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Web hosting wiki; Glossary of terms (404 error definition)
A 404 error is a domain/website error message that means a web page or web resource cannot be located by the link you followed or entered in a web browser. It may be produced when a user clicks an outdated (or “broken”) link or when a URL is typed incorrectly in a Web browser’s address field. Some websites display customised 404 error pages, which may either preserve the look of the site or show something funny to make the user feel amused. Other websites simply display the Web server’s default error message text, which typically begins with “Not Found.” Regardless of the cosmetic maketup, a 404 error means the server is running fine, but the webpage or the entered address is not valid.
A valid 404 code is an error code produced by the Web server telling everyone including search engine and other bots that it cannot find the resource or web page. This error code is recognized by search engines, which helps prevent search engine crawler bots from indexing bad URLs. 404 errors can also be read by Web scripts and website monitoring tools, which can help site owners to locate and fix broken links.
Other common Web server codes are 200, which means a webpage has been found, and 301, which indicates a file has moved to a new location. similar to 404 errors, these status messages are not shown to users, but they are used by search engines and website monitoring software.
404 Error Definition explained on this page is a brief about the subject and written in our best knowledge to be precise and without being overly technical. This information is for general use and does not serve as a troubleshooting guide by any standard. If you like, you can reference it using citation links below. If you would like to suggest a change to this page, please use our contact form.