10 of the Most Common HTTP Errors (And How You Can Solve Them)


You’re probably familiar with some HTTP errors like 404 Not Found Error or the 500 Internal Server Error. But have you thought about the causes of these errors and how to fix them?

Depending on its status code, each error lets you know about where the problem occurs. Error messages that begin with a 4 indicate client-side issues, while those that start with a 5 are server-side problems.

With this basic knowledge in mind, we can start learning about other common HTTP errors. The information will be especially useful if you’re a site owner, as these errors might drive visitors away and increase your bounce rate.

Now let’s take a look at the 10 most common HTTP errors you might encounter.

1. 500 – Internal Server Error

The 500 status code is a general error code to indicate that there’s something wrong on the server. However, the server cannot pinpoint the exact cause.

A few ways to solve the 500 error message is to reload the page, clear your browser’s cache, delete your browser’s cookies, or restart your browser.

If you come across this error message on your own website, then contacting your hosting provider is recommended. There may be a permission error, corrupted file, or low memory that is disrupting your server’s ability to display your website.

2. 502 – Bad Gateway

Another common error message that can be headache-inducing is the 502 Bad Gateway message. This occurs when there is a miscommunication between the original server and its proxy server.

Solutions to the 502 bad gateway error can be hard to determine because requests are often shared between servers. To get more information about the 502 error message, visit www.hostinger.com/tutorials/502-bad-gateway/.

3. 503 – Service Temporarily Unavailable

The 503 error message occurs when the server is temporarily overloaded or down due to scheduled maintenance. Don’t worry though — the server will work properly after some time.

4. 504 – Gateway Timeout

Similar to the 502 bad gateway error message, the 504 gateway timeout is an issue between two or more servers. It occurs when a higher-level server doesn’t send a timely response to the server that is tied to the client. 

It’s best to contact your hosting’s customer support as the error can be solved by someone who has access to the network. However, sometimes you just need to wait for a few minutes until the servers are communicating with each other again, and then refresh the page.

5. 400 – Bad Request

The 400 Bad Request error tells you that the request sent to the server is not understood. It is usually caused by expired cookies or a syntax error in the URL you enter.

To troubleshoot the issue, try to clear your browser’s cookies so it will download the new ones. After that, verify whether the URL is correct or not.

6. 401 – Authorization Required

Receiving this error message means you are not authorized to access this website. The error usually happens when you open a password-protected website and do not enter the required credentials.

If the error appears after you tried to log in, the username or password might be wrong. Check whether the credentials are correct and try to log in again.

7. 403 – Forbidden

This error message occurs when the server forbids you from accessing the website. Unlike the 401 error, you absolutely have no access to the website.

There are several reasons for this restriction. The website might be limited to certain users or countries, or you’re trying to access the site’s hidden file.

8. 404 – Page not Found

The 404 message happens when the server is unable to find the requested page. The owner might have deleted or moved the page, thus the server could not find the file you’re looking for.

It’s also possible that you’ve typed the URL incorrectly, even if it’s just missing one character.

If you’re a visitor, there’s nothing you can do. However, if you’re the site owner, you need to fix this error quickly. You can perform 301 redirects for pages that you are moving permanently, or do a 302 redirect for pages that will be temporarily unavailable.

9. 408 – Request Timeout

When requesting to access a website, the server can only wait for a limited time. If the client’s request takes too long, the server will close the connection and thus resulting in a 408 Request Timeout error.

This error message often occurs when the client or server is saddled with a heavy workload. It may also happen when the connection is properly working, but a temporary internet surge slows down the delivery of the client’s request.

A common solution to the 408 request time-out error message is to refresh the page. This is done by clicking the browser’s reload button or pressing F5 on a Windows computer. For macOS, the refresh buttons are Command + R.

10. 410 – Gone

Similar to the 404 error, the 410 Gone message means that the server is unable to find the requested file. However, the difference between the two lies in the message it wants to convey to search engine crawlers.

The 404 status code tells search engine bots that the file is still on the server somewhere. Meanwhile, the 410 message says that the file has been deleted for good.

It is important to know the difference between 404 and 410 error messages so you can maximize your search ranking in Google. Use the former when you move the page to a different location, and use the latter when you want to remove incoming links.

Wrapping Up

HTTP errors are very common and can occur anytime. Sometimes you just have to wait for a few minutes until the error goes away, or you might have to tweak some settings in order to fix it. Either way, we hope this article was useful and you’ll know what to do when coming across one of these issues. Good luck!

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