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HTTP 404

Definition

HTTP 404 is a standard error code in the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that indicates the requested webpage could not be found on the server. It is commonly known as a “404 error” or “404 not found.” This error occurs when a user tries to access a non-existent webpage or the server cannot locate the requested resource.

Phonetic

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Key Takeaways

  1. HTTP 404 is a standard error code indicating that the requested webpage could not be found on the server.
  2. 404 errors often occur due to a broken or moved link, incorrect URL, or deleted content by website administrators.
  3. To address HTTP 404 errors, users can verify the URL, use the website’s search function, or contact the site administrator for assistance.

Importance

The technology term HTTP 404 is important because it denotes an error message that users encounter when attempting to access a webpage that cannot be found on the server.

It is a standard response code within the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that indicates the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not locate the requested information.

This error typically occurs when users click on a broken or dead link, or enter an incorrect URL.

By understanding the significance of an HTTP 404 error, developers and website administrators can address underlying issues, such as repairing broken links or providing redirection to an updated URL, ultimately improving the user experience and the overall functionality of their websites.

Explanation

HTTP 404, more commonly known as the “404 Not Found” error, serves an important purpose in the realm of internet browsing. This particular error message is part of the communication process that occurs between a client (typically your web browser) and web server when the requested resource is not found.

The 404 error is part of the HTTP status code family, which is a set of standardized codes aimed at ensuring smooth and informative interactions on the web. The primary purpose of the HTTP 404 error is to inform users that the requested URL or content they are attempting to access cannot be found on the server, potentially due to deletion or an improper URL input.

Though HTTP 404 may come across as an undesirable outcome, it actually aids in maintaining a better user experience by alerting users to potential issues they might encounter and giving them a chance to correct their navigation. Web developers can even customize 404 error messages, incorporating helpful tips, branded visuals, and links to other sections of their website to redirect users and keep them engaged.

In sum, the HTTP 404 error, despite being associated with missing content, serves as a valuable component in web communication by offering guidance and clarification for users who come across resources that are no longer available or were never there in the first place.

Examples of HTTP 404

HTTP 404 is a standard HTTP status code that indicates the requested web page or resource could not be found on the server. Here are three real-world examples:

You are searching online for information on a specific product or event, but when you click on a website link, you are greeted with a “404 Not Found” message. This could occur because the website has moved the page to a different address or removed it entirely, and the server can’t locate the requested information.

A website undergoes a major redesign and restructure, causing some old pages to be permanently deleted or moved to new URLs. When users try to access these deleted or moved pages through their bookmarks or search engines, they receive a 404 error indicating that the page is no longer available.

An issue with a Content Management System (CMS) might cause broken links on a website, leading users to receive a 404 error when they click those links. For example, if the owner of a blog changes the slug (the end part) of a blog post’s URL without redirecting the old URL to the new one, anyone with the old link will encounter a 404 error when they try to access the post.

HTTP 404 FAQ

What is an HTTP 404 error?

An HTTP 404 error is a standard HTTP status code that occurs when a server is unable to find the requested resource or webpage. This error generally happens when users click on a broken or dead link, and the server cannot locate the target.

What causes an HTTP 404 error?

HTTP 404 errors can be caused by several factors, such as mistyped URLs, deleted or moved webpages, incorrect links, or a website not properly configured on the server. Additionally, users may encounter a 404 error if their internet connection is disrupted or if the website’s domain has expired.

How do I fix an HTTP 404 error?

If you’re a website visitor, try double-checking the entered URL or refreshing the page. If the error persists, use the site’s search function or visit the homepage and navigate to the desired content. For website administrators, verify the URLs and links, ensure the content is available, and update the website’s configuration on the server if necessary.

Is an HTTP 404 error harmful?

While HTTP 404 errors aren’t necessarily harmful, they can negatively impact a website’s user experience, causing frustration for visitors who cannot access the desired content. For website owners, a high number of 404 errors may indicate broken links on their site, which could lead to poorer search engine rankings.

How can I prevent HTTP 404 errors on my website?

To prevent HTTP 404 errors, ensure that you maintain up-to-date links and regularly check for broken links on your website. Additionally, consider implementing URL redirects for removed or moved content, giving visitors a smooth experience when navigating your site. Server-side configurations should also be regularly reviewed to prevent potential errors.

Related Technology Terms

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  • Not Found Error
  • URL
  • Broken Link
  • Web Server
  • Redirect

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