This is basically known as dead links or broken links. They are links that got altered along the line or do not exist anymore. It just does not connect anymore. You could be caught up with this “error 404” because you actually know the site you want to check out but instead, this error page pops up telling us that page is no longer at request need.

This can be quite sad and makes one ponder whatever happened along the line. Also, the error could also come out in the form of “HTTP status code” or “404 code” or “HTTP 404”. This error message is always sent from the webserver of an online site to any web browser one is using to access the information. Then the web browser then shows us that error message.

You should know that when what is contained in a web browser does not exist anymore the “error 404” comes up. But there are ways around this. We could get to fix the site and also know what to do when such happens when browsing.

How error 404 begins

We are often faced with this error during our browsing experience. You should know that something must have caused this to happen. The basic reason is usually that the site has been moved to another URL or taken off entirely. Others include:

  • Modifications on internal links without properly editing it when  comes to internal links
  • Also could be that the URL for website not properly spelt or a letter in the whole word spelling was omitted
  • The web-server hosting the website is not operating as at the time of the search
  • The domain name being searched for does not function anymore

One thing worthy of mentioning is that even when a website does not exist anymore, it still occurs when being searched for on the web. It would still appear in search results and web pages.

Fixing Error 404

While we know it’s a sad occurrence for error 404 to occur, we need to look for how we can avoid or solve such issues. The solution to this error can actually be found and rectified.

  • One can try to refresh that exact page that has the error 404 code
  • Go back to the name of the website and check if it was correctly spelt
  • Check to confirm the link of the page being searched for is visible on the previous page
  • Most website do have the search bar one can easily use this to search for the data required
  • You can also use search engines to search for the website of your choice as long as you are sure it truly exist.
  • Empty your browser cache and cookies
  • If all options given above as being done. Then you could try contact the website operators to see if they can find a lasting solution to the error.

The error can really be solved if all steps or option listed above is done. And it would save us the stress of having to lose out on the information being searched for.

The downside of Error 404

Continually having the error code on your website can be a downside and spoils one’s website ranking position. Once top search engines like Google and Bing notice continuous return messages of error 404 being repeatedly they believe the website is not properly maintained and would lead to a decrease in visitors on the website.

Another major one is that users or visitors that visit a website and notices it is full of dead links would lose trust and loyalty for that website. And they would find it very difficult to return to such a website another time to surf for information. Once a user’s trust is broken it is difficult for them to have little faith to want to try again.

Checking your own website for error 404

One great feedback about the browsing is having a smooth surfing experience. It is necessary for website owners to avoid having such on the website. By this we mean trying as much as possible to avoid error 404 internal and external error on the page. There are various free tools that can aid to this effect some of which are:

  • Google Search Console

It is needed for one to have Google account to be able to access this tool. Any error 404 found would be shown on the tool and can be marked and corrected there.

  • Dead Link Checkers

This is quite easy to use and it helps to find both internal and external error 404 pages. Here all you have to do is to enter your website url and it helps to fish them out.

  • W3C Link Checker

This is a tool from the World Wide Web consortium and it helps to test single website pages to check for deadlinks and help to solve the issues.

All in all, we need to be familiar with the fact that when having a website, error 404 can occur. Hence the need to make sure we run to check to avoid it because it sends a bad signal to intending and old visitors.