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Navigating the Challenges of 404 Not Found Errors - HTTP Error Code 404

Karthik MSN
~ 7 min read | Published on Mar 28, 2024


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In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, encountering a 404 Not Found Error is a common occurrence. While these errors may seem straightforward, understanding their nuances and effectively navigating them is crucial for maintaining a seamless user experience. In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of 404 errors, exploring their causes, handling methods, best practices, and testing procedures. Whether you're a seasoned web developer or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to tackle 404 errors with confidence.

What is a 404 Error?

A 404 error occurs when a user attempts to access a web page that cannot be found on the server. It is essentially a response code indicating that the requested resource is not available. This could be due to various reasons, such as the page being deleted, renamed, or moved, or simply due to a mistyped URL.

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What are the Possible Causes for 404 Error?

Several factors can contribute to the occurrence of 404 errors:

  1. Broken Links: When a link on a webpage points to a non-existent URL, it results in a 404 error.
  2. Deleted or Moved Pages: If a webpage is deleted or its URL is changed without proper redirection, users will encounter a 404 error when attempting to access it.
  3. Typos in URLs: Simple typos in URLs can lead to 404 errors. It's essential to double-check all links to ensure accuracy.
  4. Server Misconfigurations: Configuration errors on the server side can result in 404 errors. This may include issues with .htaccess files or routing configurations.

How to Handle 404 in JS

Handling 404 errors in JavaScript involves implementing appropriate error handling mechanisms. Below is a basic example of how to handle 404 errors using JavaScript:

  .then(response => {
    if (!response.ok) {
      throw new Error('Page not found');
    // Handle successful response
  .catch(error => {
    console.error('Error:', error);

Best Practices for Using 404 Status Code

When dealing with 404 errors, it's essential to adhere to best practices to ensure a positive user experience:

  1. Provide Clear Error Messages: When a 404 error occurs, display a clear and concise error message informing the user that the requested page could not be found.
  2. Offer Suggestions: Include suggestions or links to related content that users may find helpful. This helps to keep users engaged and reduces frustration.
  3. Implement Custom 404 Pages: Create custom 404 error pages that are informative, visually appealing, and consistent with your website's design. This allows you to maintain branding and provide useful navigation options.
  4. Monitor and Fix Broken Links: Regularly monitor your website for broken links and promptly fix them to prevent 404 errors.

How to Test 404 Status Code on Postman

Testing 404 status codes using Postman is straightforward. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Postman and create a new request.
  2. Enter the URL of the endpoint you want to test.
  3. Send the request.
  4. Check the response code in the status section of the response. If it's 404, the request was successful in triggering a 404 error.

How to Test 404 Status Code in DevTools Browser in Chrome

To test 404 status codes using DevTools in Chrome:

  1. Open Chrome and navigate to the webpage you want to test.
  2. Right-click on the page and select "Inspect" to open DevTools.
  3. Go to the "Network" tab.
  4. Reload the page.
  5. Look for the request corresponding to the URL you want to test.
  6. Check the status column to see if it returns a 404 error.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I prevent 404 errors on my website?

A: To prevent 404 errors, regularly check for broken links, update URLs when necessary, and implement proper redirection for deleted or moved pages.

Q: Are 404 errors bad for SEO?

A: While occasional 404 errors are not harmful to SEO, a high volume of them can negatively impact user experience and SEO. It's essential to promptly fix broken links and provide helpful error pages.

Q: Can I customize the appearance of my website's 404 error page?

A: Yes, you can create a custom 404 error page that aligns with your website's design and branding. This allows you to provide users with helpful information and navigation options.

Q: Is it possible to track 404 errors on my website?

A: Yes, you can track 404 errors using various website analytics tools or server log analysis tools. This helps identify broken links and other issues that may lead to 404 errors.

Q: Does Zipy offer a solution for monitoring and handling 404 errors?

A: Yes, Zipy provides a comprehensive tool for monitoring and handling errors, including 404 errors, with session replay capabilities. Visit Zipy to learn more.


Navigating the challenges of 404 Not Found Errors is essential for maintaining a smooth and user-friendly web experience. By understanding the causes, implementing proper handling mechanisms, adhering to best practices, and conducting thorough testing, developers can effectively manage and mitigate the impact of 404 errors on their websites. With the right tools and strategies, tackling 404 errors becomes less daunting, ensuring a seamless browsing experience for users. And for comprehensive error monitoring and handling, consider leveraging Zipy's powerful toolset with session replay capabilities.

Read more resources on 4xx error status codes

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