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The Finality of the 410 Gone HTTP Status Code

Karthik MSN
~ 5 min read | Published on Mar 28, 2024





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In the world of web development, encountering HTTP status codes is a common occurrence. Among them, the 410 Gone status code stands out for its definitive message: the requested resource is gone, and it's not coming back. In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of the 410 error, exploring its causes, handling techniques, best practices, and testing methods.

What is a 410 Error?

HTTP status code 410, colloquially known as "Gone," indicates that the requested resource is no longer available on the server and that there is no forwarding address. Unlike the 404 Not Found status code, which implies a temporary absence or a possibility of the resource returning, the 410 error emphasizes permanence. When a client receives a 410 status code, it knows not to make further requests for the resource.

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What Are the Possible Causes for a 410 Error?

Several scenarios can lead to the issuance of a 410 Gone status code:

  1. Resource Deletion: The resource has been deliberately removed from the server, either manually or through an automated process.
  2. Content Removal: A website might undergo restructuring, leading to the removal of certain pages or sections.
  3. Expired Content: Content with a specific lifecycle, such as promotional pages or event announcements, may expire and get removed.
  4. Redirects: If a resource has been permanently redirected multiple times and now needs to be removed entirely, a 410 status code might be appropriate.
  5. Mistaken Configuration: Incorrect server configurations or mismanagement of URL redirections can also result in 410 errors.

How to Handle 410 in JavaScript

In JavaScript, handling a 410 Gone status code involves detecting the error response and taking appropriate action. Here's a basic example using the Fetch API:

fetch('<https://example.com/removed-resource>')
  .then(response => {
    if (response.status === 410) {
      // Handle the 410 error here
      console.error('The requested resource is permanently gone.');
    } else {
      // Handle other status codes or success responses
    }
  })
  .catch(error => console.error('Error:', error));

Best Practices for Using 410 Status Code

When utilizing the 410 Gone status code, it's essential to follow these best practices:

  1. Provide Alternatives: If applicable, offer users alternative resources or relevant suggestions to compensate for the removed content.
  2. Update Links: Ensure that any internal or external links pointing to the removed resource are updated or redirected appropriately.
  3. Communicate Clearly: If a user attempts to access a removed resource, provide a clear and concise message explaining the reason for its unavailability.
  4. Monitor Changes: Regularly review server logs and website analytics to identify any unintended 410 errors and address them promptly.
  5. Consider Impact: Before using a 410 status code, assess the potential impact on user experience, SEO implications, and overall site functionality.

How to Test 410 Status Code on Postman

Postman provides a straightforward method for testing HTTP status codes, including 410 Gone. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Postman and create a new request for the desired URL.
  2. Send the request and observe the response in the "Response" section.
  3. If the requested resource returns a 410 status code, it indicates successful testing.

How to Test 410 Status Code in DevTools Browser in Chrome

Testing HTTP status codes, including 410 Gone, using Chrome DevTools is simple:

  1. Open Chrome and navigate to the desired URL.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the page and select "Inspect" to open DevTools.
  3. Go to the "Network" tab and reload the page.
  4. Look for the requested resource in the list of network requests.
  5. If the resource returns a 410 status code, it will be indicated in the "Status" column.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why use a 410 Gone status code instead of a 404 Not Found?

A: While both indicate resource unavailability, a 410 status code emphasizes permanence, informing clients that the resource is gone for good.

Q: Can a 410 error affect SEO?

A: Yes, excessive 410 errors without appropriate handling can negatively impact SEO by disrupting crawlability and indicating poor site maintenance.

Q: Is it necessary to include a custom error page for 410 errors?

A: While not mandatory, providing a custom error page can enhance user experience by offering helpful information and alternative resources.

Q: How can I monitor 410 errors on my website?

A: Utilize server logs, web analytics tools, or specialized monitoring services to track instances of 410 errors and address them promptly.

Q: Are there any scenarios where using a 410 status code is not appropriate?

A: Avoid using a 410 status code for temporary outages or resources that may return in the future. Reserve it for genuinely permanently removed content.

Conclusion

Understanding the significance of the 410 Gone status code is crucial for web developers and IT professionals alike. By grasping its finality and employing best practices for handling and testing, you can ensure a seamless user experience and maintain the integrity of your website. To streamline error monitoring and management, consider leveraging tools like Zipy, which offers session replay capabilities for comprehensive error analysis. Learn more about Zipy here.

Read more resources on 4xx error status codes

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