4xx Client Errors and How to Fix Them

When browsing the web, you’ve likely encountered various web pages that return different HTTP status codes in response to your requests. Among these, 4xx errors are quite common and typically indicate an issue on the client’s side. These errors can range from something as simple as a missing parameter to more complex problems like an invalid URL. In this article, we’ll explore the most common 4xx client errors, delve into what causes them, and provide solutions to fix them.

Types of 4xx Client Errors


400 Bad Request Error

This error signifies that the server couldn’t process your request due to an issue with your request itself.

Possible causes include:

  • An invalid format or unsupported method.
  • Corrupt browser cache and cookies.
  • DNS Lookup Cache problems.
  • Attempting to upload an excessively large file to a website.


How to fix it:

  • Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
  • Refresh the page.
  • Double-check the URL for typos or illegal characters.
  • Compress the file to ensure it doesn’t exceed the server’s limit.


401 Unauthorized Error

This error occurs when you lack the proper authorization to access the requested content. It can be due to incorrect credentials or an attempt to access a restricted area of the website.

How to fix it:

  • Log out and log back in with the correct credentials.
  • Review the URL for any typographical errors.
  • Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
  • Flush your DNS.
  • If using WordPress, deactivate plugins to rule out incompatibility.
  • If the issue persists, contact the website’s administrator or technical support team.


403 Forbidden Error

This error arises when the server responds with a status code indicating that you lack permission to view the requested resource. Causes may include insufficient permissions or a misconfiguration in the server’s access control settings.

How to fix it:

  • Carefully inspect the URL for errors.
  • Ensure you’re specifying an actual web page file name and extension, not just a directory.
  • Try clearing your browser’s history, cache, and cookies before reloading the page.
  • Temporarily disable WordPress plugins.
  • If the problem persists, reach out to the website’s administrator or your internet service provider.


404 Not Found Error

This error occurs when you attempt to access a web page that doesn’t exist. Reasons can include typos in the URL, outdated links, or a deleted page.

404 page not found, wrong URL structure

How to fix it:

  • Refresh the page.
  • Scrutinize the URL for typographical errors.
  • Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
  • Attempt to log in from another device.
  • Search for the page using a search engine or the website’s internal search function.
  • If the issue lingers, contact the website’s administrator.

*If you have changed the URL of a page, be sure to redirect the old URL to the new one. If you don’t do that, users who click on the old URL will get a 404 error. And we certainly do not want the user to remain trapped on the 404 page, we want him to always get to what he is looking for and we want to enable him to navigate through our site more easily.
If you’re still struggling to resolve a 4xx client error, don’t hesitate to contact the website’s administrator or your internet service provider for assistance.
Understanding and effectively addressing 4xx client errors are essential for a smooth web browsing experience. By following the steps outlined for each error type and adopting good browsing practices, you can navigate the web with confidence and minimize disruptions caused by these common errors.

To maintain a healthy website SEO, it’s crucial to continuously monitor for 4xx errors and address them promptly. Google Search Console serves as a valuable tool for identifying 4xx errors and other potential issues that could impact your website’s SEO performance.

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