Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding HTTP Status Codes

An HTTP status codes is a message given to a browser to let it know the request submitted to view a particular website was received and processed. While most users never even see HTTP codes, they are an integral part of the web browsing experience.

The Internet is home to over 1 billion websites. Once you have built and launched a new website, monitoring it for performance and reliability is a must. While some developers and entrepreneurs used cloud-based Syslog server tools, others reply on reports of HTTP error codes to find and diagnose website functionality issues.

However, there are times when HTTP status codes will be presented to the user to indicate a problem has occurred. When this happens, the owner or manager of the website in question will have to take action. Here are some of the things you need to understand HTTP codes and how to use them.

Where Do HTTP Status Codes Come From?

Most Internet users fail to realize that every time they click a link to a website or enter a URL in their browser, it submits a request to a web server. Once this request is received, the server in question will process it and allocate the necessary resources to complete the request.

The only time a person will actually see the HTTP status codes from their request is when something goes wrong. Generally, the server will supply a generic message when errors occur so the user can gain some understanding of what may be causing their problem.

HTTP Status Codes

Understanding HTTP Status Codes Class

As you probably guessed, there are a variety of different HTTP status codes. Each of the code classes is used to signify certain issues that may be occurring. Understanding these HTTP status code classes can help you find and diagnose issues with ease.

The Success Codes:100s and 200s

If you are going to monitor the HTTP codes for your website, you ideally want to see all 100 and 200 series status codes. Seeing these codes means that servers are receiving requests to view your website and are able to complete these requests in a timely manner.

In most cases, 100 series codes will be issued to indicate the request made by the user to the browser is continuing successfully. The 200 series codes are given after the request is given, understood and resourced properly.

The Problematic Codes: 300s, 400s, and 500s

While getting HTTP codes in the 100 and 200 range means you are doing everything right with your website, there are codes designed to indicate big problems. When these codes start to come upon a frequent basis, it means there are issues you need to figure out immediately. The longer you wait to get a handle on these problems, the harder you will find it to get leads from your website.

300 Codes Redirects Users

When a person requests to see a site that has either moved or changed names, they may be presented with a 300 HTTP status code. Generally, this code will substitute the requested resource for the new site. Before it does this, it will give the user a status code to tell them what is going on.

400 Codes Signify Clientside Errors

There will be times when a user’s request to see a website can’t be completed due to problems with their network. When this happens, the user will be given a 400 series HTTP code. Upon seeing this code, a user will need to check their Internet connection to ensure it is still functional.

500 Codes are Presented For Server Errors

If you are the owner or manager of a website, 500 HTTP status codes are something you need to pay attention to. Often times, this code will surface when there are server issues present. Contacting the company that hosts your website is essential when faced with these problems.

Reach out to Professionals For Help

When faced with website problems, you need to work with IT professionals to solve. These professionals can identify and fix these issues in a hurry.

Also Read: HTTPS Strict Transport Security: What is It and How it Works


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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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