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Configuring: Understanding response codes

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Response codes (also called status codes) are the coded results of a server's attempt to understand and satisfy a request. Web server responses indicate whether a Web object (Web page, graphics file, CGI script, etc.) was successfully retrieved or executed and, if not, the reason for the unsuccessful result. Unsuccessful results are also referred to as server error codes.

Log files record these codes, and the Visitor Statistics tool includes a report on them.

The following codes are some of the most common responses:

  • Code 200 - OK: The request was fulfilled. The Web page was successfully downloaded without error.

  • Code 401 - Unauthorized: The code indicates that users have tried to access pages that are restricted to a private network or IP address.

  • Code 404 - Not Found: The server has not found anything matching the URL given, which can indicate broken links in the Website due to the removal of a Web page or other resource. Alternatively, the response may indicate spelling errors in the URL.

  • Code 403- Forbidden: The request is for something forbidden. The code indicates that users have tried to access pages that require user authorization, such as password-protected administration areas or members areas.

  • Code 500 - Internal Error: The request failed. The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request. This code often indicates a script error.

The W3C provides a detailed list of response codes.
Updated 10/21/14


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