What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

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Among the many errors you may see on your WordPress site, the 404 Not Found error is one of the tamer ones. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating when you or your visitors try to browse your site and keep getting a 404 Not Available error message. 😒 That’s the last thing you want first-time buyers to see from your brand. A 404 error can also be an indication to you that something has changed or moved and maybe a 301 redirect should be added for SEO.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

In this post, we’ll try to get your site up and running again by explaining a few things.

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A 404 (Not Found) status code indicates that the origin server cannot find a current representation of the target resource or is unwilling to identify its existence. The 404 status code does not indicate whether this lack of representation is temporary or permanent. A 410 (Missing) status code is preferred over 404 if the origin server knows, possibly through some recoverable means, that the condition is likely to persist.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

Every time you or one of your visitors visits your website, your browser sends a request to the web server and gets the latest information, including what’s called an HTTP header. The HTTP header includes HTTP status codes to describe “what happened” with the request.

Most of the time the application works fine and you never see the HTTP status code (

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

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, your web browser will usually display an HTTP status code message to indicate the exact problem.

Like other error messages (error 500, error 502, error 503, error 504, etc.), the 404 Error Not Found message is the result of that process.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

. The visitor will then see a 404 error because, although your web server is working normally, the requested resource is not available.

File:new Wikimedia Page Not Found Http Zh.wikipedia.org Wikipedia.png

Not just ads or pages, any missing feature can cause a 404 error on the server, such as missing image file, missing JavaScript, missing CSS, etc.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

If you see this error on all of your site’s content, it’s usually caused by a problem with permalinks on your WordPress site. However, if you only see it in individual content pieces, you may have changed the slug piece without creating an alternative.

Also, a 404 error is not always a bad thing. it’s only bad when it interferes with usability. And sometimes things get out of your control.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

Creating A Fun 404 Page

For example, sometimes a person may enter a wrong URL in their address field. In that case, they will still see a 404 error, but no matter how your site is configured. This is actually the desired response, and you can create your own 404 page to help get visitors to the right place (

Because different browsers display error messages differently, you may see a different message for this error. Other common changes include:

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

The 404 Not Found error message is also unique in that many sites will create a custom page to resolve the error rather than displaying one of the above messages. Some WordPress themes include custom 404 pages by default. As a result, you may not see the error message at all, as many sites will use fun or creative 404 pages.

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Below is an example of our 404 page. We include a search box with recent blog posts to help visitors find what they are looking for. Always include a search function on your 404 page.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

A 404 Not Found error does not negatively affect SEO. But it can have a negative effect depending on the cause of the error.

For example, if a visitor misspells a URL and sees a 404 error, it won’t have a negative impact on SEO. But if you have individual errors due to broken URLs, it will hinder Google’s ability to crawl your site properly and thus have a negative SEO impact.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

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Additionally, if a permalink issue causes a 404 error on the site, Google will not be able to search your site’s content. In other words, always fix your 404 errors as soon as possible.

Many people don’t realize it, but websites that generate a lot of 404 errors can easily run into performance issues because those responses are often dangerous. We’ve seen this a lot on larger sites, and it can be a big problem if you accidentally promote or get a lot of viral traffic on a 404 page. To reduce the impact of 404 requests on website performance, we automatically cache 404s. pages for 15 minutes. If you create a new page with the same URL as a cached 404 page, we’ll automatically clear the cache so your visitors can see the new page immediately. This means your site will be protected from PHP and CPU spikes caused by dynamic 404 page traffic.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

You’re probably generating more 404 errors than you think. Our My Analytics tool can help you figure out how much (as seen below).

Error 404: Sleep Not Found

You can also quickly see what the top 404 errors are. In the example below, you can see that the site is missing some mobile images such as

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

. They may occur in the theme or app code, but the actual images are not added. Therefore, the server throws a 404 error because it cannot find the resources.

You can also check for 404 errors in Google Search Console or install a third-party plugin like Redirection that logs 404 errors. However, keep in mind that such applications also affect performance. It’s much better to rely on a server-level tool. That’s why we offer these tools for all customers.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

Monitor, Error Message 404 On Website Stock Photo

The reason these errors are bad is because most 404 pages contain too many resources. For large sites, you’ll want to avoid heavy 404 pages. Create a simple 404 page that avoids database queries whenever possible.

Below we’ll talk about a few different ways to fix a 404 Not Found error message, depending on whether it’s happening on a website or with specific content.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

If you get a 404 error when accessing content, the most likely cause is a problem with your permalinks (or your .htaccess file if your host uses Apache). If you are a customer, we use Nginx, so you can remove the .htaccess file as a possible cause.

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The easiest way to fix this is to update your permalink settings in your WordPress dashboard. All you need to do is go to Settings → Permalinks and click Save Changes (you don’t need to make any changes, clicking Save Changes is enough).

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

Then users try to find content on the old site and see a 404 page instead of the app they expected. The best way to fix this is to move the person trying to find the old location to the new location. That way they will get to the right place without 404 errors. It’s also good for SEO. If you move or rename without adding a redirect, you will lose all network traffic and backlinks shown in that post.

WordPress will automatically try to load the modified/moving content. But it doesn’t always work, and you shouldn’t rely on WordPress for this process. But don’t worry, there are some easy ways to create redirects in WordPress.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

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First, you can use the free Redirection plugin to launch redirects from your WordPress dashboard. After installing and activating the plugin, go to Tools → Redirect and enter the 404 page URL in the Source URL box and the new site in the Target URL box;

If you accept and , you can manage redirects from my dashboard. Using a tool is a better way to do this because the rules are applied at the server level, which is more efficient in terms of performance. It also means one less third-party app to worry about.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

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Go to the area you want to control. Then click on the “Redirects” tab. To add a new redirect rule, click the “Add Redirect Rule” button.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

Finally, if your host uses an Apache server, you can use .htaccess to create redirects. A .htaccess generator site can help you generate the correct code to add to your .htaccess file.

While you can do your best to prevent 404 errors by following the tips above, it’s not possible to completely eliminate 404 errors because some things are obviously out of your control. It is common for small WordPress sites to have thousands of 404 errors every month.

What Does 404 Page Not Found Mean

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For example, if a visitor misspells a URL, or if another website links to a page that doesn’t exist, people will get a 404 error.

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