Have you ever seen the "404: Page Not Found" message while opening your website? You probably have, as it is a common issue for almost every website! However, if you have not thought about the root cause of this fault, you have been wrong so far. It is time you explore why this message shows up on your screen and how the expert you hired solved it. This post will reveal the top reasons why your website shows a 404 error (page not found) and how you can stay away from it. Are you interested to know more about it? Keep walking with us!
Top 5 Reasons a Website Shows a 404 Error (Page Not Found):
A 404 error happens when you delete or move a particular web page from one folder to another. A 404-error page could point towards multiple reasons like moving your website, moving a directory, or removing a page and not adding a 301 redirect.
After seeing the "404 not found" message on your website, you will probably think of getting your site back to working condition. However, you should also pay attention to the factors that caused this problem. The server that holds your website often runs out of order, leading to a 404 page not found. However, there are multiple other factors that you should take into account. We have compiled a few reasons that you must know about. Let us begin!
1. Moving a page:
Placing a new or a moved page in the wrong folder can lead to a 404 page not found, and you should double-check the pathway to the page. When accessing the page from a browser, you might find your page inaccessible, and the same will go for your online visitors. However, you don't need to worry much about it as you can fix it by moving the page to the proper location.
Moreover, you should also compare the pathway against what you see in your file transfer protocol (FTP) service or CMS. Moving the page to the proper location will surely fix the problem, but you should contact your website host and ask to fix it if it does not.
2. Moving the whole website:
Have you recently undergone rehosting? If yes, you have moved your entire website to a new point, and your visitors will see a 404-error message while accessing your website. It will show until your website readjusts to its new home and starts working properly. The downtime you face during this time can hurt your website performance; however, it is inevitable sometimes.
Your website host will put extra effort into minimizing the downtime, but it still happens. The host will give you a rough estimate of how your website will stay down. However, if it lasts longer, you should opt for professional website maintenance services in Dubai and let the experts solve the problem!
3. Moving a page's directory:
What if you move a folder that contains pages from one point to another? It can lead to a 404 page not found as the URLs for each page will change. In such a case, the page's directory is the cause for this error message instead of the page itself. After you have moved pages, you will access each page with a new URL, and if you don't, you will see the error message.
The name of every folder in the URL should match the names in your FTP or CMS. However, if they don't match, you should retype the URL in the browser and see if the problem is fixed.
4. Not adding 301 redirects:
Adding 301 redirects is necessary after you have moved your pages or the entire website. If you forget to add it, you can probably see the 404-error message on the screen. The 301 redirects can inform your online visitors that your website or a specific page has been moved to a new point. It also informs search engines so that you don't lose ranking for valuable search terms.
Most website owners often settle for a 302 redirect which is temporary and does not transfer SEO values. It would be best to go for a 301 redirect and send your visitors to the new URL using the old one. Not adding this means your visitors will always see a 404-error message.
5. Mistyping a URL:
Typos are common mistakes, and you often see a 404-error message if you haven't typed the URL right. Before you make phone calls or worry about this, it would be best to double-check your spelling and type it right. A mistyped URL can lead to this error that you often overlook.
Recommended: How URL Structure Affects Website SEO?
Keep Your Website 404 Error-Free with Website Maintenance!
Issues like these are not that pressing, and you can fix them without any hitch. However, if you still find it hard and too technical, you should opt for website maintenance support. It is an ongoing process, and you should hire a permanent expert for the job. You always need an expert company on your side to help you with these endeavors, and we are here to help you! Contact us today and let our experts monitor and update your website where needed!
Why is my website getting a 404 error?
A 404-error message is an HTTP status code indicating that the server cannot find the requested page/website. The browser connects with the server, but the request page/website cannot be accessed.
What are two possible causes of 404 error?
A 404-error happens when you have moved or deleted the request page. Moreover, it also happens due to a mistyped URL.
How do I fix Error 404?
The simplest way to solve a 404 error is to redirect the page to another one. Using a 301 redirect could be a perfect remedy for this problem.
What is a soft 404 error?
A soft 404 error is when the server sends a 200 OK status for the request web page, but the search engine wants a 404 response. It is not an official response code; rather, it is a label search engine adds to a page within the index.