What Is The 501 HTTP Status Code And How To Fix It

What Is The 501 HTTP Status Code And How To Fix It

What does the 501 status code mean?

The 501 Not Implemented status code is used to indicate that the server is not able to respond or support the functionality that is needed to fulfill the request by the user. Simply put, the error 501 HTTP status code stands for “Not Implemented”.

It is a server error code response which signifies the web server is not able to support the functionality that is needed for access and does not recognize the request method. It is important to note that this is an error emanating from the server side and it is impossible for you as the user to fix it on your own. This is an error that can only be fixed from the server side or the website management

When using a browser to access a page, and the page finds something is not working as it should, it returns an HTTP error message that is commonly known as HTTP status code. These codes are denoted using different numbers. For instance, if the error code message starts with 5, it indicates that the error is coming from the server side.

It is an indication that something on the website, from the server side, is not working as it should, as such, it is preventing the page from loading completely. The cause of this error message is varied. Thus, when trying to resolve this issue, it is essential to consider all the alternatives possible in order to eliminate all possibilities and make the website work perfectly.

What phrases 501 error is most often expressed?

Since different users utilize different browsers, web servers, and operating systems, the 501 not implemented error message can present itself to the user in several different ways. Different web browsers display error 501 messages differently. Despite this, they all have the same meaning. For instance, below is a list of many different variations that users might get if they encounter a problem with the server:

  • 501 Not Implemented;
  • Error 501;
  • HTTP 501;
  • HTTP Error 501 Not implemented;
  • The server either does not recognize the request method;
  • The server lacks the ability to fulfill the request.

What is most often the cause of the error 501?

There are several reasons why you might get the 501 error code message when browsing. Below is a list of some of the most common causes of this error.

1. Viruses or malware

The presence of malware or viruses on your computer can adversely impact the systems functioning to a point that the web browser cannot establish a connection or communicate with the web server. In such a situation it is common for users to receive the Error 501 code displayed since the request cannot be fulfilled.

In such a case the real cause of the problem is not the server but the presence of malware in your computer that is affecting browser communication and connection. As such, you are advised to always carry out a complete security scan of your system to ensure that there are no security threats present that could be interfering with the web browser communication leading to this failure.

2. Server overload

Another common reason for receiving the error 501 message is when the server is overloaded. In normal instances, when there is an increase in the amount of traffic, communication between the web browser and the server is slower and has the potential to lead to a failure to fulfill the request.

When this happens, the server might return the error 501 message. If this is identified as the problem that is causing the server to not fulfill the request, it is vital to locate the sources of the high volume of web traffic. The source of the increased web traffic can emanate from different sources including promotions, a large number of visits to the page.

It is essential to consider whether the increased traffic will remain constant. Once this has been determined, it is easy to determine whether it is necessary to add more efficient server hosting services or not.

3. Expired server software

There is also a probability that the source for the error 501 message is due to expired server software. Although this alternative is not a very common source for the 501 error message, it is still viewed as a possibility.

The reason why this might be the cause of the error message is that providers tend to keep their software up to date. However, it is not impossible that some fault may have occurred or that the environment is really out of date.

Despite its rarity, this can be one of the causes for the error 501 message especially for providers that offer very cheap or free services. In such a case, the best option is to contact the provider so that they can analyze the environment or migrate the site to a highly reliable provider.

4. Other possible causes

Another probable cause that might be causing the server to not respond properly could be due to incorrect configuration on the server. The reason for this can be due to software updates, or changes in the setting that could have been configured in the wrong way. The service provider must assess the situation thoroughly if all the other alternatives provided for above were not able to resolve the situation.

What does the site owner need to do to fix this 501 Not Implemented?

  1. The first step is to try and update the server.
  2. After updating the server, the next step should be to either reboot your server or restart the web server service.
  3. If the error is still present after the two steps above, try and update your web application. Web platforms like WordPress usually receive frequent updates that can be run through the dashboard. If it is possible to access the dashboard through the web interface without running into the 501 error, you are highly encouraged to run the update.
  4. It is important to also look for any missing modules for your web server. There are numerous modules within the servers that serve different purposes including compatibility. These modules are vital for and unique to different programming languages such as PHP, Python, and Ruby. Once you have identified the programming language that your site is using, it is important to make sure that you have all the modules that are required.
  5. The final step is to check the server logs. It is important to check to see if it is possible to determine the cause of the 501 Error based on what the server is logging.

What should the user do if he saw such an error?

As a user, it is impossible for you to fix the problem. However, there are several things that you can try and see whether you can resolve the problem from your side. Some of the things that you can do from your side include.

1. Check your VPN or proxy

If you are using a VPN or a proxy to access the internet, there is always a chance that you might come across the 501 errors message. As such, it is vital to check your VPN settings and make sure everything is set as required. You can also try visiting other sites to check if you will see the same errors.

You can also try swapping the server locations and check to see if the problem has been resolved. It is also important to check if the routed traffic is making it to the end via a traceroute. If you are using a proxy server, the first step is to disable it. Immediately afterward, observe if the server can complete the request after the new changes to the settings.

2. Reload the page

You can reload the page. This is the first step to take when you encounter such errors while browsing. If the error was something like a glitch or fluke, then the webpage will give you an option to resubmit your application or request. You can also use keyboard shortcuts such CTRL (or CMD) +SHIFT + R to reload it again.

3. Clear your browser cache

Although this is an old and somewhat outdated method, it can assist you to clear the 501 error. This process is more than even bypassing the cache. When the stock is removed, everything starts on a clean slate. As such if any files were hindering the servers from loading at your end, the files would now be cleared, and the error may have been resolved.

4. Reach out to support

Finally, if all of the alternatives mentioned above do not work, you reach out to support for assistance. Find out who the website owner is because, at the backend, they may not know that something is missing or the website has issues on the frontend.

Once they receive the request from the user, the owner may be in a position to check the cause of the error and resolve it. it is also possible for the owner of the server to contact the hosts if the problem is emanating from the host side. The support has numerous options that they can use to resolve the error.

5. Perform a virus scan

Other available methods that you can use include performing a comprehensive virus scan. This can help to remove any virus or malware in the system that might be causing this error. To carry out a successful virus scan, you need to have an antivirus or antimalware that is up to date.

Once this is in place, proceed and conduct a full scan. The product should also have a quarantine feature to ensure that it will be neutralized entirely if there is an identification. Whenever you encounter the 501 Error, it has to be fixed to enable the flow of data from both ends.

Reasons for fixing the 501 error

There are several reasons you have to fix this error. For instance, any type of error that hinders the end-users from accessing a particular website or platform has to be fixed immediately. This is because the page or the website will go down, and you won’t be able to access the service.

When dealing with a company website, if the error is affecting the users, it needs to be fixed immediately since any sort of downtime could be detrimental for the company. This is not a good sign for the company since it will lose its customers. Secondly, the loss of this web page will negatively impact the SEO strategy since Google is always crawling the web page pages for indexing.

So, whenever it tries to access the website and find it is unavailable, it will return the same error. Lastly, Google uses cached pages to index them, and if the problem remains unresolved for a long time, the website will lose its position in the search results. Google algorithm will perceive that the website or web page is no longer available, and the website will end up losing its ranking. This is detrimental to the DMS (Digital Marketing Strategy).

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