4 Common HTTP Error Codes And What They Mean

While browsing the internet, you are bound to encounter one error code or the other. Unless you are a tech enthusiast, this can get really irritating as all your online work might hit a roadblock. If it is a onetime issue, then calling tech support might be fine. However, some of these errors keep cropping up from time to time. Not only does it prove expensive to get professional help every time but also hampers your productivity as you need to wait till the matter is resolved. Hence, it is encouraged that you put on your technical hat and try and understand the most common error codes that bug you and find out how to get rid of them. Most of the errors that we encounter on our browser are HTTP error codes. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the foundation of all data communication that takes place over the World Wide Web. Here is a list of some very common HTTP error codes that plague the internet and what they mean –

  • 404 (Not Found)

This is the simplest of all. Absolutely true to its name, you will get this error code when you are trying to access a web page which does not exist on the internet.

What this means: This can mean a lot of things. It can imply that either you entered the domain name of the website incorrectly or that the website is no longer online. In case you didn’t type the URL but just clicked on a link that you got from somewhere, then it might mean that the URL was broken or that the web page has either been moved somewhere else or has been permanently removed.

How to get rid of this: The first thing that you should do is check if there are any typing mistakes that you made while entering the name of the website. In case of a shared link, check the completeness of the URL. Also, clearing your browser cookies might help in certain cases.

  • 403 (Forbidden)

You will get this error when you are trying to access a web page or resource that is forbidden.

What this means: This effectively means that you cannot access the resource or web page as it is forbidden. Sometimes a website’s server maintains a list of machines that are allowed to access the particular resource on the website. Now if your machine is not on that list (called the whitelist) then you might get error 403. You might also get this error while trying to access a file on the server. This might happen because the file permissions on the server are restricted.

How to get rid of this: The solution to this error is to try and access the web page or resource using a machine that is on the white list. You can also talk to the server administrator and get him to change the file permissions on the server.

  • 401 (Unauthorized)

You will get this error when you are trying to access a web page that is restricted, meaning that not everyone can access it.

What this means: This means that the web page can be accessed only if you are authorized to do so. Most likely, you will get this error after a failed login attempt. The login attempt is necessitated because of the restrictions on the server. This error might seem similar to 403. However, there is a difference. In 401, you are prompted to enter a password and access the resource whereas in 403, you do not have the authentication option – either you are allowed to access the web page or not.

How to get rid of this: Since this is an error which crops up after a login page, it is very likely that you might have entered the incorrect password. More often than not, going back to the login page and re-entering the login credentials correctly gets rid of this error.

  • 500 (Internal Server Error)

According to Google, this is the most searched error code on the internet. You will get this error code when there is some problem with the server of the site but they are not able to specifically pinpoint what the issue is. So this is a general sort of error.

What this means: Most of the time, this error means that there is something wrong with the server on the website. Now, this ‘something wrong’ is most likely a programming error.

How to get rid of this: Since this error is caused because of an error on the part of the website’s server, there is very little you can do. However, the tried and tested techniques that you can attempt include refreshing the web page, clearing the browser cookies or the eternal ‘come back later’

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