What is a 404 error?
A 404 is an HTTP status code indicating that the requested resource could not be found on the server. It is typically returned by a web server when a client (such as a web browser) requests a URL that does not exist or has been moved. It is often used as a default response code for pages that do not exist or have been deleted.
What does 404 stand for?
404 is short for “404 Not Found” which is the HTTP status code that is returned by a web server when a client (such as a web browser) requests a URL that does not exist or has been moved. It is one of the many HTTP status codes that can be returned by a web server to indicate the status of a requested resource. The number “404” is simply the code assigned to this specific status, it does not stand for anything.
How do you fix a 404?
There are several ways to fix a 404 error:
- Check the URL: Make sure that the URL entered in the browser is correct and that there are no typos.
- Refresh the page: Sometimes, simply refreshing the page can fix the error.
- Check the link: If the 404 error is on a page that you did not create, check the link that you are using to access the page. It is possible that the link is outdated or broken.
- Clear your browser’s cache and cookies: Clearing your browser’s cache and cookies can sometimes fix a 404 error.
- Contact the website owner: If you continue to have problems with a 404 error, contact the website owner and let them know about the problem.
- Redirect the 404 page: You can redirect the 404 page to a custom page or to the home page of the website. This way the user will not see a 404 error and instead see a custom page.
- Use 301 redirect: You can use 301 redirect to redirect the broken links to the new location of the page.
- Check in the server side: If the issue persist, You can check the server side for any misconfigurations or permission issues.
Note: Depending on the nature of the error, some of these solutions may not be applicable.
Where did the term 404 come from?
The term “404” comes from the HTTP status code that is returned by a web server when a client requests a URL that does not exist or has been moved. The HTTP protocol, which is used for communication between web servers and clients, defines a set of status codes that indicate the status of a requested resource. The 404 status code was one of the original codes defined in the HTTP 1.0 specification, which was first proposed in 1996.
The term “404” is derived from the HTTP status code that is returned by the server in response to a client’s request. The code 404 is used to indicate that the server can’t find the requested resource. It is one of many HTTP status codes that can be returned by a web server, each of which have a specific meaning.
What’s the opposite of 404?
The opposite of a 404 error would be a 200 OK status code, which indicates that the requested resource has been successfully found and returned by the server. It is the standard response for successful HTTP requests.
When a client (such as a web browser) sends a request to a web server, the server will respond with an HTTP status code to indicate the status of the requested resource. A 200 OK status code means that the request was successful and the requested resource has been returned, while a 404 Not Found status code means that the requested resource could not be found on the server.
Other HTTP status codes include:
- 201 Created: indicates that the request has been fulfilled and a new resource has been created as a result.
- 204 No Content: indicates that the server has successfully processed the request, but there is no new information to send back to the client.
- 301 Moved Permanently: indicates that the requested resource has been permanently moved to a new location.
- 400 Bad Request: indicates that the client sent an invalid request.
- 403 Forbidden: indicates that the client does not have permission to access the requested resource.
- 500 Internal Server Error: indicates that an error occurred on the server while processing the request.
- and many more.
How do I find a 404?
There are several ways to find a 404 error on a website:
- Check the browser’s console: Most web browsers have a developer console that can be used to view error messages. In the console, look for any messages with the status code “404”.
- Use a website monitoring tool: There are several website monitoring tools available that can be used to check for 404 errors on a website. These tools will periodically check the website and notify you if any 404 errors are found.
- Check the server logs: The server logs will contain information about all requests made to the website, including any 404 errors. You can check the server logs to find any 404 errors that have occurred.
- Use a crawler: A web crawler is a program that automatically visits web pages and checks for broken links. You can use a web crawler tool to find and fix 404 errors on your website.
- Check Google Search Console: Google Search Console provides information about crawling errors, if you see any 404 errors in there you know that Google encountered them when trying to crawl your website.
- Check your analytics: You can check for 404 errors by looking at the analytics of your website. If you see a high number of page not found errors, it could indicate that there are a lot of broken links on your website.
Note: Some of these methods may not be applicable depending on the website and infrastructure of the website.
Should I delete 404 pages or setup 301 redirects?
It depends on the specific situation and the purpose of the page.
If the page is no longer relevant or needed, it’s best to delete it. This will help prevent any confusion for users who may stumble upon the page and also reduce the number of 404 errors on your website.
However, if the page is still relevant, but has been moved to a new location, it’s best to set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL. This will ensure that any users or search engines that try to access the old URL will be redirected to the new URL, and will also transfer any link equity from the old URL to the new URL.
Additionally, if the page is important for your business, you can create a custom 404 page with a message to the user explaining that the page doesn’t exist anymore and providing them with a link to your homepage or other relevant pages.
In summary, if the page is no longer needed, delete it. If the page is important and has just been moved, set up a 301 redirect. If the page is important but doesn’t exist anymore, create a custom 404 page.