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What Do Common Browser Error Messages Mean?

At one time or another, no matter which browser you use, you have likely seen an error message. These messages are actually known as “HTTP Status Codes,” and are delivered to your browser whenever an error occurs while loading a requested page. Most of these error codes are three-digits, allowing you to pinpoint what the specific error is. For example, error codes beginning with a number 4 are considered to be “client errors,” meaning they occurred on your end of the search.

400-Level Error Codes

The most common error codes that you will see while searching in a browser are 400 codes, such as:

Error Message 400

This error is considered a “Bad Request,” meaning that the web address typed in doesn’t exist, has moved or changed. You will want to make sure that you have not included any additional spaces or used incorrect numbers, signs or letters when you typed in the address. Older browsers do not have this feature, so make sure your browser is set to HTTP 1.1 or higher in your advanced settings.

Error Message 401 or 403

These error messages are to notify you that you are “Unauthorized” or “Forbidden” to access the address you typed. These pages are normally password-protected, and you may have typed in an incorrect password or do not have permission to access the page. If you believe you have access to the page, re-type your password, or check with your administrator to validate your credentials for the page.

Error Message 404 or 410

These error messages notify you that the page address you typed in is considered “File Not Found” or “Gone.” They could be an old address for a page, or the file for the page has been removed and is “Gone,” making access no longer available. In some cases, webmasters will provide a link or redirect you to where that page now exists.

500-Level Error Codes

You may receive an error message that begins with the number 5. These messages will come from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and usually show as one of the following (for more, view a full explanation of 500-series error messages):

Error Message 500

This error message is usually displayed as “Error Message 500, Internal Server Error,” meaning the web server you use encountered an error. Often, this related to a technical problem with the web server, indicating the address you typed may be down for maintenance or is overloaded by excessive users at one time. Many times, these errors are temporary and you can resubmit your query after 10-15 minutes.

Error Message 505

If you receive an error message, “505 HTTP Version Not Supported,” this normally means that the browser you are using is older and does not support the HTTP protocol the address requires. You will need to update your browser to access this page.

Error Message 509

Typically, when you receive the error message, “509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded,” this indicates a temporary error that is rarely seen, and means you have run out of space to save the address file you typed in. Websites allow only so much space to save large files with content, including images and videos. You can pay for more space from your ISP, or perform maintenance on your computer to delete old files and create the space needed to access the page.

At Unleaded Group, we verify and make sure your website doesn’t deliver any of the 400-series error messages. If you are having frustrations with 400 and/or 500-level errors, give us a call and let us help with your ISP needs. Call us at 720-221-7126 to get started.

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