Support » Plugin: Wordfence Security - Firewall & Malware Scan » 500 Error on Website

  • Resolved Mitch


    Had a 500 error
    Disabled all plugins and after login activated one at a time got to Wordfence and got the message at the top

    Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error.

    Warning: require_once(vendor/wordfence/wf-waf/src/init.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/n2rga/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordfence/wordfence.php on line 64

    Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required ‘vendor/wordfence/wf-waf/src/init.php’ (include_path=’.:/opt/cpanel/ea-php72/root/usr/share/pear’) in /home/n2rga/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordfence/wordfence.php on line 64

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Plugin Support WFGerroald


    Hey @n2rga,

    This looks like a failed update, and I’m sorry for your troubles.

    You can manually delete the Wordfence directory, then reinstall Wordfence from the WordPress Plugins page.

    Once you’ve reinstalled it you can choose to disable Wordfence automatic updates in Wordfence > Dashboard > General Wordfence Options > Update Wordfence automatically when a new version is released?.

    If you’d like to be alerted when an update is available you can select Medium, High or Critical in Wordfence > Dashboard > Email Alert Preferences > Alert me with scan results for issues of this severity level.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.



    This is the second or third time a WordFence update crashed my client’s site. My client informed me that they were getting a 500 error since yesterday. When I disabled the plugin by renaming it in FTP, the site came back up.

    Even if I took off the auto update (which I didn’t know was set to “on”), I would be VERY hesitant to even manually update it knowing it might crash the site. I had deleted the plugin before because of this, but for other reasons, added it back on recently–only to now have it crash the site. I don’t know if I can trust this plugin! Very frustrating.

    I deleted the plugin once again on FTP and have to figure out whether I should add it back to the site. The site sits on a server with GoDaddy Managed WordPress hosting. It’s on PHP 7.2, latest WP core.

    Plugin Support WFGerroald


    Hey @cjkcreative,

    The issue for GoDaddy appears to be that they use a networked file system that can be extremely slow under load, though usually due to activity from other sites using the same file system. GoDaddy cPanel accounts are similarly limited in file transfer, but these limits are artificially imposed to prevent the site from impacting other accounts.

    The update process involves removing old files, unzipping the new plugin, and then copying over the new files to the plugin location. On some hosts, that process can exceed the max_execution_time or even the gateway timeout. It’s usually during the last part of the transfer when the new files are copied that issues can occur.
    If the file transfer dies when the files are halfway through being copied you can see some very odd effects, but what usually happens is the update fails.
    Additionally, if the WAF has been optimized prior to a failed update, this can cause the site to display a 500 error.

    We are currently working towards optimizing both the size of the plugin and the number of files it contains, which should speed up both the unzip process and the copying process, as well as the removal process for the next update.
    General resource limitations put in place by the hosting company, such as CPU or memory usage limitations, could also be the problem for some hosts, but fewer files in the plugin should help with that as well.

    This might not fix every case, since if the file system or other resources are under high usage, updates are likely going to fail no matter what plugin is being updated. Still, we are trying everything we can to ensure updates work, even under circumstances, we can’t control.

    For future reference please start a new thread per the Forum Guidelines.



    Thank you Gerald, this is useful info to know as all my clients are on GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting and I added WF to another one of them (but looks like I had checked Don’t Automatically Update so nothing happened to the site, phew).

    So for now, it sounds like it would be best to only update the WordFence plugin is through FTP, meaning delete it completely then add it again.

    I have a fast dedicated server with only a few people on it so not believing the slow server update failed scenario.
    But I will delete and reinstall and give it 1 more shot

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by  Mitch.
Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.