Have you ever seen the 401 error code on any website? It could even be happening on your WordPress website as well.
In case you are having issues with this 401 error code on other website, there isn’t much that you can do, but in case you own the WordPress website, you will have to do a bit so that no user suffers from this error.
What does the 401 error code mean?
Before you go ahead and start fixing 401 errors you have to ensure that you know about it.
Well, 401 error code is nothing but an HTTP status code which means it’s generated against some unauthorized access to a particular server page.
Apart from the fact that a particular client browser is unable to authenticate, it can also be caused by certain pages requiring user side validation.
But normally whenever there is a 401 error, you can presume that there is a problem in client side web browser and there is least chance that you have a problem in your WordPress site.
What causes the 401 error code?
So, what are reasons that might cause 401 error code to occur? Here are some of the reasons that might be causing the issue:
Wrong URL: In case the URL you entered is wrong, it might come up with the 401 error code.
Just ensure that you have entered a correct URL and it should work fine.
Login Credential: For some websites, you might need to login to access certain pages.
In case you are not logged in, it might show you 401 error code.
In this kind of situation you have to make sure that you have the right credential with you to enter the specific page.
False Login: This issue normally shows up 401 error code when a WordPress website page hassome issues on the admin side.
It will ask you login although that page is not login specific.
DNS issues: In case there is a problem in DNS, it might show 401 error code too. But this type of issue is not that common.
Firewall Problems: Many of us use firewall Plugins on WordPress.
As an admin you might think it fitting to use one but it might block an unsecure connection just to protect your site and will show 401 error code to the user for malicious activities.
Plugin Issues: While building a WordPress site, you will have to use Plugins.
But what if some of the Plugins start malfunctioning, it will certainly come up with the 401 error code for the users.
How can you fix 401 error code in your WordPress site?
Mostly 401 error codes are gone if you refresh your web browser. But in case it does not work even after refreshing, here is what you can do:
Check Your URL
It’s quite possible for the browser to come up with the 401 error code in case you enter the URL wrong.
In case you have clicked on a link that’s completely outdated and the page does not exist anymore, it might show up the same error code as well.
So the best thing to do will be to check with the URL spelling mistake or the link you clicked and then refresh again.
Clear Cookies and Cache
Cache plays in important part in loading websites quickly.
Apart from that it also stores an offline image of the website which allows you to view a particular page even when the particular page is not live.
Sometimes cookies tend to store your login information as well which is used to get you logged in to a certain page.
In case the cache overlaps the live version, it might come up with an HTTP error code.
Similarly, in case cookies get corrupted, it will stop you from getting authenticated as well which will lead to the HTTP error.
Plugins are used to control your WordPress websites in a better and efficient way which means they control your website functionality as well.
In some cases Plugins tend to do this on purpose.
For example a Plugin installed for security purpose will lock down your website in case it detects any unauthorized entry.
In this kind of case the users will face the 401 error code.
To sort out this kind of problem you have deactivate the Plugin to make your website live again but the best practice will be to contact their support and try to understand the issue so as to stop this sort of problem in the future.
In some cases a Plugin might stop working and result in an HTTP error due to version mismatch or incompatibility.
Solution to deal with this kind of situation will be to first deactivate the plugin from the back end.
Many developers prefer to use .htacess files to restrict users access to certain WordPress pages.
It will ask for id and password to view certain pages otherwise your user will have 401 error code.
Removing the password protection will allow your users to view the pages without any error code.
Flush the DNS
Sometimes due to DNS related errors you might also encounter 401 error code. The only way to fix this is by flushing your DNS.
To do so you need to follow the following steps:
- Login to your machine as Administrator
- Open Command Prompt from the Program list
- Once you have the cursor type “ipconfigflushdns”
This will do the trick for the users using Windows Operating System. For the users using Mac OS, the command will be “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder”.
Normally 401 error occurs due to browser authentication error but as you can understand, in case you own a WordPress site, you might want to check the site and server before you can leave it to your users.
Just remember what you have to do as an admin of a website and your WordPress website should be back on track in no time at all.