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  • The site owner could have unpublished, deleted, or moved the page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!

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