Website errors can break your business. Especially if you are operating online. So obvious, so ignored, and so damn important! Basically, website error pages appear in your browser when trying to access a page that does not exist. It is mostly caused by special codes between your browser and the website server that hosts the content.

website errors

However, not all website issues are 404 errors – sometimes, however, mistyping addresses, site removal, or outdated links could all contribute.

Given its ill impacts, it’s the need of the hour to fix these errors as soon as you see them.

Here, I will shed light on the most common website errors and how you can resolve them.  So, let’s begin.

HTTP Errors and Their Effect on SEO

HTTP errors are silent assassins that threaten the success of digital efforts without warning, harming discoverability and bottom lines alike.

Common types include client errors (4xx codes) and server errors (5xx codes), each one undermining SEO efforts significantly by disrupting site discoverability or ultimately undercutting revenues.

When responding to clients (e.g., user browser), web servers respond with three-digit HTTP status codes which communicate whether their request was successful or unsuccessful.

Errors in the 4xx range indicate client errors, which usually indicate there may have been an issue with submitting the request (such as broken links on website pages).

Server errors fall in the 5xx range and indicate issues within the web server itself, often being more challenging and detrimental to website performance than individual issues.

  • 4xx Client Errors 

Client errors usually occur when a user requests an unknown URL or has an issue with their request. SEO suffers since it immediately impacts user experience. Thus, search results and user happiness may suffer.

  • 5xX Server Errors

Server failures mean something went wrong on the server side, even though the browser request was valid. These could affect multiple users and pose more significant difficulties for site owners.

9 Common Website Errors & How to Fix Them

Now, let’s dig deeper. It’s time to explore common website errors and their removal strategies.

1. Broken Links

Imagine this: You’re browsing a website, clicking links, and then – dead end. Annoying, huh? Broken links frustrate users and erode their trust in your site. Search engines? They really dislike them.

So, what’s behind these broken links? Here are a few usual suspects:

  • Messy Website Updates: Sprucing up your website but neglecting internal links? Guilty! Updating without fixing internal links causes broken breadcrumbs.
  • Vanishing Pages: Like moving without a forwarding address. Deleting or relocating a page without a redirect confuses visitors and hurts SEO.
  • Ghostly External Links: Are those external links disappearing? Users were left stranded with 404 errors.

How to fix broken links?

It’s an investigation but with technology rather than enlarged glasses. The primary goal is to restore damaged links.

  1. Employ your current link checker’s ability to locate the spun links.
  2. Decide whether to remove them or direct them to a new page.

Bonus tip: If you employ WordPress, you’re fortunate! Many plugins are available to help you find and correct broken links quickly.

2. Speed Issues

Page speed is crucial for SEO. Factors like web hosting and page size impact it, and it varies between desktop and mobile versions. Fast loading times can improve rankings. Slow sites hurt user experience and lower search engine rankings.

Slow website? Here’s why:

  • Heavy image/video files are dragging it down.
  • Hosting might be slow.
  • Plugins/scripts hog bandwidth.
  • Unoptimized code is a mess.

How to fix webiste speed issue?

Worry not, website owners! Take action now to speed up your site and leave slow page speed in its wake.

Start off your website makeover successfully by efficiently handling large image and video files with crop video tools designed for this task – these will trim and optimize visuals that enhance website makeover projects in an attractive, modern style!

Clean up the code on your website like an accomplished chef would. Minify it, eliminating unnecessary white space or comments – like decluttering a closet!

Pro tip: Use an external service like website’s health monitoring. They would be the first ones to notify you if anything goes amiss, freeing you up for other activities instead of watching over its performance all of the time.

3. Dealing with the 401 Unauthorized Error

When does this happen? A 401 error occurs when a server lacks the necessary information to respond to a request.

Typically, this happens if a user enters incorrect credentials.

Also, 401 errors can have a significant impact on your SEO. They block user access to your content and prevent search engines from indexing it. A page that returns a 401 error cannot be indexed. This can greatly impact your SEO efforts.

How to fix it?

This error frequently arises from user authentication issues.

Ensure your website’s authentication process is easy to use and fast. Usually, this error code appears when the credentials entered are not right.

Or when the account does not have enough permissions to view a website.

4. 404 Not Found

Mostly, you have seen 404 pages and need to be more knowledgeable about what happened. Typically, 404 server errors occur when the server cannot proceed with the request. How do these errors mostly appear?

404 Error, Error 404, The requested URL [URL] was not found on this server, HTTP 404 Not Found, 404 Page Not Found, etc.

What is the exact reason for this error? A mistyped URL can lead to this error. Another reason is that the requested page no longer exists without redirecting the URL to a new resource.

How to fix 404 error?

  • Well, the most common practice is refreshing the page. We all can relate.
  • Secondly, check whether the URL is correctly typed or not.
  • Check it from different devices. If you can access it with one device but are not able to access it with another – the next thing you can do is clear your browsing cache and retry.
  • Fourthly, at the directory level, move up one layer at a time. For instance, if you have experienced 404 errors with the URL Move up one layer: Still not satisfied? Move up another layer:
  • Another solution can be a DNS flush.

