The HTTP 504 error is a common phenomenon in the online world, not only for website visitors but website operators too. While the error message itself is very well known, the causes are not always entirely clear.
When a homepage is accessed, a process starts that runs through various stages. One of the aims of this is to reduce the load on the server and save time. If there is a problem at one of the stations, the end user is confronted with an error message.
The 504 Gateway Timeout error is an HTTP status code that indicates that the server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, has not received a timely response from an upstream server. Access is not possible and the request is not completed.
To put it simply, this means that the website has taken too long to load. This delay can have various causes, ranging from temporary network issues to longer-term server-side difficulties.
The 504 Gateway Timeout error can appear in various formats, the most common of which include
These different terms are essentially synonyms and indicate the same problem. In some cases, the error message is made more specific to inform the user that the page could not be loaded in time due to a timeout.
Website or server operators have the option of customizing the display of the error message.
Class 5xx errors, which include the 504 error, not only affect the immediate user experience, but can also have a significant impact on the SEO ranking of a website. Search engines, above all Google, negatively evaluate prolonged inactivity due to 504 errors and can downgrade the ranking of the website accordingly.
In an emergency, the page can be deleted from the search results. In principle, the longer the page is inaccessible, the more serious the consequences. It is therefore essential to identify and rectify the error quickly in order to avoid possible effects on visibility in search engines.
If a request cannot be processed by a server or an interface within a defined period of time, the error message occurs. The causes of the 504 error are complex and can range from temporary to longer-lasting problems.
If you are confronted with the 504 error, it is unfortunately not clear what has caused it. The first option for end users is try to access other websites – if the timeout error is also displayed, the cause may be the home network. If the messages remain even after trying to refresh the page, it is possible to restart or reset the local network devices.
If the issue persists, you can ask your Internet provider about updates.
Measures for website operators: