Understanding HTTP Status Codes: A Comprehensive Guide

When you browse the web, your browser communicates with various servers to fetch and display web pages. During this communication, servers respond with HTTP status codes to indicate the outcome of the request. These status codes are categorized into different classes, each representing a specific type of response. Understanding these codes can help diagnose and troubleshoot web-related issues effectively. In this guide, we'll explore each HTTP status code and its significance.


1xx Informational Responses


These status codes indicate that the server has received the request and is processing it. The client should proceed with the request.


- 100 Continue: The server acknowledges that it has received the initial part of the request and expects the client to continue with the rest.

- 101 Switching Protocols: The server indicates that it is changing protocols, such as switching from HTTP to HTTPS.


2xx Success


These status codes indicate that the request was received, understood, and processed successfully.


- 200 OK: The request was successful, and the server has returned the requested resource.

- 201 Created: The request has been fulfilled, and a new resource has been created as a result.

- 202 Accepted: The request has been accepted for processing but has not been completed yet.

- 204 No Content: The server successfully processed the request but is not returning any content in the response.


3xx Redirection


These status codes indicate that the client must take additional action to complete the request.


- 301 Moved Permanently: The requested resource has been permanently moved to a new URL.

- 302 Found: The requested resource temporarily resides under a different URL.

- 304 Not Modified: The client's cached copy of the resource is still valid, and the server has not modified it.


4xx Client Errors


These status codes indicate that there was an issue with the client's request.


- 400 Bad Request: The server could not understand the request due to malformed syntax.

- 401 Unauthorized: The request requires user authentication.

- 403 Forbidden: The server understood the request but refuses to fulfill it.

- 404 Not Found: The requested resource could not be found on the server.


5xx Server Errors


These status codes indicate that there was an issue with the server processing the request.


- 500 Internal Server Error: A generic error message indicating that something has gone wrong on the server.

- 502 Bad Gateway: The server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, received an invalid response from an upstream server.

- 503 Service Unavailable: The server is currently unable to handle the request due to temporary overloading or maintenance.




HTTP status codes play a crucial role in communication between clients and servers on the web. By understanding these codes, developers and administrators can diagnose issues effectively and ensure smooth web interactions for users. Whether it's a successful request, a redirection, or an error, each status code provides valuable information about the outcome of the HTTP transaction.

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