Common Server Errors And How To Fix Them

Whether you’re experiencing slow-loading web pages or your site has completely crashed, server errors can be disastrous to your business. If your clients are unable to access your website, they’ll quickly move on to one of your competitors, leaving you with a loss of revenue and a potentially damaged reputation. All of the interruptions to the working day may also lead to your employees feeling demotivated and being less productive. You need to ensure you can rely on your network in order for your business to perform well. So we’ve listed some common errors of servers and server rooms, as well as how you can solve them.

Image credit: HPE HP ProLiant DL380 Intel Xeon,
Image credit: HPE HP ProLiant DL380 Intel Xeon,

Server Errors That Can Affect Your Website

Having a managed host run your web services is an effective way to prevent common server errors. That way, if something bad happens, you’ll have a dedicated team on hand who will be able to resolve any issues before they take effect.

Here are some common server errors that affect websites:

  • Slow page loading

If it takes longer than three seconds for a webpage to load, more than 50 per cent of users admit to abandoning it in favour of a competitor. There are many factors that can cause slow page loading, including site usage, complicated forms, image rendering, videos that play automatically as well as the user’s own web browser. One way you can combat this and keep people returning to your site is to invest in the support of a dedicated managed web service. That way your website will have round-the-clock protection.

  • Viruses and cyber attacks

With cyber attacks and computer viruses more rife than ever these days, it’s vital that your business devises and implements a security policy. You’ll need to ensure you go the extra mile to protect your customer’s data, otherwise you risk damaging your reputation as well as losing significant revenue. Have a process in place to protect against the loss of customer’s personal details as well as payment information.

  • High traffic

A high volume of traffic to your website is usually a good sign, pre-empting an increase in revenue and sales for your business. Sometimes though, a sudden spike can cause your site to crash, leading to customers experiencing issues with accessing your site. This is more common during events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday but it’s something to be aware of. Employing a dedicated managed hosting provider will allow the impact of high levels of traffic to be controlled. Your dedicated team will also be able to make slight changes to your site to resolve any issues.

  • Hardware or software failure

All businesses are likely to encounter problems with hardware or software at some point –and when such issues arise, you’ll want to ensure your website is back up and running in as short a time as possible. A combination of a fully managed solution and a state-of-the-art data centre can help with this.

  • Site outages

The biggest problem you’ll potentially encounter with your server is a complete site outage. From physical causes (flood and fire) to cyber attacks, hardware or software failures, a website crash could leave your site unavailable to users for quite some time. Significant downtime incurs huge costs for businesses – even more so if the majority of your revenue comes from online sales and services.

How to troubleshoot common server errors

Before tackling server errors, it’s a good idea to check your PC’s overall health, and use software such as CCleaner to clean and optimise your computer.

Set up weekly automatic scans to run and repair issues affecting your computer’s performance and health to keep it running smoothly and problem-free. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to doing this:

  1. Download a PC repair and optimiser tool such as WinThruster
  2. Click start scan to discover registry issues that may be causing problems
  3. Click repair all to fix these issues

Now it’s time to tackle any server errors. Here’s what you may encounter and how to fix it:

  • 404 error
    • Problem: page not found, indicating a problem with the server due to broken or dead links
    • Solution: reload the page and check you typed in the correct URL, try to access the homepage, try using a different browser, clear your browser’s cache memory and cookies
  • 400: Bad Request
    • Problem: either the server couldn’t process your request or the website you’re looking for is down
    • Solution: check the URL is correct or use another browser. Alternatively, the site might be temporarily down – wait and try again later
  • 408: Request Timeout
    • Problem: if the website is taking too long to respond, the server will stop trying and display a 408 error
    • Solution: check your internet connection as it may be lagging temporarily. Wait and try again in a few minutes
  • 401: Unauthorised
    • Problem: webpage requires authentication
    • Solution: log into the website and try again
  • 502: Bad Gateway
    • Problem: two servers are unable to communicate effectively
    • Solution: try using a different web browser, clear your browser’s cache or cookies to remove any corrupt files
  • 403: Forbidden
    • Problem: you do not have permission to access the webpage
    • Solution: try logging in to see if that works

Common server room problems

Sometimes, server errors can happen in the server room. Here are the most common errors to watch out for:

  • Temperature is too hot

It’s vital that the server room is temperature-controlled. You’ll need to ensure the air surrounding your hardware is between 68 and 72 degrees to prevent damage to the servers. Don’t forget to take outside temperatures into account too, such as direct sunlight. Servers also generate heat so it’s important that you have adequate cooling measures in place.

  • Insufficient ventilation

In addition to temperature control, you’ll also need to account for sufficient space around each piece of equipment to allow the air to properly circulate. If ventilation is poor it can lead to inadequate cooling. For small server rooms, make use of dedicated server racks to stack up your servers.

  • Poorly controlled humidity

Pay attention to the humidity level in your server room. High levels can cause rust, corrosion, fungus and short-circuiting. Too little moisture can be equally as problematic, potentially leading to electrostatic discharge which in turn causes damage to the system. Be sure to position your servers away from pipes in the building just in case they spring a leak.

  • Vibrations and jostling

Many environmental hazards can affect your server functionality, resulting in data loss. Whether your hardware is subject to scratches, jostling or vibrations, all of these factors can lead to issues. It’s a good idea to keep any servers away from busy hallways or outside walls to reduce the impact of these factors.

  • Clutter

A tidy, orderly server room is essential for reducing risks. Make sure all cords are kept untangled and keep wires neat so nobody will trip over them. You can use a power distribution unit to help you with this.

  • Power outages

Keep a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) or a standalone generator as handy power backups in the event of a power outage. Most of the time server functionality will be restored with a full system reboot but if that doesn’t work, it’s helpful to have a backup plan in place. Be sure to monitor and test those systems regularly to ensure they’re fully functioning. Look out for depleted batteries, failure to start or low fuel levels.

  • Intentional acts

A breach of security can lead to problems with your server. You’ll need to ensure physical and digital means of protection are put in place to prevent disgruntled employees from accessing the server room as well as to reduce the likelihood of a cyber attack on the system. Install security cameras outside the server room and fit combination code locks on the server room door as well as on server racks.

Are you looking for new servers and accessories? Browse the full range on offer at BT Business Direct today and benefit from assistance and support with configuration and installation.

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