What Is a 410 Gone Error and How to Fix It

4.5 min. read

Website owners know that a great number of errors lurk on the internet. Some of them are server-side, while others are client-side errors.
But there's another type of client-side error that keeps online business owners like yourself awake at night and chases away visitors. It's the 410 Gone error, and it's as damaging for your site as all the other HTTP errors. This is everything you should know about it and tips for how to fix it.

What Is a 410 Error Message?

As we've mentioned earlier, the 4xx status codes are client errors. Meaning, something that is happening on the client-side of things is the issue. It might be unauthorized access, a mistake in the request, or an incorrect data format.


The HTTP Status Code 410 Gone is similar to the 404 error, but it's more straightforward. In a sense, it's a more permanent version of 404. How is that? The 404 error means that the page you wanted to access on a website is not currently found on the server, but it could be found in the future. In the case of a 410 error, the resource is truly gone, and you won't be able to access it in the future. It's no longer available on the server, and no redirect was used to lead the user to another page.


When Google encounters a 410 error code, it processes it as a message from the Webmaster that says: Hey, this page is really gone and is not coming back."


Some webmasters prefer using the 410 HTTP status code over 404 to explicitly tell Google that they've permanently removed a page from a site. Consequently, Google will stop crawling the page. On the other hand, many webmasters don't recommend using a 410 status code and suggest better alternatives like a no-index tag.


How Can a 410 Error Appear?

The 410 error code can appear in a range of different ways. The different messages often depend on the web server, specific website, and browser. Although it can appear in different ways, all the messages have the same meaning. Here are the most common ways:

  • 410 Gone

  • Gone

  • Error 410

  • HTTP Status 410

How Do I Diagnose and Fix an Error 410?

Although a 410 error is a server-side issue, it's sometimes possible that the issue is on the client-side of things. Here are a few possible scenarios and tips for how to fix the error.

Client-side errors

A wrong URL

In most cases, a 410 error is due to a wrongly entered URL. Although, in this case, a client is supposed to get a 404 error, it's possible to receive a 410 error if there existed a resource at that URL during a given time and the server was configured to return a 410 status code for that resource.

Platform changes

The majority of websites are managed on a Content Management System (CMS) like Wix and WordPress. A recent upgrade or installation you made to the platform may be the root cause of the issue. 


If you recently updated the CMS and then started experiencing the 410 error, consider rolling back to the previous version. In the same way, if you upgraded certain extensions or modules before the error appeared, consider reverting back to previous versions.


Sometimes, a new extension you installed can be the issue. Some extensions can take full control of the system and make any changes to any code, including PHP, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and to your database. In this case, it's recommended to uninstall any new extensions.


Database changes

Do you know that uninstalling an extension doesn't guarantee that changes made by the extension have been fully reverted? Some extensions, especially on the WordPress platform, have a carte blanche within the application, including full access rights to the database. Some extensions can modify database records, even those that don't belong to the extension, but that is created and managed by other extensions. 


The best course of action in this scenario is to open the database and manually comb through tables and records that might have been modified by the extension. Or, you can do a quick research and find people who have experienced the same issue to see how they handled the problem.


Server-side errors

Check the configuration files for your web server

If you're certain that the issue is not on the client-side of things, the first thing you want to do is to check the configuration files for your web server software for unintentional redirect instructions.


Your application is either running on Apache or nginx web servers. If you're using Apache, you need to check both the apache server configuration file and the .htaccess file. If you're using nginx, you need to check the nginx.conf file. 


After you locate the files, do a search for 410 errors and see if anything appears. If it does, you need to modify it. You either want to remove it entirely if you don't need the status code or apply it to a specific page.


Check the application logs

The application logs contain the history of your website, including which pages were requested, which servers it connected to, and more. 


Opening the application logs can point you to the right direction of where the error might be originating from. 


The location of your application logs depends on the type of server you're using. Once you find them, run a search for 410 errors. Hopefully, you'll determine what's the root cause of the problem.


Final Word

To make things easier for you, we've written this comprehensive HTTP status code cheat sheet to help you understand the various types of status codes and what they mean. 

It's also important to note that, even if you fix the 410 error, the fact that you have detected one and took you a while to fix it, is an indication that you need a safer CMS for your website. 

Up until now, there hasn't been a reliable software integrated into a CMS platform that can detect and fix broken/invalid links automatically. Exai's new automatic fixer of invalid and broken links means no more manual work. Instead of manually looking and fixing broken/invalid links, the software will do it for you. This new functionality will be integrated into our CMS's software and will be part of our regular website hosting plan.


Get in touch with the team at Exai today and see why hundreds of small businesses decide to migrate their websites to the Exai platform every week. 


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