Understand What HTTP Status Codes Mean

Decipher their significance

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If you've ever received an error message, you're likely interested in deciphering what HTTP status codes mean. Simply put, these are the codes that the Web server uses to communicate with the Web browser or user agent. They are messages that the server returns when processing a request for a Web document. 

The Importance of HTTP Status Codes

So, why is it important to understand HTTP status codes? If you can tell them apart, then you will be able to control your Web server with a higher degree of accuracy and effectiveness.

 These messages include the standard 404 error message for a page not found as well as more obscure messages such as 101 Switching protocols. The codes can be divided into five subject areas: informational status codes, successful status codes, redirection status codes, client error status codes and server error status codes.

The following links explain the various error messages in more detail.

  • HTTP Status Codes 100-101 - Informational Status Codes: These messages just relay information. They do not belong to HTTP/1.0, so servers don't respond to these messages. They are provisional responses and browsers may ignore them.
  • HTTP Status Codes 200-206 - Successful Status Codes: The HTTP status messages in the 200 series indicate that the request succeeded. In fact, 200 OK is the most common HTTP status message. This message means the server answered the request. 
  • : As the name suggests, status messages in this series signals that the requested resource has changed locations. 

  • HTTP Status Codes 400-416 - Client Error Status Codes: These messages mean that an error has occurred on the client or user agent's end.
  • HTTP Status Codes 500-505 - Server Error Status Codes: In contrast to the messages above, status messages in this series signal a problem has occurred on the server's end.
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    Kyrnin, Jennifer. "Understand What HTTP Status Codes Mean." ThoughtCo, Apr. 20, 2017, thoughtco.com/understanding-http-status-codes-3468661. Kyrnin, Jennifer. (2017, April 20). Understand What HTTP Status Codes Mean. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/understanding-http-status-codes-3468661 Kyrnin, Jennifer. "Understand What HTTP Status Codes Mean." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/understanding-http-status-codes-3468661 (accessed December 16, 2017).