Why 404?

I’m sure most of you have clicked on a link, only to discover something like this:

Sometimes, you may have wondered, “What does that 404 stand for? And why?”

Enter the world of HTTP Status Codes. These codes are sent by the web server every time you visit a webpage, before anything even loads. When the page does exist, the status code is200 OK. We don’t see that message, because the server immediately starts sending you the actual HTML that defines the web page.

For an explanation of the number, we turn to QueenOfSubtle.com, which offers us the following explanation:

The first 4 indicates a client error. The server is saying that you’ve done something wrong, such as misspell the URL or request a page which is no longer there. Conversely, a 5xx error indicates a server-side problem. It also indicates an error which may be transient; if you try it again, it may work.

The middle 0 refers to a general syntax error. This could indicate a spelling mistake.

The last 4 just indicates the specific error in the group of 40x, which also includes 400: Bad Request, 401: Unauthorized, etc.

So there you go. Next time you’re browsing through the Internet with some friends and they goof, tell them the story. It will raise your social appeal by 100%.