Critical errors damage your website’s credibility, usability and accessibility. You should carry out regular audits so you can an easily find and fix issues as soon as they arise. In this article, we show you how you can find and fix your website’s critical issues.
When a website grows quickly, and changes and modifications are constantly made, the probability of errors is always higher. Depending on the type and frequency of the errors, the accessibility and usability of your website can be severely restricted. If your website errors remain unsolved, you can expect a loss in rankings, and therefore visibility. If your users don't enjoy using your site, this will send negative signals to Google, and this will be reflected in the SERPs.
An important part of website optimization is therefore to detect critical errors and correct them as quickly as possible. The most common critical errors include server errors, broken pages, and broken images. With the Ryte Suite, you can easily find these errors in the report, "Critical Errors".
You can access the report directly when you open the Ryte Dashboard:
Figure 1: Critical error report in the Dashboard
You can get to the report with one click from the dashboard. To reach the report from the navigation, click on "Website Success" and then on "Critical Errors".
Figure 2: Critical error report in "Website Success"
The report is simple and intuitive. Firstly, the errors are displayed in the form of a bar chart. Below, the affected URLs are listed with the respective error.
Click on the respective bar to analyze a certain category of errors.
This report shows you the most important errors that limit the functionality, accessibility and usability of your website. These errors can then significantly affect the visibility and performance of your website. The report shows you the following errors:
All error messages with the status code 4xx indicate a problem with an incorrect request by a client. For example, the requested document cannot be found by the server (404 not found) or the server denies access (status code 401). The server might also output the code 401. In this case, the resource has been deleted or is no longer available. An accumulation of 4xx errors can lead to a negative user experience, resulting in increased bounce rates and a short dwell time. For Google, these negative user signals can indicate poor website quality.
A 5xx status code indicates a server error. The user or the Googlebot then receives this error message and cannot access your page. The usability and crawlability of your web project are therefore strongly affected, which can have a negative effect on your rankings or even the indexing of your URLs. You can also monitor the availability of your server with Ryte. You can find the report "Server Monitoring" in the Website Success Tool.
Images increase the usability and attractiveness of a website. If these images are missing or if a client can no longer access them, functionality and user friendliness are restricted. For Google, defective images, similar to inaccessible links, can be an indication of a poorly maintained page and a poor user experience. The result could be a downgrade of your website.
Although search engines are now able to read data from Flash files, very few browsers automatically support this file standard. The majority of mobile phones and tablets cannot display Flash at all. If Flash files are used on a website or the entire website is even based on Flash, this means a very negative user experience for the majority of visitors. For Google, Flash pages mean a very low text-to-code ratio, which ultimately makes the site of inferior quality.
So now you’ve found your critical errors, how can you go about fixing them? If the report "Critical errors" shows 404 errors, you should first check whether your server delivers the correct page in this case. Then you could redirect the pages concerned to a more current or suitable URL via 301 redirect. It also makes sense to have an individually designed 404 error page that encourages your users to stay on your website. Here we have presented a few solutions for 404 pages.
If there are errors with the server, there are different possibilities about how to go about solving the problems. Firstly, you can check the configuration of the .htaccess file. Errors in the text file can lead to possible 301 forwarding or other instructions not working and to server errors with the code 5xx. However, incorrect configurations on the server are also possible. If you do not maintain your server yourself, you should contact your webhoster if your server is frequently unavailable.
If browsers or the Googlebot can't find images, the link to the image source is often broken or the corresponding resource is no longer available. With the image report in Website Success, you can check the status codes that output your picture files.
Figure 3: Image report in Website Success
Now check the links of the defective images. Maybe you Have you moved image files to another folder? Or have you renamed image files? In this case, you should correct the links set to the images on your website.
If your page is based on Flash, we recommend switching to HTML. This allows you to design your site responsively for all end devices and to optimize it perfectly for search engines and users. You can now replace individual Flash elements with HTML5.
Websites are dynamic entities that require appropriate technology to function. Problems with the server or unreachable URLs and resources can always occur. It is important that you recognize them early. With the Ryte Critical Error Report, you have the right tool to quickly find and fix the most serious website errors, ensuring your users have a happy experience on your website.
Find and fix your critical website errors with Ryte FREETry it now!
Published on 10/18/2018 by Olivia Willson.
Who writes here
After studying at King’s College London, Olivia moved to Munich, where she joined the Ryte team in 2017. She is in charge of product marketing and CRO, and also helps out with SEO and content marketing. When she's not working, you can usually find her outside, either running around a track, or hiking up a mountain.
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