There you are, surfing the Internet to your heart’s content. The connection is fairly stable, you are gaining momentum at work, and you are focused on finishing your tasks because your Netflix to-watch list is eagerly waiting. You are finishing your last item, which is to check a competitor’s website. There are ten minutes before you quit work at 5:00. Then suddenly, upon pressing the enter button after typing the website address, your browser keeps on declaring, “Connecting…” And you eagerly wait. Then, your browser’s screen goes blank. And then, you read something that makes you catch your breath and think that this is not happening. You just saw a “504 Gateway timeout” error message on the website you are about to be visiting. Your smile freezes as you bid your hopes of finishing work on time goodbye. Maybe the website will be up again in 5 minutes? 10 minutes? 30 minutes? An hour, maybe? You just have to keep your fingers crossed and don’t forget to hold on to your last ounce of sanity.
What timing, right? But unfortunately, it happens to most of us, particularly in these days of people working from home and not getting immediate assistance from more knowledgeable IT folk. The thing is, we common people whose knowledge of IT basically boils down to the email addresses or extension number of the IT department are usually at a loss when we are faced with these error messages of websites we would like to visit. When these things happen, the only advice we could remember from our reliable helpdesk friends would be to make sure to save your work and restart your computer. Of course, you can do that, but would that solve your concern? Not really. That’s why it is great to educate yourself with at least the basics of what these error codes are so at least, you can be better emotionally prepared the next time you see it.
The 500 Error
What you usually see is a “500 Internal Server Error” and it is one of the most generic HTTP status code because as a visitor to the website, there is not much you can do about it. That error code simply means that the server of the website is malfunctioning and there are no specific details of that is specifically wrong about it. So, if you see this error on a website you are supposed to visit, only time will tell when it will be back and running. But if you somehow have the contact information of the people running the website (the webmaster, that is), then get in touch with them ASAP to inform them that their site is giving out the 500 error. On your end, a clean cache might just do the trick.
Not clearing your cache and cookies in a long time can cause various browsing problems. To avoid such issues, it’s best to clear your cookies and cache every week or so.
The 502 Error
Meanwhile, the 502 error is a “Bad Gateway error”, which means that an internet server is receiving an invalid response from another server. What is good is 502 errors are usually quick occurrences and you can check the site after a couple of minutes and see if it is running already by reloading the URL. is an HTTP status code that means that one server on the internet received an invalid response from another server.
One popular solution to reloading the URL by tapping F5 or Ctrl+R (Command+R on a Mac) or selecting the refresh/reload. Although the 502 Bad Gateway error usually indicates a networking error outside of your control, it could be extremely temporary. As a result, trying the page again is often successful.
The 504 Error
If you are seeing a 504 error, it means there’s a “Gateway Timeout error,” which means that a server didn’t get a response from another server that it was trying to access in its attempt to load the web page. This means that a different device, usually the one the website you are trying to access, isn’t communicating fast enough with your device.
Most of the time, the 504 gateway timeout errors are temporary (maybe the server was too busy or not responding at that very particular time). So, you need to reload the webpage by pressing Shift + F5 simply.
Now, if you’re worried that you can’t see important documents that you thought are saved in your device, get in touch with us so we can look for those documents for you.
These are some of the more common errors that one will encounter when visiting or moving through a website. Good to know what they entail and, more importantly, how to prevent them moving forward.