is 10 fields and 400 rows all are now filled in and it’s just this one 11th field and most of those instances that needs a file uploaded to.

    I will take a closer look at seeing if I can get your plug in to work John because that is exactly what we needed.

    I know a little bit of mySQL but don’t write it, I know my way around phpMyAdmin though. I wonder if MySQL could be written in PHP MyaAdmin to insert the URL of each uploaded PDF into each row…

    What do you think?

  • If the temp screen on my plugin does not appear then there is an error or it is timing out before ACF begins updating values.

    You can try reducing the timeout time, For example if you set it to -1 the temp screen should appear when ACF saves the first field. However, if there is an error then the temp screen will never go away.

    I still haven’t got a clue what your issue is

  • Thanks John,

    I will try that. I assume the way to do that is by the filter you mentioned on the get hub page, like this:

    add_filter('acf/prevent-timeout/time', 'my_acf_timeout_time', 10, 2);
    function my_acf_timeout_time($time, $post_id) {
    	$time = -1;
    	return $time;

    Is that correct?

  • Yes, I have a site where I do this now. Let me know if it causes errors or does not redirect. I have had to disable it in some cases, like on the menu editor, won’t work there. Seems to work everywhere else so far.

    I can’t guarantee that it will solve anything.

    You said originally that you are getting a 500 server error. Do you have debugging on for the site to maybe give more relevant errors?

  • I tried it with -1 and it go to your temp screen, then eventually stopped the timer – once after 20 minutes, I tried again and it was ~30 minutes.

    I did already have debug on.

  • One idea i had, is to duplicate the ACF fields – the repeater three levels deep – and then delete all the fields except the one field that we are trying to update ( for roughly 400 listings). Maybe I could put that on an ACF options page, and link it to the other fields?

    That would be great if it worked, as they are launching by Friday, and this is the very last piece. It would still be problematic in the future when they want to update any of the fields on the page that won’t save. But if something like above worked, then down the road, other fields could be removed from that page and set on options page and linked in the same way.

    The other big hurdle is we spent so much time on this page – custom PHP, jQuery, CSS, HTML, (AND – all of it has a Hebrew version, most of which has to be manually duplicated then adjusted.) If we can somehow make it work without having to touch all the code for the most part, that would be amazing.

    I know you like to help and have helped me more than a few times, and I appreciate that – but I’d be happy to Venmo you something for helping with this.

  • You are getting some kind of error on the server. I would start looking at the server error logs if you are not getting anything usable. My plugin will not help you if you’re getting an error, you need to work out what is causing the server error.

  • Makes sense – i’ll look myself. All the instances of support with Bluehost have been a waste of time. They are not helping me see the logs – assuming i can see them in File Manager, do you know where i should look for them?

  • I do not know how bluehost works. On most hosting I have used there usually a folder below the web root folder that holds the log files.

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