HTTP status codes and what they mean

What are HTTP status codes? What do they mean? Well, simply put, these codes are a set of numbers that indicate to the users, programmers, and anyone who views the website, the status of certain aspects of the program. For example, you might have come across a ‘404’ error in the past, when you wanted to access a particular website or certain endpoints to a website. This typically means that either you A)don’t have access to the information being requested in the URL, or B)that specific page that you entered simply doesn’t exist. Some other status codes that you may come across are ‘403’ and ‘408’. These codes mean that, you cannot access the content to the page requested, because the client is unknown, or that the server would like to shut down the connection between itself and the client because the connection has been idle for too long. Although there are many more of them, these are just a few of the more common codes that one might come across on the internet. A few of the more uncommon codes might be ‘500’, ‘508’, or a ‘511’. These codes mean that either the server encountered a situation that it does not know how to handle, it has encountered an infinite loop whilst procesing a request, or that the client needs to authenticate itself before it can gain network access, respectively. The purpose of having many types of codes is so that when doing anything related with accessing a resource on the internet, an individual can find out the types of issues that may occur when doing so, and may then deduce what exactly that situation may be. For example, when encountering a 508 error, a programmer will realise that the server has encountered an infinite loop whilst processing the request, making it easier to understand the exact problem. They can then check the server side code, allowing them to modify it and hopefully finding a solution to that issue. However, not all issues are server related. For instance, a 404 error is an error that is shown to a user based on a client side issue. Either the requested resource does not exist, the URL is not valid, or the client is unauthorized. This means that the user entered an invalid URL, the information that the client requested does not exist, or the client does not have access to that content. Hopefully, this post has given you some insight as to what HTTP status codes are, and how they can be used.