When it comes to the error codes and pages while browsing, the 404 error code comes to the top across the internet. If you are getting this error also on any page or if you have your website then it may happen with your website also. So, in this article, we are going to share how to fix the 404 error not found with you. Not only that, but we will also discuss what the 404 error code not found is and why it appears? and then we will share how to fix the 404 error. So keep reading.
What is a 404 Error? What does 404 error not found mean?
If you are a web developer or if you are running your own website, then you have definitely faced this error from many visitors. Basically, it’s a client error, which means the user or a visitor only faces this error. In simple words, 404 Error page or code is the missing page or URL. That means the page you want to navigate or the page you want to go to, that page is not there. It means that a page or life is not available, not found.
They called it a 404 error not found in order to portray this error and to indicate that it was the missing page. So, let’s see some reasons and then we will discuss How To Fix 404 Error Not found.
ALSO READ: How to Fix DNS Server is Not Responding Error
What is the reason for the 404 Not Found error?
When it comes to the reason, then users or people have a lot of questions and confusion in their minds. There are those who say that it’s a user or client error and there are those who say it’s a fault created by the website or page owner.
But, the truth is, it can be both. Are you confused again? That means this error could be happening from the user side or the owner side both. Then, how this error happens from both sides, let me explain in some points.
So, basically, it comes under the HTTPS Status Code, and that is a 404 error not found.
First, we understand how this error happens from the visitor or client-side.
And then how to identify the errors with some easy way and then will see How To Fix 404 Error Not found.
1. Wrong linking:
There are many things on the internet which is indexed in Google. You go to Google and search that thing and the result is showing. But, sometimes by mistake, we tried to find something which is not available on Google or not indexed on Google.
If there is an error, then generally 2 types of status codes appear. first comes in the 400 section and second, it comes in the 500 section like 500 error, 501 Not Implemented, 502 Bad Gateway, 503 Service Unavailable, and there are 7 more error codes in the 500 section.
And the 500 error section comes under the server error section. 400 error code is coming under the client section. And there are 51 error types under the 400 error section.
Let’s see with an example: If you search www.google.com or www.facebook.com then, you will redirect to the Facebook page or google page. But, if you search for any non-relevant and unnecessary thing, then like www.blahblahblah.com, then you will get a 404 error not found message. Because www.blahblahblah.com is not registered or indexed on Google.
2. Broken Links:
Sometimes you get a link from your friend and another person, by somehow that link is not working. You try to open it multiple times, but you could not get receive two messages. Either you get the internet connection error or you get a 404 error not found message.
So, these are the errors from the visiter site or client site, but there are many errors created by the owner of the website. And that mistake obviously happens mistakenly.
3. Mistake on Internal Linking:
If you have a website and you are getting an error code complaint from many users, then there must be some linking error. You have to fix it.
You type or entered a wrong URL or link While linking the internet pages on your website. If your website has this mistake then the 404 error code is appearing.
4. Previous Working Page has been deleted or Path Changed:
When you created your website and added a link in a particular section, but now you changed the path or changed the link of that working page and forget to delete that previous page. So, this error appears.
You created a movie listing site and you lined a page named action movie. And the path was Home > Files > Movie > Action Movies. So, visitors always visit your site via this path generally. But, due to some reason you changed to the path to Home > Files > Movies > Thriller Movies.
So, for the item which was added to the Action Movie section, you changed the path to the Thriller section. But, visitors do not know that you changed the path. So, they got the message of 404 error not found. Because that page or request is not available on that link or area.
5. Item Removed:
Sometimes we have to delete some items or files or links from your site because of some reason. And visitors try to find and get that item or link on your site, but they could not. And then they get the error code message of 404 error not found.
Let’s see an example, with the previous example:
You created a movie listing site and you lined a page named action movie. And the path was Home > Files > Movie > Action Movies. So, visitors always visit your site via this path generally. But due to some reason you have to delete that Action movies section, and you deleted that link or area permanently.
