What are HTTP Status Codes?
When a user views a page on your website, your web server returns a HTTP Status Code (also called a response code, status code, header response code and server response code). The code consists of three numbers that tell how the request to the web server was handled. There are five types of response codes:
- 1xx - Informational. The request is being processed.
- 2xx - Success. The request was successfully completed.
- 3xx - Redirection. The request was redirected to another web address.
- 4xx - Client error. The query failed because the page could not be read.
- 5xx - Server error. The request failed due to a server error
Each of the five types contains a variety of Status Codes - a complete list can be found in the Wikipedia article List of HTTP status codes- but the vast majority of the different Status Codes you will probably never encounter. In the table below, we therefore review only selected common HTTP Status Codes that are essential for your work with search engine optimization.
You can see the Status Code that each page on your website returns if you analyse the website with a technical analysis tool such as Screaming Frog. All pages with 4xx and 5xx Status Codes must be corrected to ensure that the pages can be seen by your users and indexed by Google.
Essential HTTP Status Codes
List of essential status codes and what to do about them.
- 200 - OK. The page was found. Don't do anything.
- 301 - Moved permanently. The site has been permanently moved to a new address. The request was successfully redirected. You don't have to do anything.
- 302 - Found. The site has moved to a new address. The request was redirected successfully. You don't have to do anything.
- 307 - Temporary Redirect. The site has been temporarily moved to a new address. The request was successfully redirected. You don't have to do anything.
- 403 - Forbidden. Access to the page is blocked. The request failed. Make the page publicly available or avoid linking to it.
- 404 - Not Found. The page was not found. The query failed. Restore the page or set up a redirect to an existing page.
- 500 - Internal Server Error. The page could not be accessed due to a server error. The query failed. Please investigate the cause of the error and correct it.
- 503 - Service Unavailable. The page is not available. The request failed. Please investigate the cause of the error and correct it. Often the error is temporary.
Read more in the article on server error.