Website Error Messages Explained

If you’re using the internet, it’s possible to encounter some error messages that may be too unfamiliar to you. These are usually the HTTP error messages that are represented by numbers. Each time you visit a website the client application usually needs to connect to its server through the http protocol.

This network protocol will then send back a response to the server which includes the web pages of the visited site together with some protocol control information. It helps to know what these error messages are in order for you to understand the status of the web page that you’re visiting.

400 – Bad Request

This error signifies that the website is experiencing a syntax error therefore your request to access the web page is denied. It’s usually an indication that there may be some technical glitch from the target site but data corruption from the network itself is also possible.

401 – Unauthorized

This usually signifies an unauthorized access to the website. The request header most likely does not contain the required verifying codes and as a result, the request for access to the site is denied. The error usually takes place when the resource on the server has not been duly authenticated to grant access to the site. In order to resolve the problem, the web client needs to access their server and put in a valid user name and the password to provide the proper authenticated code to fix the restriction.

403 – Forbidden

This http error message provides restriction against the client for viewing certain files. It also occurs in instances when the server could no longer accommodate more visitors on the website. Often times, you need to visit each web page by web page using hyperlinks in order to view the site you want to visit.

404 – Not Found

The error message lets you know that the requested file, resource or web page cannot be found from the server. There are different possible reasons for this. It may be that the file that you are looking for was deleted or that it never existed before. Another cause for this error could be from error in the URLs such as misspelled or typographical error that are entered into the web browser. The remedy would be for the users to check and change the URL that they entered.

500 – Internal Server Error

This error message can show up in the browser when the server is able to receive a valid request but owing to a technical glitch it could not process the request. The glitch may be caused by low memory disk or space. A 500 internal server error may only be fixed by the server administrator.

503 – Service Unavailable

The service request of an online user cannot be processed because the server is not available at the time when the request was made. The failure to process the request may be due to the exceeding limits on the number of the users or CPU utilization. In short, the server may be experiencing overloading or is down for maintenance.

Failed DNS Lookup

This error may be due to problems that the Internet Service Provider or ISP of your website may be experiencing. It may also be caused by an overloaded cache resulting in the exchange of conflicting information. You could resolve the issue by clearing your cache. Checking your cache will also provide you an information whether the error you experienced may be due to ISP or from your system.


This error is commonly displayed as 403 http error. The server will usually refuse or decline your request to view a web page for the simple reason that you are not authorized to access such particular web page. However, the cause me be due to other reasons such as errors in the URL that you are searching or your cache may need some clearing up to free more space because of overloading.

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