6 Fixes For Error 503 Backend Fetch Failed

What is “error 503 backend fetch failed”?

“error 503 backend fetch failed” is a reference to the status of a website. Basically put, it conveys the message that the server of the website isn’t functioning. It is a typical Hyper Text Transfer Protocol response message shown by websites.

Such codes make it easy for a Magento development company to troubleshoot and pinpoint where the problem lies when a website is not working as expected.


Back to the subject, the status code of this error is five hundred and is the equivalent of internal server error. This error occurs on all web browsers and all operating systems, even on smartphones.

Why might “error 503 backend fetch failed” occur?

This error might be a result of the server not having adequate memory or it could be that there are too many requests queuing up. The crash of the app pool which serves the website could be another reason for the occurrence of the error.

If the app crashes five times in under five minutes, a quick fail occurs which results in the app pool being put out of action by the IIS.

The expiry of the SSL certification is known to cause the “error 503 backend fetch failed” error.

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When you hire a Magento developer it is important that you check if they know all such details.

How to fix “error 503 backend fetch failed”?

As you might have understood from the above text, this error is generally a fault from the website’s backend.

There is a possibility that the issue is with your PC but the chances of this are very low. Since we like YouTube fixes, check out this popular suggestion from the Naiwik Tech vlogger:

According to the tech vlogger, your Magento installation will display the following code: “Error 503: Service Temporarily Unavailable” page after you’ve set up or up-graded an extension by using Magento Connect.

According to the vlogger, the error happens because your website is converted into maintenance mode by “maintenance.flag” file within the Magento website root directory. You have to remove “maintenance.flag” to solve this issue.

He recommends the following solution.

Steps to fix “Error 503 : Service Temporarily Unavailable” Magento:

  1. First, log in to the website host
  2. You have to gain access to your website Host Server using a FTP Client like “FileZilla” or Using Website Host cPanel “File manager”
  3. Navigate to the Magneto website root directory & look for the file “maintenance.flag” and, he says, you should then delete it
  4. Then refresh the Magento website

Now we’ll move on to some other potential fixes.

Fix #1

Refresh the web page or press F5 to do so. While the 503 issue is a problem on another PC, it might be a brief problem and sometimes refreshing the page might resolve it.

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Be careful if this error happens while purchasing something online. Refreshing the page many times can cause you to pay many times too! A number of sites have precautions for this but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Fix #2

Reboot the routers and if that does not work, reboot the PC or whichever device you are using. If you get the code “Service Unavailable – DNS Failure”, then a reboot of the system on your side should get the trick done.

This is because sometimes the error is due to problems with the DNS server, which can be rectified with a reboot.

Fix #3

Drop an email and get in touch with the website owner. There is always the possibility that the site admin does not know about the problem and letting them know about it can help them attend to it.

Fix #4

Try again a bit later. The error “error 503 backend fetch failed” is very common when there is a server overload caused by a large number of sudden visitors – people like you. The best thing to do in such a case is to wait and try again a little while later.

To be honest, this is most often the culprit for this error. As the number of users on the site dwindles down, you are more likely to have issue-free access to the website.

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For those on the backend

If you are checking up solutions to this issue, there is a chance you own a website and are suffering from the same issue. For those of you trying to resolve this from the backend, here are a couple of solutions to resolve this.

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Fix #1 – Check your plugins

A key culprit to the error 503 issue is the Varnish plugin or the lack of it. If you have the issue on your website, check if the Varnish plugin is enabled. For those of you who do not know, Varnish is used to increase the speed of the site and is used by hosting firms. If the plugin is enabled on the server, well the hosting firm needs a call!

Fix #2 – Router restart

If a DNS failure is on the cards too, a simple restart of your router should resolve it. The “service unavailable DNS failure” could signal a problem with the DNS arrangement but restarting it should reset it to normal.

These fixes can also help to resolve errors like “error 503 backend is unhealthy” and “error 503 maximum threads for service reached”. Let us know in the comment section how these fixes worked for you!

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