In the classic flick The Magnificent Seven, a pack of essentially decent but “don’t you dare park your horse in my spot or else you’ll get your spurs blasted” gunslingers come together to rid a village of some nasty bandits. There’s action. There’s drama. There’s tragedy. There’s humor. There’s romance. There’s Steve freakin’ McQueen. What’s not to love?
Well, on the dusty and dangerous internet landscape, instead of a magnificent seven to save the day, there exists seven not-so-magnificent HTTPS errors that are impossible to like, let alone love. Why? Because their purpose is to block visitors from reaching websites — which leads to lost customers and wrecked reputations.
Here’s a look at the reprehensible HTTPS errors that have their picture on Most Wanted Lists in every post office from Tombstone to Dodge City:
403 Forbidden: The 403 Forbidden error means that the server is absolutely refusing — no ifs, ands or buts — to grant permission to access a resource, despite the fact that a request is valid. Common causes include missing index files, and incorrect .htaccess configuration.
404 Not Found: The 404 Not Found error means that a web page or other resource can’t be found because they simply don’t exist. Common reasons for this include a broken link, mistyped URL, or that someone moved or deleted a page and didn’t update the server (which happens a lot).
408 Request Time Out: The 408 Request Time Out error means that the server can’t find the target or resource that it’s searching for, and after a while, just throws in the towel. Often, this is because the server is overloaded.
410 Gone: Whereas (as noted above) a 404 error implies that there might be some hope — i.e. the target file might be somewhere, just not where it’s supposed to be — the 410 Gone error snuffs out any possible optimism. It’s totally, completely and permanently gone.
500 Internal Server Error: The 500 Internal Server Error means that the server cannot process a request for any number of reasons, such as missing packages, misconfiguration, and overload.
503 Service Unavailable: The 503 Service Unavailable error means that the server is either down because of maintenance, or because it’s overloaded. Either way, the server is conjuring up its inner Gandalf and screaming: “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”
504 Gateway Time-Out: The 504 Gateway Time-Out error means that a higher-level upstream server isn’t working and playing well with a lower-level downstream server. After a while, the downstream server gets the message that it’s not wanted, and says “Oh yeah? Well, I don’t need you either!”
Calling in the Marshall
The bad news is that these reprehensible HTTPS errors, if left unchecked, can cause a lot of damage. Indeed, few things irk and offend website visitors more than seeing an error code. But the good news is that you can call in the Marshall— a.k.a. AlertBot — to restore law and order.
AlertBot constantly scans your site’s pages to watch out for these and other HTTP errors. If and when they are detected, authorized employees (e.g. webmasters, sysadmins, etc.) are proactively notified so they can take swift action and fix the problem.
It’s lightening fast, always reliable, and as smooth as Steve McQueen. Dastardly, good-fer-nuthin’ HTTPS errors don’t stand a chance!