Unless you work in IT, or are a web genius, most internet users don’t know what error codes exist on the internet. However, there is one that we have all encountered during our online sessions: the error code 404.
Have you seen it appear before, but don’t know what it is? Even if it is the most common, it is nonetheless a mystery that is often difficult to solve …
In order not to remain indifferent, we will explain in a few words why this error code has the number 404 and how to correct it.
What is a 404 error?
Typically, the 404 error code is displayed when clicking on a link to a web page that does not exist, or no longer exists. In this case, instead of the content you are interested in, you will see a message with the 404 error, often followed by “Page Not Found”.
It warns you either that the web page you are looking for has been deleted or that it has been moved to another address. If the second hypothesis is correct, then it means that the transfer from the old URL to the new one was not successful.
There are other reasons the code is showing up, including the server hosting the page being down, or having issues. No matter the case, the result is the same, you will not have access to the web page you were looking for.
Why code 404?
In computer science, you will find five classes of HTTP statuses, starting with 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and followed by two more digits to indicate specific problems or processes in progress. The 404, on the other hand, identifies the current functions of servers and the Internet.
They are maintained and coordinated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Here’s how to recognize them:
- 1xx, information code: request received, process in progress
- 2xx, success code: the action was received, understood and accepted
- 3xx, redirection code: other measures must be established to complete the request
- 4xx, client errors: the request contains a syntax error or cannot be completed
- 5xx, server errors: the server did not respond to an apparently valid request
The 404 is simply registered with the explanatory tag – Not Found.
In order not to make this type of mistake look too serious, some sites offer special designs that appear when it occurs, such as the Marvel example that accompanies this article.
How to fix a 404 error?
While there isn’t much you can do if a server is permanently offline, or is having problems, make sure you haven’t typed or pasted its URL in the search bar incorrectly.
If you clicked on a link, the URL may have something wrong. Therefore, try to go to the main site instead, like on techadvisor.fr for example, then use the search feature, or the navigation menu to find your page.
Reloading it could also be another option, as the server might have had a problem the moment you tried to open it. Also feel free to repeat your search later in the day.
Otherwise, the site Down Detector has the ability to tell you the current status of a website, so you know if any issues have been reported.
Finally, another option is to clear your browser’s cache, as the stored version of the web page could cause problems.