The Most Common Website Errors and How to Prevent Them

The Most Common Website Errors and How to Prevent Them

Almost 90% of online shoppers won’t return to a website after a bad user experience (UX). If visitors keep encountering website errors, they’ll leave your site. You could miss out on potential leads and sales as a result. 

Here are a few common errors that could frustrate clients who visit your business website. Learning how to avoid these errors can help you offer a better UX.

Read on to improve your website today. 

400 Bad Request

A 400 bad request message will appear if a request has occurred. This message usually indicates something went wrong with the web browser during the request. 

For example, perhaps data sent by the browser doesn’t conform to the rules of HTTP protocol. 

You’ll see this message when the server doesn’t know how to process a request. It’s possible there’s something unstable on the user’s side. For example:

  • A caching problem
  • A defective browser
  • Security issues within the operating system
  • An unstable internet connection

If you see this message, refresh the page. You should also double-check the domain address. Determine if the URL was mistyped, if there are illegal characters in the URL, or if there’s malformed syntax. 

Users can also clear the cache and cookies if the message continues to appear. 

401 Unauthorized

A 401 unauthorized error message might appear when a user attempts to access a site they don’t have access to. It can also appear after a failed login attempt.

Add password protection to your business website using your cPanel account. Consider adding additional security layers to your site as well. Restrict access to your admin area using the wp-admin folder on your WordPress website.

Improving your website’s security could help you avoid other areas down the road. 

403 Forbidden

You’ll see a 403 forbidden message if you attempt to access a forbidden directory on a website. This message means there’s no login opportunity on the page. Users often see this message if the website doesn’t permit users to browse the file directory structure. 

It can also appear if a user requested to view a file that’s not permitted for viewing online. 

You can set 403 protection on your business website to improve its security. Consider hiding your directory structure or files that contain vulnerable information. This could prevent your site from getting hacked. 

Open your cPanel account and navigate to the Advanced menu box. Select Index Manager to customize how users view specific directories. 

404 Not Found

A 404 not found error message will appear if users try to access a non-existent webpage. However, it can also appear when a file is large or if the server is running too slowly.

The error can also occur if the user has mistyped the URL or attempted to access removed pages.

If you manually removed pages from your website, make sure to direct the previous page to a new page. Otherwise, visitors could get frustrated if they continue encountering lost pages.

Take the time to check for broken links to confirm that all pages redirect to the proper page. Consider working with this professional web design agency to make a fun, engaging error page. It could help minimize user frustration.

You can also update your website to further improve the user experience. 

There is a difference between 404 and 410 (gone error) messages. Both means the server couldn’t find a requested file. However, a 410 error indicates it’s a permanent issue.  

408 Request Time-Out

A 408 request time-out indicates the server didn’t receive the full request within a set timeframe. If the server or user’s system continues experiencing a heavy workload, the message will reappear. It can also appear if there’s a temporary internet surge. 

The easiest step to take after viewing this message is to reload the page. If the message continues to appear, consider contacting your webmaster. 

Failed DNS Look-Up

A failed DNS look-up error appears when a URL can’t be translated. It can appear on commercial sites when there’s an overload. 

Reset your DNS cache to fix the issue. 

500 Internal Server Error

500 internal server errors are some of the most common messages web users encounter. It’s a general-purpose error message. Users will often see this error message if the web server encounters an internal issue. 

For example, the web server could have become overloaded.

Upon encountering this error message, first, try reloading the page. You can also:

  • Clear the browser’s cache
  • Restart the browser
  • Delete your browser’s cookies

If the issue persists, consider contacting your hosting provider. You can also test your third-party plug-ins one by one. It’s possible that a recent update is causing issues with your site. 

501 Not Implemented

A 501 error will appear if the browser doesn’t support a requested feature. It usually appears when the feature isn’t supported by the website or by Google.

Keep an eye on your website’s technology stack. Confirm everything is up-to-date. Keeping systems updated can reduce how often this error occurs. 

502 Service Temporarily Overloaded

If a server becomes congested, this error will appear. Usually, the problem resolves itself when website traffic declines. 

You may also see this message if there’s an issue with your cloud hosting provider or if there’s a server issue. 

Contact your hosting provider if you continue to see this message. 

503 Service Unavailable

A user will see this error if the website they want to visit is busy or if the server is down. Usually, the error is temporary. The website should become available within a few minutes or hours. 

If the problem persists, don’t hesitate to contact your hosting provider. In the meantime, check the status of applications running on the server. 

Prevent These Website Errors for a Better Experience

Don’t let these common website errors scare away potential leads or sales. Instead, consider updating your hosting. Continue improving the user experience on your website to avoid losing business.

With these tips, you can avoid having a broken site.

Searching for more tips? You’re on the right blog. 

Explore our latest articles for more helpful advice. 

About the author


I am a computer science graduate. Started blogging with a passion to help internet users the best I can. Contact Email:

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