Published on:
March 18, 2023

What are HTTP status codes?

HTTP status codes are three-digit numbers that are sent by a web server to a client's web browser in response to a request made by the client. They indicate the status of the requested resource and help to diagnose any issues that may arise during communication between the client and server.

HTTP status codes are divided into several categories, including:

1. 1xx (Informational): These status codes indicate that the server has received the request and is continuing to process it.

2. 2xx (Successful): These status codes indicate that the request was successfully received, understood, and accepted by the server.

3. 3xx (Redirection): These status codes indicate that the client must take additional action to complete the request, such as following a redirect.

4. 4xx (Client Error): These status codes indicate that the request was invalid or could not be completed because of an error on the client's side.

5. 5xx (Server Error): These status codes indicate that the server encountered an error while processing the request.

Some commonly encountered HTTP status codes include:

1. 200 OK: The request was successful.

2. 301 Moved Permanently: The requested resource has been permanently moved to a new URL.

3. 404 Not Found: The requested resource could not be found on the server.

4. 500 Internal Server Error: The server encountered an error while processing the request.

HTTP Status Codes & SEO: Here are the ones you need to know

To achieve great SEO results, it's essential to work with technical SEO, which includes managing response codes on your website to ensure proper crawling by Googlebot and the correct response code for requested content. There are five status codes that you need to know as an SEO.

1. The first code is 200 OK, which indicates that the content is functioning correctly and is critical for providing an excellent user experience. It also ensures that external links point to your website, resulting in link value.

2. If a page has changed its URL or deleted content, you should use the 301 Moved Permanently code to set up a redirect. If something is temporarily unavailable, a 302 Found redirect is more suitable.

3. A 404 Not Found error is displayed when a page is no longer available, and it's essential to fix these errors quickly as they can impact your SEO performance. If you want a page to be removed completely from Google's search engine index, you should use the 410 Gone code.

4. Lastly, the 5xx Server error code is not directly SEO-related, but it's helpful in troubleshooting website issues. If you encounter this error code, you should know that it's related to the server and not your website.

How to check the HTTP status code of a page

To verify the HTTP status code of a webpage, you can either manually check it on your browser or utilize several tools and web crawlers. The method for verifying it varies slightly depending on the browser you are using. Here is a guide on how to check the HTTP status code using Chrome (though similar steps can be applied to other browsers):

1. Open the URL of the webpage you want to check with your browser.

2. Launch the Developer tab by pressing F12 and go to the "Network" tab.

3. Refresh the webpage.

4. Scroll to the top of the list of requests and look for the first request with the type "document".

5. You can now find the HTTP response code under the "Status" column.

How to fix 404 errors

If you encounter the HTTP status code 404, which means "Page Not Found," you may wonder how to fix it. Typically, this error occurs when the server receives your request but cannot locate the page you are trying to access. To resolve the 404 error, you must first determine its cause, which can stem from various factors. However, since you know that the server is reachable, you can assume that the problem is client-side, meaning that it is likely your fault. Fortunately, you can also resolve the error on your end without resorting to debugging your server or contacting your hosting provider.

To fix the 404 error, you can go through the following checklist:

1. Refresh the page. Sometimes, a 404 error may result from a temporary issue that can be resolved by reloading the page.

2. Check the URL you entered. If you made a mistake in the URL, a 404 error is expected unless a 3xx redirect is in place.

3. If you did not make any mistakes, try accessing the page from a different device, such as your mobile phone or tablet. If the page loads from a different device, the error may be due to browser cache and cookies. You can try clearing the browser cache and deleting cookies, and then attempt to access the page again.

If none of the above solutions work, it is possible that the content has been deleted or moved.

How to fix 503 errors

A 503 error is an HTTP status code indicating that the server is currently unable to handle the request. The error can be caused by various reasons such as server overload, maintenance, or temporary outage.

Here are some steps you can take to fix a 503 error:

1. Refresh the page: Sometimes the error is temporary, and refreshing the page may resolve the issue.

2. Check the server status: If the issue persists, you can check the server status to see if there is any scheduled maintenance or outage that could be causing the error.

3. Check the server logs: The server logs can provide insights into the cause of the error. Check the logs for any error messages that could help identify the issue.

4. Reduce server load: If the server is overloaded, try reducing the load by optimizing your website code or upgrading your server resources.

5. Contact your hosting provider: If you are unable to fix the issue, contact your hosting provider for assistance. They may be able to provide further insights into the issue or help resolve the error.

In conclusion, a 503 error can be caused by various factors, and the best approach to fix it depends on the cause of the issue. Try the above steps to resolve the error, or seek professional help if necessary.


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