What is a 400 Error and How to Fix It?

Alliance  ·  December 04, 2020

A 404 Error is a type of server response code. When browsing a website, there is an ongoing client server interaction, which at times can be broken due to a bad server response. The server will generate a response as to whether a request is successful or not by displaying an HTTP status code, which can display as 400 Error. In this article, we will explore different types of 400 Errors and why they occur, as well as some recommendations on how to fix them.

What is an HTTP status code?

400 error

When a client makes a request to a server, an HTTP status code is generated as a response to that request. There are five different types of HTTP status codes that are generated as a server response. The first digit of the status code is categorized as the class of the response by the server, so it is most important to pay attention to this part of the status code. Below are a list of HTTP status codes: 

  • 1xx : informational response, request is currently processing
  • 2xx: successfully understood and completed request
  • 3xx: redirection request, will require further action to be taken
  • 4xx: bad syntax error, request cannot be processed
  • 5xx: server error and failure to complete request

What is a 400 Error?

The 400 Error is classified under the 4xx HTTP status code mentioned above. This category of errors can be attributed to situations that are caused by the client and not the server itself. When these types of server errors occur, there should be a response generated explaining the error situation and whether or not it is considered temporary or permanent. 

The 400 Error specifically occurs when a server can’t process a request due to a client related error. Below are some instances where a 400 Error might occur:

  • Malformed request syntax: syntax relates to the orders computers are given in order to complete requests. If there is a malformed request syntax, a 400 error can occur.
  • Invalid request framing- framing relates to how a server contextualized information, which if contextualized improperly results in a 400 error.
  • Deceptive request routing- occurs when a system relies on custom HTTP headers for decision making. These headers could be absent, incorrect or unable to be processed, resulting in a 400 Error. Also can occur through use of cookies in a browser.

How to fix a 400 Error?

Since a 400 Error is attributed to the client and not the server itself, it is important to check the following in order to resolve the issue:

  • Invalid URL- A 400 Error sometimes occurs just from a mistyped URL, so consider reviewing the URL first and foremost as it is a simple fix for a 400 error.
  • Clear browser cache and cookies- Corrupted files within the browser cache and expired cookies can also cause 400 errors.
  • Out of sync DNS Data- If the DNS data is out of sync with current DNS information it may cause a 400 error. Simply clearing the DNS cache can help resolve this.
  • File size too large- Trying to upload a file to a website that is too large can result in a 400 error.
  • Server glitch- A glitch in the server might cause a 400 error, so to test if this is the cause try uploading the same website on a different browser to resolve this. Deactivating any browser extensions on the initial browser is another way to resolve this issue.

If you are a business working on your website and notice a 400 error, your hosting might also be the culprit. If the website uses shared hosting, it might be competing with too many other websites, resulting in poor performance and the inability to upload a specific file because there is not enough storage. It is important that you choose a hosting service that can meet the needs of your website in terms of data storage to ensure it performs well and properly loads all of your website’s pages.

A better solution is to purchase dedicated hosting, which ensures better deliverability success for emails and less phishing activity because the server is not shared with thousands of other people. 

Need help with your websites 400 errors?

Alliance Interactive is a top Washington, DC based website design and development agency with over 17 years of experience building and maintaining websites. We provide dedicated website hosting and maintenance solutions that can help in prevention of server related errors. For more information about hosting plans and services please, Request More Details.