It is no secret that bad things sometimes happen to good web sites. When this happens on your web hosting account, it is often shown as a HTTP error. Each problem that could happen with a web site, has an HTTP error code associated with it, which is suppose to tell you what the problem is. The problem is that they are not really translated into something the general public can understand.
Have no fear though, because I am going to give you five of the most common HTTP errors and what they really mean.
500 Internal Server Error
This is your general purpose error message from the server say, “Hey… none of the other messages really fit here, so we are just going to tell you something screwed up, please try again!”. It could be coming up because the site in question is overloaded with requests, or it could be a system admin trip over the power cord.
404 Not Found
Hey, that isn’t there – so go away is the general message you should get when you see a 404 error code. Probably the most famous error code, if they were ranked by popularity. The requested resource could not be found but may be available again in the future… if your lucky.
The 403 error is telling you, that you really are not suppose to be there. It is kind of like the 401 error code, except this time you didn’t even have the chance to try to log in to view the files. You are just not allowed, go away, you are not suppose to be trying to look at that.
400 Bad Request
When you get this HTTP error, it usually means your browser access the page in the wrong way, or somehow your request to view the page was corrupted along the way. The signal got lost, confused and started looking for a magic leprechaun, and totally forget about your request to view that site.
With this web page error code, you see it when you put in the wrong user name or password when trying to log into a protected area. For example, you were trying to log into that ex-girlfriends photo collection to see if she had deleted all the pictures of you. Since you got the 401 error, you’ll never be able to see she simple edited your face out and replaced it with a headshot of Bill, that vampire guy, from True Blood.
Have another HTTP error that has you stumped? Leave a comment, and perhaps we will do a round two of these geek to regular speak HTTP error translations.