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Deciphering the 303 See Other HTTP Error Code

Vishalini Paliwal
~ 7 min read | Published on Mar 28, 2024


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In the realm of web development, HTTP status codes play a crucial role in communication between clients and servers. One such status code, the 303 See Other, carries significance in redirecting requests. In this article, we'll delve into understanding the 303 error, its causes, handling methods in JavaScript, best practices, and testing procedures.

What is a 303 error?

The 303 See Other status code is part of the HTTP standard response codes indicating that the server successfully processed the request but is instructing the client to fetch the resource from a different URI. Unlike the 301 (Moved Permanently) and 302 (Found) status codes, which imply permanent and temporary redirection respectively, the 303 status specifically indicates a redirection with a GET request.

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What are the possible causes for 303 error?

Several scenarios can lead to encountering a 303 error:

  1. Form Submission Handling: When a form is submitted to a server, and the response requires the client to navigate to a different location.
  2. Resource Relocation: If a resource has been moved to a different URI temporarily, the server may respond with a 303 status code.
  3. API Endpoint Redirection: APIs might utilize 303 to redirect clients to alternative endpoints for various reasons such as load balancing or versioning.

How to handle 303 in JavaScript?

In JavaScript, handling a 303 redirect typically involves utilizing the fetch() API or XMLHttpRequest. Here's a basic example demonstrating how to handle a 303 redirect using fetch():

  .then(response => {
    if (response.status === 303) {
      window.location.href = response.headers.get('Location');

This code snippet fetches a resource from the specified URL and checks if the response status is 303. If it is, the client is redirected to the new location provided in the response headers.

Best Practices for using 303 status code

When utilizing the 303 status code, it's essential to adhere to best practices to ensure optimal performance and compatibility:

  1. Use Only for GET Requests: As per the HTTP specification, the 303 status code should only be used for GET requests. Attempting to use it with other request methods may lead to unexpected behavior.
  2. Provide Clear Location Header: Ensure that the response includes a Location header specifying the URI to which the client should redirect.
  3. Consider Caching Implications: Understand the caching implications of using 303 redirects, especially in scenarios where the redirect target may change frequently.

How to test 303 status code on Postman?

Testing a 303 status code on Postman is straightforward. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Postman: Launch the Postman application.
  2. Create a Request: Create a new request and enter the URL of the resource that triggers a 303 redirect.
  3. Send Request: Send the request and observe the response status. If it's a 303, check the Location header for the redirection URL.

How to test 303 status code in DevTools browser in Chrome?

Testing a 303 status code in Chrome's DevTools is simple:

  1. Open DevTools: Right-click on the page, select "Inspect" to open DevTools.
  2. Network Tab: Go to the "Network" tab.
  3. Initiate Request: Initiate the request that triggers the 303 redirect.
  4. Analyze Response: Check the response status. If it's a 303, inspect the headers to view the redirection location.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can a 303 redirect be cached by browsers?

A: Browsers typically don't cache responses with a 303 status code, as it's often used for temporary redirects.

Q: Is it possible to have a 303 redirect without a Location header?

A: According to the HTTP specification, the Location header is mandatory for a 303 response. A server should always provide a clear redirection location.

Q: How does a 303 status differ from a 302 redirect?

A: While both are temporary redirects, a 303 status explicitly indicates that the client should use a GET request for the redirected resource, whereas a 302 doesn't impose such a restriction.

Q: Can a 303 redirect be used for SEO purposes?

A: Using 303 redirects for SEO purposes is generally not recommended, as search engines may not pass link equity through 303 redirects as they do with 301 redirects.

Q: Are there any security considerations when using 303 redirects?

A: Developers should be cautious when using 303 redirects, especially if sensitive information is involved, as they can potentially be abused for phishing attacks.


Understanding and effectively utilizing the 303 See Other HTTP status code is pivotal for maintaining smooth web interactions. By following best practices and employing appropriate handling mechanisms, developers can ensure seamless redirections while maintaining user experience and security. To streamline error monitoring and handling processes, consider utilizing tools like Zipy, which offer session replay capabilities and comprehensive error tracking. Learn more about Zipy here.

Read more resources on 3xx error status codes

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