About 404 errors and how to Troubleshoot it?

Posted on October 14th, 2016

404 Error Page Not FoundWhat are 404 errors?

The 404 is an http status code. There are many other status codes as 401, 403, etc. Every status code has its own meaning. The 404 code means the requested item could not be found.

 What is an HTTP Status Code?

The http status code is a standard response code given by web servers on the Internet. The status code is a 3-digit integer where the first digit defines the class of response and the last two digits usually do not have any classification role. When a problem occurs while connecting to the server, these codes help you to identify the problem.

The various classification of the status codes is as below.

1xx: Informational

It means the request has been received and the process is continuing.

2xx: Success

It means the action was successfully received, understood, and accepted.

3xx: Redirection

It means further action must be taken in order to complete the request.

4xx: Client Error

It means the request contains incorrect syntax or cannot be fulfilled.

5xx: Server Error

It means the server failed to fulfill a valid request.

A 404 error code means the page you are trying to reach is unable to be located in the web server. Websites can display the 404 error message differently. The list below contains common ways where 404 error page is displayed:

“404 Not Found”

“The requested URL [URL] was not found on this server”

“Error 404 Not Found”

“404 File or Directory Not Found”

“404 Page Not Found”

These are some common messages from different hosts when there is a 404 status returned. Let us take a look at the reasons behind a 404 error code.


Causes of 404 Error Code

The primary cause of all 404 status codes is that the web server couldn’t retrieve the page that was requested by a client. Listed below are various reasons why you received a 404 error code.

1) The requested file has been renamed.

2) The requested file has been moved to some other locations.

3) The requested file is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance or upgrades.

4) The requested file actually does not exist.

5) The URL is misspelled

6) In IIS 6.0, The MIME type or appropriate web service extension is not enabled.

7) A virtual directory is mapped to the root of a drive on another server.

The 404 error is a client-side error. Simply it means the webpage does not exist with the URL entered.


How to fix a 404 Not Found Error

There are many ways to resolve this error. We are going to see how to troubleshoot the 404 error. Before contacting your Website Administrator, follow these easy steps in order to resolve your issue.

1) Clear browser cache and cookies

2) Double check the URL

3) Scan for viruses/malwares

4) Contact the Website Administrator

Clear browser Cache and Cookies

The cache may be holding the wrong output which could cause the error. In this case, you need to clear the cache and the cookies. Try to access the same URL from another device or browser. If it is accessible, you can confirm that you need to clear the browser cache and cookie in order to get worked.

Double check the URL

A typo in the entered URL can cause the 404 error. Please ensure that the URL entered is correct. Most of the times, the URL of the main page of any website will in a readable format. The links to a document inside a sub-page may have a URL that is not easily readable or in IP address form. In this case, double checking the entered URL will not be easy. However, in main pages, we can check whether the entered URL is correct.

Scan for viruses/malwares

A virus/malware attack may result in a 404 error. Use anti-virus/malware software to scan for such issues.

Contact the Website Administrator

If the issue still persists, a user can contact the Website Administrator. If you are a Website Administrator, please go through the rest of the article.

Troubleshooting a 404 Error

When it comes to troubleshooting the 404 Not found error, there are a many parameters that need to be checked. The main causes are listed below.

1) Memory Limit

2) Permissions

3) .htaccess Problems

4) Check whether mod_rewrite is enabled

5) Incorrectly configured SSL Certificate

Memory Limit

You will be getting a 404 Not found error if you have reached the memory limit. Try to free some memory so that the issue can be fixed.


If the error you are getting is with “You don’t have permission to access…” in addition, there would be some permission issue. You could try tweaking the “chmod” permissions via FTP or contact the InterServer support team immediately to get the problem fixed.

.htaccess Problems

A misconfiguration in the .htaccess can cause the 404 Not found error. The “.htaccess” is a configuration file used by the Apache web servers that can achieve additional configuration options such as redirects, password protection, etc. You need to ensure that the file is configured correctly.

Check whether mod_rewrite is enabled

The mod_rewrite is an Apache module which is used for URL redirection. If the URL is redirected and the mod_rewrite is disabled, it will result in a 404 Not found error. So make sure that the mod_rewrite is enabled.

To find whether the mod_rewrite is enabled or not in the server, please run the following command.

# apachectl -M | grep “rewrite”

Incorrectly configured SSL Certificate

The incorrectly configured SSL Certificate can cause a 404 Not found error. If everything was working fine before installing the SSL Certificate and then it started to return the error after the SSL Certificate installation, you could make sure that the install of the incorrectly configured SSL Certificate caused the issue.


If you need any further assistance please contact our support department.



3 Responses to “About 404 errors and how to Troubleshoot it?”

  1. Mike says:

    I am having problem with my website, I get 404 errors messages when i click on Shipping info, Privacy Policy, About Us, Returns, My Account. The errors messages:
    “File not found (404 error) If you think what you’re looking for should be here, please contact the site owner”

    • Jithin says:

      This sounds like a .htaccess issue. If it’s WordPress, create a “.htaccess” file with the following content and put it under your document root.

      # BEGIN WordPress

      RewriteEngine On
      RewriteBase /
      RewriteRule ^index.php$ – [L]
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
      RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
      RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

      # END WordPress

      If it’s not WordPress or if the issue persist, please reach our support department. ( https://www.interserver.net/resolve )

  2. Cynthia says:

    Ahh…the dreaded 404! I never considered that there was a problem on my end (mistyped address or insufficient memory) or that it could be as simple as the website being updated. Thank you for the detailed information!

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