HTTP Status Codes
As mentioned above, the internet is based on a very simple relationship: clients (like Chrome, Safari, etc.) make requests to the server and the server responds. Status codes let us know whether the request was a success, a failure, or something in between.
Let’s take a look at the five core status codes:
- The 1xx block: informational requests;
- The 2xx block: successful requests;
- The 3xx block: redirects;
- The 4xx block: client errors;
- The 5xx block: server errors.
In general, some of the most common status codes are 301 redirects, 404 not found, 504 gateway timeout, 400 bad request, 304 not modified, and 502 bad gateway – but there are many other status codes and you should be at least briefly familiar with some of the most important ones.
The 1xx HTTP Status Codes
As mentioned above, these are the informational requests. Basically, the server hasn’t fully completed the request yet and it’s still processing the information. This is like a transitional phase saying the server has not yet completed the request.
You will not see these codes a lot, but it’s still important to (at least briefly) know what they are:
- 100 – Continue;
- 101 – Switching protocol;
- 103 – Checkpoints.
The 2xx HTTP Status Codes
Basically, these are the successful requests, showing that everything happened as planned (which is usually what you’re going for):
- 200 – OK (you will see this one the most);
- 201 – Created;
- 202 – Accepted;
- 205 – Reset Content;
- 206 – Partial Content.
The 3xx HTTP Status Codes
These error codes are shown when you request an address and are sent somewhere else. There’s a bunch of different types of different types of redirects:
- 301 – Moved Permanently;
- 302 – Found;
- 304 – Not Modified;
- 305 – Use Proxy;
- 307 – Temporary Redirect.
We’re going to talk about all of these a little bit more—but any status code on the 300 block will be a redirection request.
The 4xx HTTP Status Codes
These are all for client errors. That means the page wasn’t found and something is wrong with the request. Whatever is happening though, the issue is typically on the client side:
- 400: Bad Request;
- 401: Unauthorized;
- 403: Forbidden;
- 404: Not Found;
- 408: Request Timeout;
- 410: Gone;
- 429: Too Many Requests.
The 5xx HTTP Status Codes
These appear when the client made a good request, but the server didn’t complete it.
So something is wrong on the server side.
For instance, I’m in Chrome, I request a website, I did everything right on my end, but something’s wrong with the server. Some of the most important examples include:
- 500 – Internal Server Error;
- 502 – Bad Gateway;
- 503 – Service Unavailable;
- 504 – Gateway Timeout.
We will dive into the most important ones below, but the broad idea to keep in mind is that 500 errors are server problems, not client problems.
Why Status Codes Matter for Digital Marketing
I want to talk about some of the most important status codes for digital marketing: the good ones, the bad ones, and the ones you need to solve right away.
Getting this technical information is super important—precisely because it’s absolutely devastating to put all this work into your site, or digital marketing strategy, only to have it all messed up by technical issues.
Some HTTP status codes that are very important for your digital marketing efforts, include the following:
What Does a 200 HTTP Status Code Mean?