This article will teach you everything you need to know about the 404 error. We’ll cover what it is, how to fix it, and how to prevent it from happening in the first place. Stay calm and read on!
What Does the 404 Error Code Mean?
The 404 error is an HTTP status code that means that the page you’re trying to access on a website can’t be found. It’s one of the most frustrating errors because it can happen for seemingly no reason, and it’s really hard to track down why it’s happening.
There are a few different ways that you might see the 404 error displayed. Here are some of the most common:
- 404 Not Found.
- HTTP Error 404 – File or Directory Not Found.
- Error 404 – Page Not Found!
- The requested URL was not found on this server.
- 404 File or Directory Not Found.
404 Not Found error messages can appear in any web browser or any operating system. They simply mean that the path you’re trying to access on a website couldn’t be found on their server.
What Are the Reasons of Error 404?
The 404 Not Found error code is usually caused by a broken link. This can happen because:
- The page has been removed or moved.
- The page never existed in the first place (or the server hosting the website couldn’t be found).
- There’s a typo in the URL you’re trying to access.
- A security plugin or firewall is blocking access to the page.
- The 404 Not Found error code is also sometimes caused by the website’s server error. This can happen if the server is down, or if there’s a problem with your internet connection.
How to Fix a 404 Error
There are a few different ways that you can try to fix a 404 error. The first thing you should do is check the URL of the page you’re trying to access. Make sure that there are no typos or misspellings. If you’re still seeing the 404 error, try reloading the page by pressing F5 on your keyboard (in most browsers).
If that doesn’t work, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. This will delete all of the temporary files that your browser has stored on your computer, which could be causing the 404 error.
If you’re still seeing the 404 Not Found error, it’s possible that the problem is with the website itself and not with your computer or internet connection. To confirm this, try accessing the website from another device or another internet connection. If you’re able to access the website from another device or another search engine, that means there’s an issue with your original device or network.
What to Do If Your Website Has a 404 Error
If you’re the website owner, it’s important to find out why your website is displaying 404s. There are a few different ways that you can go about this:
- Check your server logs to see why the page is being blocked.
- If you’re using a security plugin, check the plugin’s settings to see if the page is being blocked.
- If you’re using a firewall, check the firewall’s settings to see if the page is being blocked.
- Contact your hosting provider and ask them to investigate the problem.
Check Your Google Search Console Data
If your website is registered with Google Search Console, you can check the “Search Traffic” > “Search Analytics” report to see if there are any 404 errors being reported.
This report will show you which URLs are being affected by the 404 error, as well as how many times each URL has been accessed (impressions) and how many times it’s been clicked on (clicks).
404 Page Not Found: External Links
If you see a 404 error in the external links report, it means that someone is linking to a specific page on your website that doesn’t exist. This can happen for a few different reasons:
- The link may have been mistyped.
- The page may have been removed or moved.
To fix this, you can either contact the website that’s linking to your website and ask them to update their link, or you can redirect the URL of the page that doesn’t exist to another page on your website.
HTTP 404 Error: Links on Your Website
If you see a 404 error in the links on your website report, it means that there are some broken links on your website. This can happen for a few different reasons:
- The link may have been misspelled.
- The page may have been moved or deleted.
To fix this, you can either update the links on your website, or redirect the URL of the broken link to another page on your website.
404 Page Not Found: Redirection
There are a few different ways that you can redirect a 404 error page:
- Redirecting to another page on your website: You can use a 301 redirect to redirect the URL of the broken link to another page on your website.
- Redirecting to a different website: You can use a 302 redirect to redirect the URL of the broken link to another website.
- Redirecting to a 404 error page: You can use a 404 redirect to redirect the URL of the broken link to a 404 error page.
Can 404 Messages Affect Your SEO?
When it comes to SEO, 404 errors can definitely have an impact on your site. In fact, they can even be a ranking factor.
If you have too many 404 errors on your site, it can signal to Google that your site is not well-maintained and that you don’t care about providing a good user experience. This can hurt your rankings and cause you to lose traffic from potential customers.
To avoid this, make sure to redirect any broken links to relevant pages on your site so that users don’t encounter 404 errors. You can also use a plugin like Yoast SEO for WordPress to help you keep track of your 404 errors and fix them quickly.
In short, yes, 404 errors can affect your SEO. But by taking steps to fix them, you can help ensure that your site continues to rank well in search engines.
404 Error: Conclusion
Make sure to redirect any broken links to relevant pages on your site, and use a plugin like Yoast SEO to help you keep track of your 404 errors so that you can fix them quickly.
By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your website continues to rank well in search engines and that users have a positive experience when they visit your site. Thanks for reading!