Internet Technology Explained

What Is 404? 4 Common Website Errors and What They Mean

Ben Stegner 18-05-2018

Most of the time, visiting a website is a simple affair. You type in the name of the site you’re interested in or click a browser bookmark, and you see it within a few seconds.


But what about when it goes wrong? Sometimes, you’ll see various errors alerting you to problems with visiting that website What Is a Website Security Certificate? What You Need to Know Website security certificates help make the web more secure and safer for online transactions. Here's how security certificates work. Read More . While some of these are out of your control, you can troubleshoot others to find out what’s wrong.

Let’s quickly review some of the most common website errors. Note that errors starting with 4 (like error 451 What Is Error 451, and How Can It Make a Difference? A new HTTP error is set to appear online, joining messages such as "403 Forbidden" and "500 Internal Server Error". But will "451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons" help people combat Internet censorship? Read More ) are client-side errors (issues with your computer), while those starting with 5 are server-side (problems with the website).

1. Error 404

404 is a common error. It signifies that the page you were looking for doesn’t exist. This often occurs when you click a broken link, or if a website moves a page without redirecting it properly. But it can also happen if you mistype a URL.

When you see a 404, check to make sure that you haven’t entered the wrong address. Then try a Google search to find the right page, as it may have moved.

2. Error 401

A 401 error means that you need authentication to access the page, but don’t have it. This usually occurs when you need to log into a website to access something but haven’t done so yet.


If you see this, try visiting the main page of the site and logging in again.

3. Error 403

A 403 error signifies that you’ve made a valid request, but the server won’t complete it because you’re not allowed to access it. This is different than a 401.

A 401 tells you that you haven’t logged in and so it can’t authenticate you. But a 403 error says that it knows who you are, yet won’t let you access the page. Typically, this means you’ve stumbled across something private and need to access the website administrator for access.

4. Error 504

A 504 error signifies a gateway timeout, meaning that a server the website relies on isn’t communicating with it quickly. When this happens, you won’t be able to access the website until its administrators resolve this issue. You can try refreshing the page a few times, but you’ll likely have to wait until it’s fixed.

For some funny errors, check out ridiculous Windows error messages The 12 Most Ridiculous Windows Errors of All Time You probably see plenty of boring Windows error messages every day. Come enjoy some ridiculous ones, just for laughs. Read More .

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Vivian Black
    May 22, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    My mother recently lost her cell phone at the mall and has been in a worried panic ever since. I appreciate that you mentioned how simple the process of a returning a phone to someone lost could be, including through the use of the phone's IMEI code. Thank you for providing us with so many tips about ways to return a lost phone.

    • Ben Stegner
      May 22, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      I think you commented on the wrong article, but that's great news and I'm glad another article helped you!

  2. Lawrencenelms
    May 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    One more website, I would like to suggest you is This website has the best-priced tickets available. They have tickets available for sports, theater show and concerts.