Now visitors do not know that their link has been deleted, and when they open that page or link, they will get a message of 404 error not found because that page is deleted.
6. Received Wrong Link from another website:
Sometimes other websites added an outer link to your website for many reasons. So, Another website has typed the wrong URL while linking to your website. It’s also the biggest mistake which is created by the other website. It may affect your traffic.
So, clear it out.
7. Received Wrong Link Previously from Another website:
Once any other website gave a link to the internal page of your website and that link was working. But, due to some reason that link has broken, The link was removed for some reason, but the webmaster hasn’t corrected or deleted the link.
So, these are some common and valid reasons for getting the 404 error not found code. Now, let’s see how to identify the reason for the 404 error not being found, and then we will discuss How To Fix the 404 Error Not found.
How to identify 404 Error Not Found?
Well, there is 5 valid and common way that leads to a 404 error. You can get 404 errors between these 5, but you have to identify from where this error is coming.
Now if you are running a website and want to know from which area and in which link the 404 error is appearing and why this error is happening. There are some tools to identify the 404 error, and even by using some methods, you can identify the 404 error.
1. Use Free Online Tools:
There are many tools are available online, and many of them are paid and highly charged. But, there are some free and best tools to identify the 404 error code.
There are some free tools like brokenlinkchecker.com, deadlinkchcker.com, and w3clinkchecker.com.
Type and search brokenlinkchecker.com in google or any browser you are using.
Enter your website URL in Enter your URL below section by pasting or typing the website URL, and then click on Find broken links. And you will get to know which link is creating the 404 error.
The deadlinkchcker.com is a similar tool to brokenlinkchecker.com. you just have to enter the link in the website enter section by typing and pasting the URL of your website.
The list of broken links will appear on that page or result section, and you can see which page is creating the 404 error not found. You can follow this site to find 404 errors found.
And the W3C is also a similar tool that you can use to find out the 404 error not found page, to get to that site, click here.
2. Use Google Analytics:
You can also use Google Analytics to find out 404 error not found pages. Follow these steps and you will get to know how to use Google Analytics for finding broken links or 404 error links.
- Open your Google Analytics
- At the sidebar click on the Behaviour option
- In the Behaviour option, click on Site content
- And then, click on All Pages
- In the All Pages, the viewfinder opens
- And in the search bar, search “not found” and then search
- And you will get the pages that are creating the errors.
3. Use Google Search Console:
For some pages, Google Search Console can also identify the 404 error issue. If your website is connected to the Google Search Console, then you can easily find the soft link errors.
Just follow these steps to know how to find the 404 error not found on the page through Google Search Console.
- Open Google Search Console on your PC
- Click on the Coverage option in the Index section
- On the Coverage page, you can see a 404 error page, if there are any.
And you can easily fix the 404 not found issue, which we discussed in the solution section. So keep reading.
4. Use WordPress Plugin:
If you are using WordPress then there are many plugins which can easily find the 404 error. Some of them are paid but many of them are free.
So, the two best WordPress plugins are there, you can use them to identify the 404 error not found page. And they are the Rank Math SEO plugin and Redirection plugin.
To, install those plugins, follow their steps:
- Open your WordPress dashboard
- Click on the Plugin section
- And then, tap on “Add New”
- Search two plugins “Rank Math SEO” and “Redirection” in the search box
- Click on install now, and then activate.
Now that’s it.
You can install and add them to your WordPress website and can find a 404 error not found pages easily.
This method is the new method to find the broken links or 404 error finder. And this is also a 404 error not found page identifier like many of which we discussed above.
And the best part of this tool is you can find the error codes in up to 500 error sections.
Just open any browser and type screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/. And then download that software on your PC.
Then just type your website URL in that finder section, and then the list of errors will appear on the screen. You can easily get to know which link or page that error is appearing on.
