What is a 404 Error?
We’ve all seen it. You click on a link, and instead of getting the page you were expecting, you get a message saying “Error – 404 – Page Not Found”.
So, what is a 404 Error?
A 404 error is an HTTP status code. This code indicates that the specific page you’re trying to visit isn’t working or doesn’t exist.
How does it happen?
- The web page title could be misspelled in the URL (www.website.com/this-is-the-page-title)
- The site owner could have unpublished, deleted, or moved the page
- The server responsible for the website isn’t running, or the connection is broken
- The domain name can’t be converted to an IP by the DNS
- The domain name no longer exists
What can you do?
- Reload the page – this will give the server another chance to load the page
- Check the URL – check to make sure the domain is spelled correctly as well as the page title
- Go back to the closest working directory and navigate to the content you were looking for from there.
Ex: Go From “www.website.com/outdoor/clothing/mens/boots” to “www.website.com/outdoor/clothing/mens“
- Use the search bar on the website to find the content you’re looking for
- Restart your search on a web browser like Google
- Contact the company
404 Errors Are Much Less Common Today
Most companies do a good job at making the web page URLs easy to follow to help avoid these issues. Companies also try to redirect any pages that were deleted to a related or relevant page to avoid frustrating clients and hurting their SEO rankings on Google (Google doesn’t like broken pages). Ultimately, besides being a little tedious to deal with, 404 errors aren’t anything to worry about!