Knowledge Base

HTTP Status Codes: 404 Page Not Found

We all know the feeling of getting an unexpected 404 Error code. You type in a URL and instead of the page you want to access, you find a blank page with the dreaded 404 Page Not Found error message. A 404 Not Found status code means that the server could not find the requested URL. This status code classifies as a Client Error, meaning that the user’s computer was not able to access the requested URL for reasons unknown. 404 Page Not Found 404 errors can be irritating because they give no indication of what the problem was in trying to access the page. Is the URL mistyped or is the page permanently unavailable? With a 404 Not Found status code, you may never know. Returning an Error 404 page is a common occurrence when users mistype a URL.  Unfortunately, these error pages give no indication of a misspelling, or that the page you are trying to reach is still functional. 404 page not found status codes can be more concerning when the original page is missing. This could be due to some short term error on the server’s side. But it also could be because the page you are trying to reach has permanently moved to a new location, and the host didn’t use a 301 or 302 redirect to automatically route traffic to the new page.

404 Error Message Solutions

If you happen to receive a 404 Not Found error message and you believe this is a mistake, there are a couple of ways you can attempt to remedy the situation.
  • Examine your URL. Make sure that everything is spelled correctly, using the correct characters. This applies even if you clicked on a link that brought you to the error message. Sometimes the URL’s in links can be typed incorrectly, so correct spelling is always a good thing to check for.
  • Refresh your browser to reload the web page, or enter the URL into the search bar again. This should solve the problem where a 404 error message appears even though there is no real issue with the site.
  • If you are able to access the URL on one device but not on another, try clearing the browser’s cache of the device in question.
  • If the page you are trying to access is several directories deep within a site, you can try backing up one directory at a time until you find a page without an error. Once you find a functional page, you can dig through the site and hopefully find the page you are looking for. For example, if the page: https://www.verticalrail.com/explore-topics/ctr-measured/ returns a 404 error message, you can try going to https://www.verticalrail.com/explore-topics/ to see if there is a link on this page to the one you are looking for. If that page returns an error message too, you can go to https://www.verticalrail.com and search for the page you want.

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