So, there are some methods to identify 404 error not found pages. Now let’s see some methods to fix the 404 error not found the issue. That means How To Fix 404 Error Not found.
How To Fix 404 Error Not found.
Now, let’s see how to fix the 404 Error not found. here the solution is divided into two types, the first one is the Internal Source solution and the second one is External Source Solution. Let’s see:
Internal Source solution
1. Fix the URL on Source Page:
If any page of your website is creating a 404 error not found page, then you have to do a simple thing. You just have to fix that Source page where the content was there but not yet. Then, you have to add that previous page to that particular page area.
Like: Earlier you had the content name and type in this path Home > Files > Movies > Action Movies. But somehow the Action Movie section has broken or not existed. Then you just have to add that “Action movie” page to the previous path.
2. Fix and Correct the Link:
If you have deleted the page, where the particular link has existed, then you have to fix that. You just have to give the new and original page URL.
3. Redirect the URL:
You can redirect the URL to a new page from the non-existing URL. So, the 404 error hit that your website is receiving because of a non-existing URL will automatically be redirected to a valid and existing URL.
But there are some points, which you must have to keep in your mind before redirecting the URL. There are three points and they are:
Always Use 301 type Redirect:
While redirecting the 404 error URL to another URL, always use the 301 redirect code, not 302. 301 will easily and correctly help the page rank of your URL.
Redirect to Similar / Related Page:
The purpose or contact should be the same while redirecting. Suppose the 404 error code page was related to the Action Movie, but now the new page is redirecting to Thriller Movie. This is not good for visitors and your site also.
Your website may receive a negative impression. And can affect the ranking of your side too.
Don’t Redirect 404 Page to Home Page:
Many website owners and web developers have usually redirected all 404 error pages to the home page, which again makes a negative impression on your site. Not from the visitors but from Google also.
Google can de-rank your website for this thing. Always remember that all URL has their own text formates and life formates. If any user or visitor is clicking the Number 1 page, but is automatically redirected to the home page, then it leads to a negative impression.
4. Make Own Custom 404 Error Page:
It’s not possible to track and redirect every single URL. So, therefore we create our own custom 404 error code for that URL which is not possible to fix.
The custom 404 error page only appairs by the browser to the user when the browser receives a 404 error not found status code from the server.
You can also make your own 404 error not found staus code, and you can make it in a fun theme also.
External Source Solution
1. Refresh the Page:
Sometimes due to an internet issue, the right and valid pages also show the 404 error code because of the timing out of the request. So, you just refresh the page and see if the status codes are showing or not.
If the 404 error code is still there then follow the next method.
2. Clear the Cache / Cookies Memory:
When we open any website, the browser automatically makes its own memory or file. The file is very important for you because when you visit that website next time, you don’t need to wait and it also takes less internet data. And that is called cache memory and in the internet world, it’s called cookies.
So, the thing is, when you open a website do whatever you want to do after some time the website or the owner of the site changes or deletes that URL from the website. But the cookies did not know that, it already stored the previous URL. That’s why when you open that again, you see the 404 error page not found.
In order to determine if the error has been fixed, first clear all the cookies on your computer if the error code is showing. If not, then follow the next method.
3. Use Search Option:
If you refreshed the page and cleared all the cookies from the site but still the 404 error code is appearing. Then please go to the home page of that site and use the search bar for the result that you wanted.
Therefore, if the path has changed, you will easily be able to know what the path is right now after you run the search. So, that from next time you can go directly with the path.
4. Contact the Website Owner:
If you have done all those things but still getting the 404 error code, then the last option you left is to contact the owner of that website or the developer. And tell them that this URL is not valid and kindly fix and correct the broken link or fix the URL.
So, in this article, we shared how to Fix 404 Error Not found. See, there are many error codes in web servers and many peoples and users are facing this error frequently. But the 404 error not found on the page is the most common error on the entire internet.
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