HTTP Status Codes

Keep reading for a complete list of HTTP status codes. Learn what they mean, why they occur, and how they are classified.

What Are HTTP Status Codes?

HTTP Status Codes are messages from the server letting you know what happened when it received the request to view a specific page. These messages are how your browser communicates with the server, and they are exchanged even when you don’t see them.

Each time you visit a website, your browser sends a request to the site’s server, and then the server responds with three-digit codes. In other words, with an HTTP status code. The first digit begins with one of numbers 1 through 5, expressed as 1xx or 5xx, to indicate status codes in that range.

HTTP Status Codes are like an online conversation between your browser and the server. They communicate when things are going smoothly or when something is wrong. Understanding status codes can help you minimize site downtime by quickly diagnosing site errors. Many status codes can also help search engines and people access your site.

Understanding Status Code Classes

HTTP response status codes are grouped into five classes. Let’s go through each one in more detail.

1xx Status Codes

A 1xxs status code is an informational response, meaning the server has received the request but is still processing or thinking it through. These are less relevant compared to other HTTP status codes.

2xxs Status Codes

If you receive a 2xxs status code, it means the request was successfully received, understood, and accepted.

3xxs Status Codes

3xxs status codes serve as a compass to point you the right way. They inform you about a redirection – the request was received but got redirected somewhere else, and further action needs to be taken for it to be fulfilled.

4xxs Status Codes

4xxs is a client error, meaning the request contains bad syntax or cannot be fulfilled since the site or page couldn’t be reached. 

5xxs Status Codes

5xxs status codes mean the server failed to process your request. A chain of servers is often handling an HTTP request, so it may not be your server causing the issue.

The Most Important Status Codes for SEOs

SEO specialists and website owners alike need to understand key status codes, as their effect on SEO is not insignificant.

On the contrary, your site could face major technical SEO issues if an HTTP code is misused.

HTTP Status Code 200

A 200 status code is good. It means that everything is OK and that your page is functioning correctly. Visitors, bots, and link equity can pass through link pages smoothly.

HTTP Status Code 200 - Screaming Frog

HTTP Status Code 301

Here, we are talking about permanent redirection. It means that visitors and bots that land on this page will be sent to the right location using a new URL. This way, you can instruct bots and people on your site that a page has been permanently moved elsewhere.

HTTP Status Code 301 and 302 - Screaming Frog

HTTP Status Code 302

HTTP Status Code 302 is similar to 301, but it’s only a temporary redirection. We don’t recommend it for permanent changes since it will cause crawlers to treat the redirect as temporary, which means it may not pass the link equity as 301 does.

HTTP Status Code 301 and 302 - Screaming Frog

HTTP Status Code 404

Page not found. 404 will not indicate whether a missing page is missing temporarily or permanently. This is, of course, bad, as anyone who’s had problems with 404 errors will attest to. 

Pages that return 404 status codes don’t always have to be redirected. It’s a bad idea to use 301 to redirect pages that turn 404 status codes to the homepage of the given domain because it can confuse users who may not realize that the page they are trying to access doesn’t exist.

HTTP Status Code 404 - Screaming Frog

HTTP Status Code 410

This one is more permanent than 404, meaning the page is gone. The page is no longer available, so if you have any links on your site that point to a 410 page,  remove them because you are pointing Google bots and your visitors to a dead end.

HTTP Status Code 500

This status code points to a problem with the server. It’s a classic server error that will affect access to your site.

HTTP Status Code 503

503 status code is a variety of the 500 status code. In the case of a 503 response, it means that the server is unavailable. This can happen due to the overloading of the server. However, a 503 status code ensures that the search engines know to come back because the page or the site will only be down for a short period.


Though HTTP Codes may seem confusing or even intimidating, they are actually very informative. By learning more about the most important ones, you’ll be able to quickly resolve some of the most common problems your website might face.

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