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What is HTTP 404 Error and How to Fix It in WordPress Sites?

What is HTTP 404 Error and How to Fix It in WordPress Sites?

404 error pageThe 404 error is one of most recognizable errors people can find on the Internet, for following a wrong link, clicking on a dead link, visiting a webpage that has been removed, etc. When visitors see such a message, they are usually inpatient, immediately closing this page and leaving your site without hesitates. In order to hold your visitors and fix your site, we explain what HTTP 404 error is and show you the detailed guidelines to fix it in WordPress websites.

What is HTTP 404 Error?

The 404 error message is an HTTP standard response code, with which website is able to connect with the server. It is typically presented by the server when a link is broken, the link is changed, or just the corresponding page has been removed or deleted.

In general, the standard 404 error page is a white screen with simple information that tells you the request is unreachable. Here is a screenshot of the basic 404 page.

basic 404 error page

However, many webmasters choose to customize 404 pages to beautify the page look and increase the user-friendliness. No matter what the page is, you can find some common words, such as

  • “404 Error”
  • “404 Not Found”
  • “The requested URL [URL link ] was not found on this server.”
  • “HTTP 404 Not Found”
  • “404 Page Not Found”

When you see some similar content on a webpage, you meet a 404 error and just try to do something others.

What Causes HTTP 404 Errors?

reasonsTechnically, a 404 error is a client-side error, which means the error is your mistake. Maybe you typed a wrong URL, or the page has been moved or deleted from the site that you should know. We simply group the reasons into 3 cases:

  • A Change in URL – This is the most common reason that results in a 404 error. Any changes on the link bring you to a wrong page or server just cannot find such a page and throw out a 404 error.
  • Wrong Code – Any wrong code in the index.php or search.pnp files may result in an invalid pages or addresses. When visitors reach thus a page, they will receive 404 error.
  • Mod-Rewrite – Sometimes, you have redirected the URL to another page but there is something wrong with mod_rewrite. It also causes an unavailable URL, which occurs a 404 error when visitors visit this link.

No matter what reasons cause the 404 error, don’t worry, we will show you the effective solutions in the following.

How to Fix HTTP 404 Errors?

here is nothing more frustrated than meeting a 404 error. Although many websites have customized their 404 pages to be funny and beautiful, it cannot divert from the fact that you cannot find the page you want. However, don’t be sad. In the following, we introduce some tips about what we can do to fix the error and get what we want.

404 error solutions

  1. Check errors in the URL. This is the first thing you should do when got a 404 error. Many times, 404 error come out because the target URL is typed wrong or the link was clicked on points to the wrong URL.
  2. Refresh the webpage. Sometimes, the page needs a simple reload for some reasons. You can retry the web page by pressing F5, clicking the refresh button on the browser, or trying URL from the address bar again.
  3. Delete browser cache. You can delete the browser cookies that are associated with the website that you are searching for.
  4. Change a search engine. For the different performance of search engines, you can try the URL with a different search engine. This method is often worked.
  5. Move up one directory level. If you meet a 404 error when visit http://www.abc.com/d/e/f.htm, you can move up to http://www.abc.com/d/e/. If you still cannot get anything, move up to http://www.abc.com/d/. By this way, you can identify whether the problem comes from your link or the site.
  6. Contact the website directly. If you have tried all the methods but still cannot find the effective page, you can contact the webmaster of the site and confirm whether they removed the page.


Joyce is a professional writer & SEOer who loves trying new things and sharing the experience through blogging. She loves clean design, playing with different WordPress themes, SEO, etc. Now she is very struggle with purchasing a bubbling apartment in downtown. You can help her by clicking our ADs or making a purchase via our links ;-)


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