What is a 404 Error Message?

Anyone who uses a computer on a regular basis has been faced with a 404 error message. This what is a 404 error messageaggravating little obstacle to our research or fun-search endeavors can be a bit of an annoyance for most of us.

404 messages commonly appear when we request a URL that the server does not have.

A Simple Explanation of 404 Messages

When you receive 404 messages it means that your server is not able to find the file that you requested.

The file you are looking for may be moved or deleted altogether and if either of these is the case then a message appears on your computer screen.

The “Not Found” Response Code on Web Pages

When you are communicating by using HTTP the server responds to your request with different numeric response code. Every single response code has associated with it a string of English text that must be present.

The response code for a 404 message error is “Not Found”. Generally when web servers send a 404 message error a short HTML document which mentions both the numeric code and the associated string is included.

There are many web browsers that do not show this message to the person trying to find the page. Some browsers have a friendlier and sometimes humorous 404 message error.

Reasons for Getting a 404 Error Message

Many times people type in the file quickly and it is misspelled. If this is the case a 404 error message will appear.

Try spelling it the correct way and if the file is still not found it means it has probably been moved or deleted.

Sometimes it is the user’s fault but there is no way of knowing this through the 404 error message. The second rule the servers break is not specifying what the user has done wrong.

The vague information usually leaves the server confused and frustrated. It is aggravating when you know that there is something wrong but you don’t know what it is.

Backtracking URLs

You can also try to backtrack by deleting information in the URL between each backlash. You can do this until you get the correct page and no error message comes up on your screen. By correcting these things you might be able to find what Web page you are trying to locate.

When using Microsoft Outlook Web Access there are several different types of 404 error messages which can appear. The error can state file not found, not found, object not found, page cannot be found, and the page cannot be found.

404 Error Message DefinitionOne of these error messages can be caused by things such as DNS name resolution, proxy server configuration, exchange virtual directory configuration, Uniform Resource Locator (URL) creation, the URL Scan component of the Internet Information Server (IIS) lock down tool, or the port assignment on the OWA Web site.

Whatever the problem is there is a solution to finding the page if in fact it does exist. A 404 message error is just telling you that there is a problem directing the server to that page. Want More Web Design Tips? Get the Newsletter Here >>

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