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Thread: What are 404 errors?

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    The HTTP 404, 404 Not Found, and 404 error message is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol standard response code, in computer network communications, to indicate that the client was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested.

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    A 404 page error appears when a website is active, but the specific page within it doesn’t exist. A different error appears if the whole website you’re visiting is unavailable.

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    A 404 error is the standardized HTTP status code. The message is sent from the webserver of an online presence, to the web browser (usually the client) that sent the HTTP request. The browser then displays this error code.

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    When you see this kind of error for your URLs, it means that Googlebot couldn't access your URL, the request timed out, or your site was busy. As a result, Googlebot was forced to abandon the request. Usually, when a visitor requests a page on your site that doesn't exist, a web server returns a 404 (not found) error.

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    The 404 page not found error is a common issue happened on any website. Once this error appears, it means that the browsers of your visitors already send the requests to the given servers, but the servers cannot find what are requested. And then, your readers can see nothing from your site but an error message indicating that there is a 404 error now. Frankly speaking, this is irritating for people looking to see something on your site. And for you, this may cause the loss of traffic greatly.

    What is 404 Error?

    The 404 error is what a webpage returns after a user tries to open a webpage that does not exist. The visitor may have mistyped the webpage URL or the webpage might have been moved completely. It may also be caused by your pages having an incorrect linking either internally or externally.

    When some of the resources are removed from your web server, it may result into a 404 error too. You changed the link of your content, and thus the previous link was rendered useless and cannot be located online.

    Another thing that causes the 404 error is when a crawler from a search engine tries to find a generic page that you do not have on your site. Note that having too many 404 errors from your site is lethal for your site traffic.

    Note that there are many ways for you to recognize the 404 error. After all, the 404 page not found message can be custmized by the site owners, but the common error messages look like as below.

    404 error
    404 page not found
    Error 404
    HTTP 404
    The requested URL was not found on this web server
    404 file and directory was not found


    Common Reasons of 404 Error & Useful Troubleshooting

    Generally, the 404 error can happen when your readers type the wrong page link and when you remove or delete the existing URL without the redirection. In this case, to fix this error, the following methods can be tried.

    Refresh the page or load the page address once again.
    Make sure that the link is 100% correct.
    Clear the cache and cookies especially when you have dealt with this issue.
    Scan for malware as some malware files will force this error on your website.
    Make sure that the SSL certificate is set up properly if 404 error happens after the installation of the SSL certificate.
    Check whether you have reached the memory limit. If so, you should enlarge the limit.
    If your website is WordPress based, you should regenerate the .htaccess file by going to Settings > Permalinks section of the admin panel and clicking the Save Changes button.
    In fact, as the 404 error may appear without your notice. In this case, you’d better create the custom 404 error page to give readers a better experience. Here, you can check Beginner Guide on 404 Error to learn more detailed steps about this practice.

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