The Dreaded 404 Error

Hampshire Web Design

One of the most horrifying scenes on a website is the dreaded 404 error.

In today’s article we’re going to talk about what it is, the damage it can do and how to fix it.

What does ‘Error 404’ mean?

First let’s define a HTTP error. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and is the worldwide standard for accessing websites and online web applications.

A HTTP error is any kind of failure that prevents you from accessing the contents of a website/webpage.

Now let’s define the HTTP error number 404.

A 404 error occurs when the page cannot be found on the web server i.e. it doesn’t exist. This error is a product of broken URLs.

Can this damage my website?

Yes it can.

If your website has broken URLs, they will lead to 404 errors and this is frowned upon by users and search engines.

Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo penalise websites that contain multiple broken URLs as it is a strong indication that the website isn’t being well maintained.

How can I fix this error?

Remove or repair all broken URLs on your website. Scanning your entire website can be tedious and you may overlook a few URLs as a result of human error.

We recommend using Checkbot, it is a free Google Chrome Extension that audits your website and lists all of your broken URLs in a pinch.

Click here to download Checkbot from the Chrome Web Store

Thank you for reading!

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TL;DR

HTTP error 404 occurs when the web server cannot find the page requested, which is usually due to broken URLs.

Having broken URLs can damage a website’s reputation and search engine ranking, as it indicates poor maintenance.

To fix this error, all broken URLs should be removed or repaired.

A free Google Chrome Extension called Checkbot can help identify broken URLs on a website.