Fix 404 Page Not Found Errors
The 404 Not Found Error is an HTTP response status code which indicates that the requested resource could not be found. Like most HTTP response codes, and particularly for those codes that indicate an error, the cause of a 404 Not Found Error can be difficult to track down and resolve. There are well over 50 potential status codes that represent the complex relationship between the client, a web application, a web server, and often multiple third-party web services, so determining the cause of a particular status code can be a challenge under the best of circumstances.
In this article, we’ll explore the by 404 Not Found Error examining what might cause this error while providing a few tips and tricks to help you diagnose and debug your own application that is experiencing such issues. We’ll also look at a handful of the most common content management systems (CMSs) that are in use today, giving you some insight into potential problem areas within these systems that might cause an unexpected,404 Not Found Error so let’s get started!
Server- or Client-Side?
That said since a 404 Not Found Error indicates that the resource that’s trying to be accessed is unavailable, it’s entirely possible the issue steps from the client. You may be trying to access an invalid URL, the browser could be sending invalid credentials to the application, and so on. We’ll explore some of these scenarios (and potential solutions) down below, but be aware that, even though he is404 Not Found Error considered a client error response it doesn’t inherently mean we can rule out either the client nor the server as the root of the problem. In these scenarios, he is served still the network object that is producing them 404 Not Found Error and returning it as the HTTP response code to the client, but it could be that the client is causing the issue in some way.
Start With a Thorough Application Backup
As with anything, it’s better to have played it safe at the start than to screw something up and come to regret it later on down the road. As such, it is critical that you perform a full backup of your application, database, and so forth, before attempting any fixes or changes to the system. Even better, if you have the capability, create a complete copy of the application onto a secondary server staging that isn’t “live,” or isn’t otherwise active and available to the public. This will give you a clean testing ground with which to test all potential fixes to resolve the issue, without threatening the security or sanctity of your live application.
How You Might See the 404 Error
Here are some common ways in which you might see the HTTP 404 error displayed:
404 Not Found
The requested URL [URL] was not found on this server
Error 404 Not Found
404 File or Directory Not Found
HTTP 404 Not Found
404 Page Not Found
404 Not Found error messages can appear in any browser or any operating system. Most 404 Not Found errors display inside the internet browser window just as web pages do.
In Internet Explorer, the message The webpage cannot be found usually indicates an HTTP 404 error but a 400 Bad Request error is another possibility. You can check to see which error IE is referring to by checking for either 404 or 400 in the title bar.
404 errors received when opening links via Microsoft Office applications generate a The Internet site reports that the item you requested could not be found (HTTP/1.0 404) message inside the MS Office program.
When Windows Update produces a 404 error, it appears as a code 0x80244019 or as the message WU_E_PT_HTTP_STATUS_NOT_FOUND.
Cause of HTTP 404 Errors
Technically, an Error 404 is a client-side error, implying that the error is your mistake, either because you typed the URL incorrectly or the page has been moved or removed from the website and you should have known.Another possibility is if a website has moved a page or resource but did so without redirecting the old URL to the new one. When that happens, you’ll receive a 404 error instead of being automatically routed to the new page.
Note: Microsoft IIS web servers sometimes give more specific information about the cause of 404 Not Found errors by suffixing a number after the 404, as in HTTP Error 404.3 – Not Found, which means MIME type restriction. You can see a complete list here.
For PrestaShop store owners, a 404 Not Found Error can be frustrating. I’ll go over some of the most common causes and solutions for seeing a 404 Not Found Error on your Back or Front Office. Many of these “common causes” actually concern the .htaccess file. I do not recommend playing around with this file unless you know what you are doing. Solid Hosting Providers can walk you through setting up your .htaccess file and troubleshooting issues while having a PrestaShop Support Plan ensures that these errors get solved quickly by a PrestaShop team member. WAIT! Before you start playing around in your Back Office and PrestaShop files, you must backup your entire Database and PrestaShop files. Please read this post to learn how to backup, or have your hosting provider backup both your Database and PrestaShop files. Now let’s get to solving the 404 Not found error.
- Deleted Pages – If you have deleted pages on your store, be aware that Search Engines may have already crawled and indexed the page. It can take some time (up to a month) for search engines to recognize that the page has been deleted. Your customers also may have bookmarked the page as well. It is a good idea to redirect your deleted products to a different page, like your homepage.
- Permissions – If you are getting a 404 Not Found Error along with a sentence that reads “You don’t have permission to access…” Then it’s almost certainly a permissions problem. You should tweak your CHMOD permissions via FTP, or call your hosting provider to have this changed. Usually, a good permission set would be 755 for directories and 644 for files. However, permissions vary by host, so be sure to check with them first.
- Memory Limit – You might receive a 404 Not Found error as a page that shows up because of a memory_limit issue with your host. Although the two are not directly related, it’s important to learn how to turn on Error Reporting. Turn Error reporting on and then reload the page with the 404 error, if you see an error that starts with “Fatal error: Out of memory”. Then contact your host to increase your memory limit.
- .htaccess Problems – The .htaccess is a configuration file used by Apache web-servers on your root folder that can, among other things, control redirects, protect folders, and change aspects of your URL’s. Many times you can solve 404 issues by regenerating this file. You can delete the .htaccess file manually through your FTP and regenerate it by heading over to your Back-Office/Advance Parameters/Performance. Sometimes, simply toggling the option for Friendly URL can do the trick by forcing the regeneration of the .htaccess file.
- SSL Certificate Incorrectly Configured – If you can receive a 404 Not Found error after you install your SSL certificate then your SSL Certificate is not set up correctly. Double check with your hosting provider to make sure that your SSL URL is pointing and connecting with the correct PrestaShop URL within the .htaccess file. In PrestaShop 1.5.6 + you have the option to Force SSL on all pages; in that case, you need to confirm that any page with content located within an iframe is called in https.
- mod_rewrite is disabled – mod_rewrite is an Apache module that allows you to customize your URL’s (That is what Friendly URL is). If you receive a 404 error when you turn on Friendly URL, chances are you do not have mod_rewrite enabled on your server. If your Friendly URL is working but in your Back-Office/Advance Parameters/Performance you see a warning that says “No URL rewriting (mod_rewrite) is not active on your server, or it is not possible to check your server configuration.” Then the problem is not due to mod_rewrite. Some hosting servers have security features that do not allow PrestaShop to check your server configuration. If Friendly URL works, then mod_rewrite is installed correctly.
- Incorrect Custom URL Route – If you received the 404 error after you created a Custom URL route for your pages in your Back Office/Preferences/SEO & URLs , (Must have Friendly URL active and enabled). There is a strong chance that your custom route was not inputted correctly.