404 Status Code - Not Found
In this section you will learn about 404 Status Code, what is it, its components and examples.
What is HTTP Status Code 404 - Not Found?
The HTTP Status Code 404, commonly known as "Not Found", is a client error response code that indicates the server cannot find the requested resource. It signifies that the client can communicate with the server, but the server cannot locate what was requested. This error code is one of the most recognizable due to its frequent occurrence on the web.
Understanding 404 Not Found
Resource Unavailable: A
404 Not Foundtypically means that the resource the client requested is not available on the server, either because it doesn't exist or the URI is incorrect.
No Indication of State: The absence of the resource does not indicate whether it was temporarily or permanently missing, or if it was removed deliberately.
Descriptive Error Pages: Web servers often provide custom error pages to explain the
404 Not Founderror, sometimes including links to the home page or search functions to assist the user.
Why 404 Not Found?
404 Not Found status code is a standardized way of informing the client that the requested resource is not available, without giving details as to why it's missing. This ambiguity can be helpful in not disclosing whether the resource has been moved or deleted for security reasons.
Characteristics of 404 Not Found
Client Action Required: The code indicates that the client may need to take additional action, such as checking the resource URI or navigating back to a safe point in the application.
Not a Reflection of Server Error: A
404 Not Foundstatus does not necessarily mean there is an error with the server itself, simply that the specific page or resource is not found.
How does 404 Not Found Work?
Client Sends a Request:
The client requests a resource or web page that the server cannot find or doesn't exist.
The server processes the request, determines that the resource is not available, and issues a
404 Not Foundresponse.
Example of 404 Not Found
Requesting a Missing Image File:
In this example, the client attempts to retrieve an image that does not exist on the server. The server responds with a
404 Not Found status and a custom HTML page informing the user of the missing image.
404 Not Found status code is essential in web communication, signaling to clients that a resource is unavailable without specifying the reason. Understanding and effectively handling
404 Not Found responses is a key skill for web developers and site administrators to improve user experience and website maintenance.