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7 Common Website Issues and How to Fix Them

Did you just receive the dreaded “Error 404” message?

This common website issue means the server can’t respond to the request. In your case, you requested to retrieve the URL, but the page wasn’t there.

A site administrator likely deleted the page. The author may have changed the URL but forgot to redirect to the new link. This problem is also known as a broken link.

404 errors don’t necessarily mean the page is gone. These errors are temporary. Users also encounter this issue when hitting the “stop” button prematurely on their web browsers.

Error 404 is one of several website issues visitors encounter online.

Let’s tackle seven more website errors on your journey through web development.


1. The Difference Between 404 and 410 Errors

404 errors are frequently confused with 410 errors. You’re also more likely to see 404 errors than 410.

404 and 410 both mean the webpage is down. However, error 404 could also mean the server is slow, or the user intentionally stopped loading the page.

The most important difference between these two is that 404 is temporary and 410 is permanent. An error 410 message means the webpage is definitely gone.

2. 500 Internal Server Error

Yesterday, your favorite food blog was working fine. It loaded quickly, and you discovered a delicious new recipe by lunchtime.

Today is a much different story. Instead of vegan chili and avocado dressing, there’s a glaring “500 internal server error.”

As a visitor, this website error is confusing and frustrating enough. Imagine how the site administrator feels.

As a new web admin, it’s crucial to step into the shoes of the visitor. You want to make your website as user-centric as possible.

The food blog link isn’t broken. The website’s server is likely overloaded. This problem can occur when there’s an influx of web traffic.

You can bypass this error by refreshing the page or deleting your cache and cookies. Unfortunately, first-time visitors are less likely to give the blog a chance.

You can learn from this experience.

If the blog is experiencing overload, the admin must act quickly. Fixing a 500 internal server error may require a new web host ASAP. Websites need enough hosting bandwidth to prevent costly downtime.

500 internal server errors are also due to issues with root file directories. This website problem is more common with WordPress sites.

3. 400 Bad Request

What if the website isn’t the problem? What if your web browser is to blame?

If you see a “400 Bad Request” error page after visiting a webpage, that’s typically a user-side error.

There’s something wrong with the data your web browser is sending to the protocol. Therefore, the webserver doesn’t know how to process the request, delivering a “bad request” message instead.

The solution could be as simple as clearing your browser cache. You may have an unstable wireless connection.

Try visiting the website on another web browser. If the website works fine, then you know it’s a browser issue.

If you keep seeing this message across browsers, run a malware scan. You may have a virus or a corrupted OS.

4. Service Unavailable

Another dreaded error is the classic “503 Service Unavailable” message. This error is also temporary, but it’s a greater cause for concern than 404 errors.

This message could mean that the webserver is simply busy. However, this error is common with DDoS attacks that bring down servers. You may have seen this message on Twitter, GitHub, and other major sites whenever their servers were attacked.

Even Google has fallen victim to DDoS attacks.

The attackers use bot networks to flood servers, effectively bringing sites down. These tactics are also used to extort money from unsuspecting web admins. Luckily, there are DDoS blocking services that prevent attacks.

5. Error 504 Bad Gateway

“Bad Gateway” is another familiar website issue, but what does it mean?

Like 500 errors, error 504 means there’s a problem with the server. Rest assured, this error isn’t as scary as “503 service unavailable.”

Unfortunately, 503 errors are a pain to fix. The server you’re trying to reach is acting as a “gateway” for a different server. This connection can time out along the way, resulting in an error.

The error means the server “timed out” waiting for an answer to the request. You may have to restart the server equipment and software yourself manually. If you’re using a server provider, call right away for assistance.

6. Error 408 Request Timeout

Another timeout problem to watch is 408 errors. This issue means the server didn’t receive a full request from the web client in time.

Like 503 errors, error 408 could mean your site is under attack or hacked. If you suspect this is the case, call your internet security expert right away.

The problem could be a user-side error, similar to bad request errors. You can test your website on other browsers and geographical locations. If your website works fine, the problem is likely the web client.

7. 401 Unauthorized Error

A less common error is the 401 unauthorized error.

You wouldn’t find this error on a major news website or social media site. This error occurs when you’re trying to access a page you don’t have permission to view.

These errors are more common with login pages and admin pages. For example, you might see this message after entering a few failed passwords.

If you have valid authentication credentials to access the site, the website may be experiencing technical difficulties. Refresh the page after a while or contact the website administrator for help.

If you want to provide open access, you’ll need to fix the 401 error in your coding environment.

Manage Your Website Issues Effectively

Don’t let annoying site errors ruin your website. Learn from mistakes and follow these tips to prevent costly website issues.

Use this guide to identify website errors and act quickly. Website downtime is the fastest way to lose visitors permanently.

Don’t forget to follow the blog for more answers to your questions.

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