What Exactly is an HTTP Error? Most Common HTTP Error Codes

Posted By: Harry Masson
Date Posted: 19/09/2022

Have you ever encountered an HTTP error and wondered what it was?

You’re surfing the web when an error page appears instead of the page you’re looking for.

These errors are common on the Internet and occur when the server encounters a problem delivering what was requested.

What is an HTTP Error?

When the webserver fails to serve the requested data, an HTTP error code is returned in response to the browser’s request. In the form of an error code, this response code explains why the response failed.

If you’re unfamiliar with how the Internet works, the browser sends the request using HTTP. The web server returns the requested information. Finally, the browser displays the data in a readable format.

There are numerous types of HTTP errors, but only a few are commonly encountered.

In this article, I’ll go over the most common HTTP errors so you can understand what they mean. When you encounter an HTTP error again, you will understand what it means.

Most Common HTTP Error’s

HTTP Error 401 – Unauthorized

The 401 Error indicates that web pages were accessed without authorisation. It means that the client’s request is not genuine.

Not all web data is accessible to the general public. The majority of it is concealed and requires authentic access. When a client fails to submit a valid request, the server returns HTTP error 401.

HTTP Error 404 – Page Not Found

The most common HTTP error code is 404.

It means that the requested page does not exist, has been moved, or has been deleted. The page is not available on the server. As a result, the server cannot retrieve it and return it to you.

When a client sends a misspelt URL to load, an HTTP Error occurs. In other words, there is no web page that corresponds to the entered URL.

HTTP Error 403 – Forbidden Error

As I previously stated, not all web pages are publicly accessible to everyone. The HTTP 403 Error indicates that the webserver is not allowing you to access the pages or data that you requested.

The power of the web property determines whether or not the resources are visible. The web server will respond with HTTP Error 403 if a folder or file is restricted.

HTTP Error 500 – Internal Server Error

It is a generic HTTP error with no definitive explanation. It means that the server is experiencing an internal problem and is unable to parse the request or respond appropriately.

When something goes wrong on the website’s server, the page loads and displays the HTTP Error 500 page. The reason could be high concurrent traffic, insufficient bandwidth, or a lack of storage.

Whatever the reason, if there is a general problem with the website server, it will return a 500 error.

HTTP Error 503 – Service Unavailable

This message indicates that the webserver is currently unavailable. It could be due to a temporary traffic overload on the site or scheduled maintenance.

If you reload the page or try again later, the problem may have resolved itself. It usually occurs when there is less traffic, but when it does, the webserver responds with a 503 error.


HTTP status codes, while they may appear confusing or intimidating on the surface, are actually very informative. You can troubleshoot problems on your site more quickly if you learn some of the most common ones.

If you need help ...

As always if you need extra support regarding the content in this article our team at Hosting Australia have a range of development and security services that can help your website perform better and protect it from attack ...

Don't risk your valuable business asset.
Get in contact with us to talk about security, backups, speed optimisations and more.

WordPress Website Design

Hosting Australia has a team of expert WordPress Designers, all based in Australia and ready to assist you with any task. From a ground up new site build, updating security or plugins, or just changing some minor details - we can assist with all aspects on your site.

Hit the button below to find our more and get in contact with our design team today.