If your website has a 404 error page, you may have noticed that some of the pages that are being requested on your website don’t exist and therefore return a 404 page. A 404 page is a page typically returned by the server when the requested page can’t be found.
This is an example of a typical 404 page:
Error 404 Page Not Found: This page is missing!
A 404 error page can be used to inform your visitors that the page they are looking for doesn’t exist or was moved. When a visitor sees this message, they will typically try to retype their URL or search for the information they were originally looking for.
This sounds like a helpful tool, but if it’s not setup properly, it will hurt your rankings in search engines and will also result in unnecessary crawl errors from search engine robots.
In this blog post, I will show you how to troubleshoot 404 errors on your websites. I assume that you have a website with WordPress installed on it (but the troubleshooting steps are very similar for a HTML website).
The HTTP 404 error is also known as Error 404 Not Found and sometimes as Error 404 Page Not Found.
We’ve all experienced the frustrating 404 error—the webpage is missing!
The result can be a frustrating experience for your users, especially if they arrive at the 404 page directly from Google. Although they may not be interested in the content of your website anymore, they may be interested in information on how to fix their problem.
The reason why these users look for a specific site is because they want to find out how to solve their problem. There are several reasons why this problem might occur:
A website or web page has been moved or deleted. This might be due to a web server failure, or that the webmaster has changed the location of the website or web page.
A website or web page has been blocked by a firewall or other security software.
The DNS (Domain Name System) servers used by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) have become corrupted and need to be reset, which you can do by turning off your computer for a few minutes and then restarting it. If this doesn’t work, you could contact your ISP and ask them to check their DNS servers.
If none of these solutions work, you could try using another browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer (if you are using Windows).
When you try to visit a website, your computer will ask another computer (called a server) for the web page that you want to see. If the web page is found, the server sends it to your web browser. However, if the web page cannot be found, you are usually presented with an error message. The 404 or Not Found error message is an HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) standard status code.
In other words, HTTP communication is stateless. The request from your browser doesn’t contain enough information for the server to know what went wrong. The server can only give a generic response.
There are many different ways that you might see this message on your computer. It could simply be “404” or it may include additional text such as “404 Not Found” or “HTTP 404 – File not found.” There are even some more amusing messages such as “Error 404: Page not found! (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻” or “404: Page not found: ( . y . )”
A 404 error is an HTTP status code that means that the page you were trying to reach on a website couldn’t be found on their server. To be clear, the 404 Not Found error indicates that while the server itself is reachable, the specific page showing the error is not.
404 errors can occur in a large variety of situations. Some include:
A user tries to navigate to a non-existent web page.
A user attempts to search for something that the website doesn’t offer (or offers in a different form).
An email user tries to send a message but gets an error message that says the address could not be found or is invalid.
The 404 Not Found error displays inside the browser window, just as web pages do. 404 errors should not be confused with DNS errors, which appear when the given URL refers to a server name that does not exist. A 404 error indicates that the server itself was found, but that the server was not able to retrieve the requested page.
The HTTP 404, 404 Not Found and 404 error message is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 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. The web site hosting server will typically generate a “404 Not Found” web page when a user attempts to follow a broken or dead link; hence the 404 error is one of the most recognizable errors encountered on the World Wide Web.
404 errors should not be confused with DNS errors, which appear when the given URL refers to a server name that does not exist. A 404 error indicates that the server itself was found, but that the server was not able to retrieve the requested page.
In the code 404, the first digit indicates a client error, such as a mistyped Uniform Resource Locator (URL).