5. 408 Request Timeout

It’s like the server is saying “time out”. So, the 408 request timeout occurs when the user cannot convey the entire message within the given time. As a result, the server closes the connection.

The reason could be: 

  • Too much time taken by the user (client).
  • Poor or broken connectivity issues can lead to a timeout.

Though it is a client-side error, there could be a reason the server is not handling the issues properly.

Now, how do we fix these errors? 

  • First, refresh the page or type the URL in a new tab. Sometimes, users type in the URL accidentally or hastily. You better not do that.
  • Then, check your internet connection.
  • If your website has recently changed, consider restoring the previous versions.
  • Have you made changes to your recent database? Manually modify the issues and check what changes led to this error.

6. 500 Internal Server Error

The 500 internal server error is an unforeseen error. It indicates that the server came across something that was not expected by the server. It’s like the server has no idea what to do and does not have a better 505 error code.

But why does it happen?

There is a file named .htaccess file that contains all the server side instructions. However, a corrupted .htaccess file takes a toll on the website and results in a 500 internal server error.

Also, permission errors can trigger 500 internal server errors: bugs, mistakes, and networking problems.

How do you fix 500 internal server error?

  • Well, try your luck by hitting a refresh. If there are temporary loading issues, a basic refresh will do the job for you.
  • Be patient because it’s a server-side error.  So, instead of being impatient and trying repeatedly, wait a few minutes.
  • Have you tried the above methods but are still waiting for the results? It’s time to clear your browsing cookies. Because cookies related to error pages can be fixed by deleting them.

7. 501 Not Implemented

Simply put, the server is telling you – “I don’t like the way you have requested.” So, the problem lies with functionality here. That is, the server is not happy with the way requested method.

Generally, it shows the error codes such as: “501 Not Implemented”, “Error 501”, “HTTP 501 etc.

If not resolved immediately, 501 errors can negatively impact your SEO efforts. So, you better fix them with an immediate effect:

How to fix 501 error?

So, here is how you take action against 501 Not Implemented errors:

  • The first two tactics are similar to the last section: refreshing the page and removing the cache. This is why I’m not elaborating on them again.
  • Next, disable your proxy setting. I know that happens rarely. Again, one might do it unknowingly as well. So, keep a check on it.
  • Thirdly, contact your host and seek their help because the 501 server error can not be troubleshoted manually. So, it’s better not to waste your time and manual effort and do what is absolutely necessary. Also, check your host’s status page for bad updates, misconfigurations, etc.

8. 502 Bad Gateway Errors

It indicates that the server is down, temporarily taken offline, or has technical difficulties. Basically, it happens when the server is overloaded with traffic or network issues between the two servers.

How can it impact your SEO efforts? 

In the event of a 502 error, your website is down for hours, and crawler bots find difficulties reading your content. This could impact your rankings.

Generally, it is considered a server error. However, it can occur from the client’s side as well. So, let’s quickly understand both sides of the coin.

How to fix 502 bad gateway error?

  • The first step is again the same. Reload it and wait for a few minutes.
  • Another common hack is to try it from a different browser.
  • Also, open the link from an incognito window. Then, if the error does not appear, an extension may be blocking you. So, remove that extension.
  • Change the device. Yes. Check it across your mobile, laptop, tab, or any other device belonging to your friends and family.
  • When you get an error like this, the best you can do is clear your browsing caches.
  • Next, check for DNS errors. The reason could be that the domain needs to integrate with IP properly. Or you have migrated to a new host, but things still need to be implemented properly (requiring more time).

9. 503 Service Unavailable

As the name suggests, 503 service unavailable reflects a situation when your server is unavailable. It is like the server says: “the requested website can not be reached at this moment.”

Reasons for 503 service unavailable error

The possible reason is that the server is busy and can’t perform the specific action requested now due to:

  • A lot of requests at the same time.
  • Some technical issues are preventing the server from functioning properly.
  • Plugin or theme errors.
  • Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the server.

How to fix 503 error?

  • For the time being, disable all your plugins. Only then do you get the idea of what’s happening.
  • Similarly, disable the theme of your website. Because compatibility issues can stem from a website theme. So, keep a close look at it.
  • Again, temporarily deactivate your CDN – content delivery network. (Pro tip: Your CDN should have a feature allowing you to halt it temporarily.
  • Check if your heartbeat API is the reason behind it. Basically, heartbeat API is used to auto-save your content. This lets you know whether any other person is working on the same document. Surprisingly, this feature can cause a lot of trouble. So, pause it – it is the best way to determine whether it causes something.

Final Tip

Fixing website errors can improve functionality and user experience. Broken links, poor navigation, and slow loading speeds should be addressed for better performance and business success.

Your website is the first impression of your business. With some effort, you can make it error-free and provide a positive user experience to keep them coming back.

To understand a status code, look at its first three digits. Error and status codes tell us why something isn’t working. Fixing website errors doesn’t have to be hard. You can easily identify error during browsing a site or monitoring process.

Websites are affected by different errors due to server or client-side issues. We have a list of common errors for you to learn from. Feel free to share your own experiences with such website errors in the comments below. Happy scrolling!