Server Errors and How to Resolve Them

Billie Hillier

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Server Errors

Navigating the digital landscape can often feel like traversing a complex labyrinth, especially when confronted with baffling server errors that seem to appear out of nowhere.

These errors can disrupt the smooth operation of your website, potentially impairing user experience and tarnishing your brand image.

But fear not! Understanding what these errors mean and how to resolve them is within your grasp.

This article aims to demystify common server errors and equip you with actionable strategies to troubleshoot and resolve them, ensuring your website maintains peak performance and delivers a seamless user experience.

Server Errors

Server Errors

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There are several server errors that can occur, many of which are HTTP status codes.

Here are some of the most common, what they mean, and how you might be able to resolve them:

400 Bad Request

Meaning: This error occurs when a server cannot understand a request due to invalid syntax.

Resolution: Make sure the client-side request is formatted correctly and all required parameters are included.

401 Unauthorized

Meaning: The requested resource requires authentication. The client must authenticate itself to get the requested response.

Resolution: Authenticate the request with the necessary credentials or tokens.

Click to read our article about 401 Error: Cause and How to Resolve.

403 Forbidden

Meaning: The client does not have access rights to the content, i.e., they are unauthorized, so server is rejecting to give proper response.

Resolution: Ensure the right permissions are set for accessing the resource.

404 Not Found

Meaning: The server can not find the requested resource. This usually happens when the URL is incorrect or the resource has been moved or deleted.

Resolution: Check the URL for errors, or if you’re a developer, make sure the requested resource is available on the server.

408 Request Timeout

Meaning: The server would like to shut down this unused connection. It’s essentially asking the client to close the connection.

Resolution: Check the client-side request to ensure it’s properly formatted and can be completed in a timely manner.

500 Internal Server Error

Meaning: The server has encountered a situation it doesn’t know how to handle. This is a catch-all error when no other 5xx errors apply.

Resolution: Check server logs to understand and fix the error. It often requires server-side intervention.

501 Not Implemented

Meaning: The request method is not supported by the server and cannot be handled.

Resolution: Ensure that the HTTP method being used is supported by the server.

502 Bad Gateway

Meaning: This error response means that the server, while working as a gateway to get a response needed to handle the request, got an invalid response.

Resolution: Check the servers that act as a gateway or proxy and ensure they’re working correctly.

503 Service Unavailable

Meaning: The server is not ready to handle the request. This can be due to the server being down for maintenance or overloaded.

Resolution: Wait and try again later or contact the server administrator if it’s not a known downtime.

504 Gateway Timeout

  • Meaning: This error response is given when the server is acting as a gateway and cannot get a response in time.
  • Resolution: Check the servers that act as a gateway or proxy to make sure they’re working correctly and efficiently.

There are many HTTP status codes that can be categorized into the following: 1xx (informational), 2xx (successful), 3xx (redirection), 4xx (client errors), and 5xx (server errors).

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