A Guide to Error Response Codes

Last thing you want to happen once you drive all this traffic to your website is for your visitors to be faced will error response codes popping up in front of them. Learn the difference between the different classes of error response codes.

If you’ve ever entered a website or clicked on a link, only to be faced with a page that says something like “404 – Page Not Found”, you were probably frustrated and confused, wondering: What is a 404? Did I enter the website wrong? Is my internet working? Is this a bad website?

Not to worry; these are just status codes and error response codes. They are the network’s way of communicating a message with the user. The bad news is: network communication errors happen often. An unsuccessful page load looks bad, makes the user think the website is associated with a virus, and can deter them from wanting to continue forward. This can mean big trouble for website owners and online stores who want to keep their traffic steady and conversions high. Here’s the good news: Tandem Interactive, a Fort Lauderdale digital marketing agency, can fix them for you and get your website back up and running.

If you aim to make an impact in the digital world, you need to become familiar with the most common HTTP error and status codes, and how to handle them. Follow our guide to error response codes below.

When you attempt to access a web server, you send an HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) request. These requests are responded with HTTP status codes. Most often, the website works and you don’t run into any issues, but when there is an error, you will receive an error response code.

There are five classes of error response codes, and each one is three digits. The first digit represents which class the response is in – they range from 1xx to 5xx. These are the most common error response codes:

HTTP Status Code – 400 Bad Request

HTTP Status Code – 401 Unauthorized

HTTP Status Code – 403 Forbidden

HTTP Status Code – 404 Not Found

HTTP Status Code – 410 Gone

HTTP Status Code – 500 Internal Server Error

HTTP Status Code – 501 Not Implemented

HTTP Status Code – 503 Service Unavailable

It is important to understand that not all response codes are bad. HTTP status codes beginning with a 1 (100,101,102) mean the request was received, and the network is continuing the process.

A response code in the 200 class indicates the HTTP request was received, understood, accepted, and processed. A 200-response code is the most standard response, and means the link will work. Associated codes in the same class, like 201 and 202, mean similar things, but could take slightly longer for processing.

Failed pages that result in numbers like 301, 401, and 500 are called error response codes.

A response code beginning with a 3 means a redirection. A 301 means a permanent redirect – so although you may have attempted to load a certain page, the network will guide you to essentially the same page, but at a new location. A 303 means undefined redirect, so our team at Tandem Interactive always recommends changing your undefined 303 to a more defined 301.

To the search engine optimization team at our Fort Lauderdale digital marketing agency, a response code beginning with a 4 means two things: There was probably a client error somewhere in the process, and something needs to be fixed. 400 means the request was invalid. 401 means there is missing or incorrect authentication credentials. 403 implies the page is forbidden. Finally, the most common error response code, the 404 means the URL is invalid and cannot be found. Other codes can indicate a request time out, page conflict, the payload is too large, or an upgrade is required.

Error response codes in the 500’s mean the server has failed to fulfill a valid request. These typically mean there was an internal server error, the request was not implemented, or the service is unavailable.

Tandem Interactive’s Fort Lauderdale digital marketing agency has experienced professionals in the industry that can offer simple solutions to fix your errors and ensure that your website is user friendly. Contact us today.