When anyone is searching the Internet there is one thing that they do not want to see and that is an HTTP status code. For most people they just simply mean that something is not working the way it should and that the magic of the Internet is broken. Of course these messages mean much more and knowing what these mean can go a long way towards knowing what is going on. Today we take a brief look at what these errors generally mean and what some of the more common errors or status codes mean.

You have probably seen a 403 or 404 code at some point while perusing the Internet. These codes are three digit numbers and comes in five different ranges starting in the 100s and going to the 500s. Each different range means something different. Codes that are in the 100s are meant to provide information. In the 200s indicate a successful access. 300s represent a redirection. 400s are client-side errors and 500s are user errors. Codes in the 100, 200 and 300 range are rarely seen.

Common Errors in the 400s

400 Bad Request – The request sent to a website was in error and the server couldn’t understand it and did not process it.

401 Unauthorized – For this error it indicates that in order to access the requested page the user needs to log in.

403 Forbidden – This error means that the webpage is available but the user does not have permission to visit the page, or that they are Forbidden from visiting it.

404 Not Found – This means that the client was able to communicate successfully with the server but the requested site or file was not available. It usually indicates a broken or dead link and is probably the most common HTTP error message on the web.

408 Request Time Out – The server timed out trying to find what it was looking for. The request to the server took longer than the server was prepared to wait and when that time elapsed the request timed out. This error can be customized to say different things.

Common Errors in the 500s

500 Internal Server Error – Something went wrong on the web server but it can’t be determined. This is the most common 500 range error.

502 Bad Gateway – An invalid response was received from one server while attempting to load a page or process a request. It means that the two servers are not communicating with each other.

503 Service Unavailable – The server is temporarily unavailable. This is typically seen when a server is being overloaded or when maintenance is being performed.

504 Gateway Unavailable – Like a 502 one server did not receive a valid response while loading a page or process a request. In this case it usually means that a server is down or not functioning correctly.

There are of course plenty more HTTP status codes. If you want to see a complete list check out this link. If you do see one of these on your website you hopefully now have an idea about what it means and can take the appropriate action. It may just require some patience, it may require a call to Nicely Done Sites to find out if anything is wrong, it may be user error.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top