Why does 404 Error Occur? and How to Fix It

You have a research paper to complete, and as usual, you turn to uncle Google for some assistance. After searching for your topic, there is only one link that makes sense: in light of what you are precisely looking for. But then the worst happens you get an Error 404: yes it is very frustrating, mainly because you have no clue of what it means.

What is Error 404? You have probably come across 404, 404 not found or HTTP 404. They are the same thing: standard response codes for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The error means that you were not able to have a computer network communication with your server, or simply the server failed to find the article you just typed.

Error 404 is probably the only error you have had an encounter with while doing your research on the internet: it is for a fact the most experienced error on the World Wide Web (WWW).

What causes error 404?

Ignorance is bliss. This error can trouble you if you have no idea of what is going on. The first thing you need to know is that the error is from your end: the possibilities are straightforward. The following are the reasons why you cannot get Error 404 or HTTP 404 off your window.

  1. You typed the URL incorrectly

Your multitasking skills may have failed you at this point. Bursting your eardrums with Imagine Dragons’ album over your headphones while doing your research? It may be the reason you left out the slash after typing https. It merely means that you have mistyped the URL and that is why you are not able to get what you requested for. The URLs need to specific and to the point. A URL that is incorrect, by maybe a word or two will probably not exist.

  1. The page has been removed

The content you are looking for is outdated. That is why you keep getting the error in spite of it appearing among other links. Pages that have been deleted from the web can still appear on the searches but do not have content. Such pages will only give you a window that has the error message. The other reason as to why the page you are looking for has been deleted is if it is dead. A dead page means that the page lacks visibility and demand: if Serp trackers were used, the link would probably appear last on the list. The browser does not keep them if no one is looking at them, so they get deleted, and that is why you cannot find it.

  1. The page has been moved

Some pages will be transferred for many reasons: security or marketing purposes included. However, if such happens, you should mostly be informed of the move or be redirected.  If the website fails to redirect you to the new URL, then you will get the 404 Error.

How to fix it

There should be no such cause for alarm; you can correct the error and get your research back on the road.

  1. Retry the web page

It is as simple as pressing the function F5 or clicking the refresh button just before the web bar. You can also try retyping the URL on a different tab or a bar. There are so many reasons, other than the mentioned that can cause the error including your connectivity. Refreshing the web page can work wonders in a blink of an eye.

  1. Use a popular search engine

There is a possibility that the search engine you are using lacks the content you are searching for. It is advisable to use more popular engines like Google and Bing: you will probably find the page you missed in the other engine. Also, if you finally get the URL to work after so much trouble, you should consider bookmarking it if you will need it in future.

  1. Clear browser’s cache

You can experiment on a different device. For instance, if you tried searching on your laptop and you get the error, use your phone to search for the same. If you don’t get error 404 on your phone, then it means the problem is with your laptop. All you need to do is to clear cache on your laptop’s browser.

  1. Check errors on the URL

A mistype may be behind all the trouble. It is advisable that you check if you have typed everything correctly. Also, check whether you clicked on the right link, chances are you might have clicked on the wrong one.

  1. Contact the website

It should be a last resort if the troubleshooting fails. Make direct communication with the website.  They will be able to advise whether they removed the page or moved it and forgot to redirect. You will have helped someone else out there as the website will be more than delighted to fix it.

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