Sunday, April 21, 2024

10 Most Common HTTP Errors and How to Fix Them


While visiting a webpage, sometimes you may receive 404 or 502 error messages. These are the messages from the web server implying that there is some problem with either the web address or the website that you are trying to open. Every error has a unique HTTP status code for itself that is sent by the web server. It is useful to know these error codes, especially if you are a website owner. If your website shows a lot of these error codes, then it may increase the bounce rate on your site because the user would immediately leave the site after attempting to open it. This would lead to further descend of your SEO rankings.

These HTTP codes are in the format of 3 digit numbers, wherein the first digit denotes the category in which the HTTP code falls.

  • 1xx – status codes are for informational purposes
  • 2xx – status codes indicate success in opening the webpage
  • 3xx – codes denote redirection of a website
  • 4xx – codes denote errors from the clients side
  • 5xx – indicate problems on the server’s side

The first three classes must not concern you in normal circumstances except if you are the owner of a website. The HTML codes that may concern you as a user are the 4xx or 5xx type. The most common errors include:

Error 400 – Bad Request

The 400 bad request errors can be seen in any operating system or browser. This usually happens when a wrong URL is entered in the address window or the link leads to a malformed URL having a problem with its syntax.

Tips to resolve the problem

  • Clearing your browser’s cookies/cache would help resolve the problem especially if the cookie that the URL is reading is corrupt or too old.
  • If this doesn’t work, you can try opening the link in a different browser.
  • Sometimes the error appears while uploading a large file which is rejected by the server. The best solution in this case would be to use an alternate program to send the file or reducing its size.
  • If all the above methods fail, and you are continuously getting the 404 error, the problem is most likely with your system and you need to get your system checked for security issues.
  • The final method to resolve this problem is by contacting the website directly that hosts the page.

Error 401 – Authorization Required

When this error pops up, it means that the URL has been password protected by the owner and you need a valid user ID and password to login to the website.

Tips to resolve the problem

  • The URL may have a misspelled word which should be edited to gain access to the link.
  • If the URL is correct you can visit the main website and check for any alternative solutions to open the link.

Error 403 – Forbidden

A 403 error occurs when the owner of the website does not want others to access a particular webpage or directory. A website owner usually sets the 403 protection for protecting his website from being hacked, hiding the directory structure or files that contain vulnerable information. Another reason why you would see a 403 error is when the user/client does not have the permission to be viewed from the web.

Tips to resolve the problem

  • Recheck the URL you have typed and make sure that you are specifying an actual webpage and not a directory. Most websites do not allow browsing of directories, hence resulting into a 403 error code. .
  • Clearing your browsers cache also helps in cases where the website is accessing an older version that you may have browsed earlier.
  • Lastly, you can contact the website owner or your internet service provider. But you need to ensure that the webpage you are trying to access is available for public view.

Error 404 – Not Found

One of the most common errors we encounter while opening a webpage is the 404 error. A 404 HTTP status code usually appears when the server is unable to find anything on the requested location. The two major reasons for a 404 Not Found page include mistyped URL or permalink structure of the webpage being changed. This means that the original site has shifted to a new web address, but the DNS is still pointing to the old location.

Tips to resolve the problem

  • Reload the webpage by pressing F5 or the reload button on your browser. Sometimes, the 404 error can be easily resolved by simply reloading the page.
  • Check the URL you have typed for any misspellings.
  • At times you can have a wrong URL. This can be resolved by simply searching the webpage on a familiar search engine like Google or Bing.

Error 408 – Request Time-Out

The 408-request time out error appears usually on websites that require you to fill up a form or submit a request. Usually large websites that require users to fill up some information have a time limit set up to fill up the details, and if the user exceeds the time limit, the website automatically closes off the connection and subsequently display the 408 HTTP status code. The user generally has to start his work again from the very beginning.

Tips to resolve the problem

  • Try reloading the webpage. A slow connection may sometimes result in this error.
  • Check your internet connection for speed. If you have a slow connection, then also you may not be able to fill up the information on time, hence resulting in a 408 error code.
  • A 408 error appears when the site is experiencing heavy load. In this case you can always come back later to access the site.

Error 410 – Gone

The 410 error code also depicts that the server is unable to find the requested page. But, unlike the 404 error, the 410 error depicts that the said link is permanently unavailable and cannot be accessed in any case.  Sometimes this error may be shown even if your PC has been infected by some sort of malware or virus.

Tips to resolve the problem

  • Running a complete antimalware scan may help solve the problem if the file has been corrupted or the webpage is not showing up due to the presence of malwares on your pc.
  • Contacting the website owner to know about any alternatives to the webpage you are requesting.

Error 500 – Internal Server Error

The most common type of server error, the 500 error code denotes that there is a major problem that the server has encountered and is unable to process your request at the given moment. The 500 error code is a generic code that is shown when no other server side errors make sense for the given problem.

Tips to resolve the problem

Although the problem may not be from your end, but sometimes simply refreshing the page and clearing your browsers cache & cookies helps resolve the problem.

Error 502 – Bad Gateway

When there is some communication problem between two servers, a 502 error message is displayed. This means that the configuration of both the servers is not in sync and hence information on one server cannot be accessed by another. The problem is not related to individual system configuration but to the server as a whole.

Tips to resolve the problem

  • Try reloading the webpage or your web-browser by closing all the tabs.
  • Starting your browser in safe mode also helps resolve the problem at times.
  • You can also contact the website’s host to resolve the problem.

Error 503 – Service Temporarily Unavailable

The 503 error code depicts service temporarily unavailable and is shown when the servers are not properly working. This can be due to overload on the server, or if the server is undergoing maintenance. This is a temporary issue and is usually resolved within a few hours.

Tips to resolve the problem

In the case of a 503 error code, the only solution is to wait for the server to reload after maintenance, or for the traffic on the website to lessen.

Error 507 – Insufficient Storage error

While uploading any file on a website or opening a particular page, the server usually restricts the limit for messages/attachments. If the attachment exceeds this limit then the 507 error code is shown.

Tips to resolve the problem

One method to solve this problem is reducing your file size or converting it into a zipped folder to reduce the size.

Now that you have got a basic understanding of these error codes, you will be able to better access sites or improve your own site for a better engagement rate.

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