Ten common website errors and how to avoid them.

Ten common website errors and how to avoid them.
Apr 24, 2022

Website errors are a common occurrence, especially for users who use the same computer to browse the internet from different browsers or devices. These errors are usually caused by some sort of conflict in browser settings. This article will highlight some of the most common conflicts and how to resolve them.

As a website owner, it is important to understand and be aware of common website errors. This will not only provide valuable information about the performance of your site, but in the event of an error, it will also make navigating around the site more streamlined for visitors.

The most common website errors: what they mean, what causes them and how to fix them

  1. 500 Internal Server Error
  2. 401 Unauthorised
  3. 400 Bad Request
  4. 403 Forbidden
  5. 404 Not Found
  6. 501 Not Implemented
  7. 502 Service Temporarily Overloaded
  8. 503 Service Unavailable
  9. Failed DNS Look-Up
  10. 408 – Request Time-Out

1. 500 Internal Server Error

What is a 500 Internal server error?

A 500 Internal Server Error is a common HTTP status code. It means that the web server encountered an error while attempting to fulfil the request between the browser and the server. It is probably one of the most common errors web users will experience.

When you see this error message, try reloading the page and make sure your connection is up. You can also try clearing your browser’s cache and deleting its cookies to resolve this issue.

How to fix a 500 Internal Server Error

If you find this error occurring on your website, first check and make sure that your hosting provider is up-to-date with their server updates and has responded to the latest WP updates. Secondly, you can test any plugins you are using by removing them from the plugins’ folder one at a time until you figure out which one is causing fault.

2. Unauthorised 401 Error

What is a 401 website error?

A 401 error is a response header that is sent by a server to the user’s browser informing them that the requested URL is not authorised and should not be accessed. The most likely cause is that the user does not have permission to access that data from that server.

How to fix a 401 website error?

An error 401 is a HTTP status code which can be caused by a variety of issues. The most common cause of a 401 status code is an incorrect password or username. There are other possible causes, including missing tokens, too many failed login attempts and more. Here are some fixes for resolving the issue:

  • Look for errors in the URL.
  • Clear your browser’s cache.
  • Flush your DNS.
  • Deactivate your WordPress plugins.
  • Check the WWW-Authenticate header response

3. Website 400 Bad Request error

What is a 400 bad request error on my website?

400 bad requests are typically the result of a server that is either overloaded or not working properly. A 400 bad request error can also indicate that you entered an invalid URL, or it might be due to the request being made in the wrong format.

How to fix a 400 Bad request error occurring on my website?

If you get a 400 Bad Request error. This is most often caused by scripts not returning the correct response code. The two possible reasons for this could be that the server is down or there’s a coding error on your website.

4. 403 Forbidden website error

What is a 403 forbidden website error on my website and how to fix?

A 403 Forbidden error is the most common HTTP status code. It means that the server does not allow access to a resource, usually because of insufficient permission or because it is not available for some other reason.

There are many reasons why a 403 error occurs on your website. Some of them are:

  • The server might be down or unreachable.
  • There might be something wrong with the connection between the server and your computer.
  • You might have misconfigured something in your web browser settings, such as proxy settings or cookies.
  • A firewall on your network might be blocking requests to certain types of content.

5. 404 website not found error

What is a 404 website error on my website and how to fix?

A 404 error is a HTTP status code that means that the webpage you are looking for cannot be found. This error can happen for many reasons, such as when a page has been removed or moved to another location.

The best way to fix this problem is to make sure that your website has a working and up-to-date sitemap and URL structure. You should also check if there are any broken links on your site, which might be causing the 404 error.

6. 501 Error Website Message

What is a 501 website error on my website and how to fix?

A 501 error is a generic HTTP status code that means the server understood the request and will be sending a response. However, there is an issue with the request that prevents it from being fulfilled.

The 501 error on your website means the server is not running and could be due to a number of causes, including a power outage or misconfiguration of the server. You can work with your hosting provider to find the issue and fix it.

7. 502 Bad Gateway server error

What is a 502 Bad Gateway Error on my website ?

A 502 Bad Gateway error is a common error that occurs on a server when a web application attempts to access an external resource. This error can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common are: – The remote website is experiencing an outage.- The remote website is unreachable.- There is a network problem preventing the request from reaching the server.

8. 503 Website error

What is a 503 Error on my website ?

A 503 error is a status code for the server that means that it is overloaded. It can happen for various reasons, but usually it is because the server cannot handle the requests that are coming in.

The 503 error can be caused by many different reasons, such as:

  • The server is not powerful enough to handle the request sent to it
  • The server has been compromised and has been taken over by a hacker
  • The website has crashed
  • The website is under maintenance and not available for use

9. Failed DNS Look-Up error

What is a failed DNS look up error on my website ?

A DNS look up error is a warning message that appears on your browser when you try to visit a website. It usually means that the domain name server cannot find the IP address of the domain name you are trying to access.

This is typically caused by an incorrect or expired domain name or by a problem with your ISP’s DNS server. If you have recently changed your ISP, then this might be the cause of this issue.

10. 408 – Request Time Out error message

What is 408 – Request Time Out error on my website?

The 408 – Request Time Out error is also called “Request Timed Out”. It’s an HTTP status code that means the server did not receive a response in time. The most common causes of this error are:

– Too many simultaneous requests on your web server,

– A long-running script or process,

– A misbehaving browser or plugin,

– A firewall blocking access to your site,

– Network issues between you and the web server.

Not that we can always stop error messages from occurring, but here are some steps you can take to minimise the risk of common website errors.

  1. Typos: Check for spelling mistakes.
  2. Broken links: Check links and make sure they are working properly.
  3. Page not found: Check that the pages you are linking to exist.
  4. Wrong information: Make sure all the information is correct.
  5. Out of date information: Update your website regularly.
  6. Unprofessional design: Make sure your website looks professional.
  7. Confusing navigation: Make sure your website is easy to navigate.

If you can’t find the error message you are looking for  and you’re a customer, of ours you are in good hands. As we can help diagnose and prevent errors from occurring. If you would like to learn more about our services, please feel free to contact us by booking some time with us.


If you would like to learn more about what was discussed in this article, or if you want to have quick chat about your current website, plans for a new website, ways to improve your current SEO on your website. Please feel free to book some time with us in our calendar.

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Published by James Hayward
James is a Unicorn in the online digital space. He has been designing and developing online experiences from way back when the Toshiba Satellite 400CS appeared. He loves his windsurfing, travelling and hanging out with family and friends and tinkering with new technologies.