What is an HTTP 405 Error and How Can You Fix It

4 min. read

An HTTP 405 Error indicates that the server has rejected the specific HTTP method the web browser is using. Learn why it can appear on your site and how to quickly fix it without damaging your online reputation.

There's nothing more frustrating for a consumer who seeks instant gratification to come across an error on your site. If instead of finding the information they need, they come across a page that says ERROR, chances are the large majority of consumers will leave your site. 


But apart from consumers quickly leaving, you can also experience devastating effects on your conversion rates. 


Not to mention that search engines care about bounce rates as well.


One error that can appear on your site and cause frustration in consumers is the HTTP 405 error. 


Unfortunately, the error has an air of mystique around it. Besides telling you that something has gone wrong, it doesn't give you a more detailed explanation.


The good news is that with a little research and effort from your site, you can quickly pinpoint the core of the problem and fix it before you notice a drop in engagement and sales. 


In this post, we'll talk about what is an HTTP 405 error, why it can appear on your site, and tips for how to fix it. Let's dive in! 


What Does HTTP 405 Mean?

HTTP 405 is an HTTP response status code. There are five classes of HTTP response status codes. They all inform a user whether a specific HTTP request has been successfully completed. The five core status codes include:


  • 1xx status codes: Informational requests

  • 2xx status codes: Successful requests

  • 3xx status codes: Redirects

  • 4xx status codes: Client errors

  • 5xx status codes: Server errors  


The 405 Method Not Allowed error message is a client error, which indicates that something on the client-side of things is the issue.


An HTTP 405 Error indicates that a web browser has requested access to one of your pages, and your web server has recognized the request. However, the server has rejected the specific HTTP method it's using. As a result, your web browser can't access the requested web page.


When this happens, your visitors will see an error web page, like the ones shown in the examples below: 


HTTP 405 Error Name Variations

Different web servers, operating systems, and browsers display the error differently. It's important to note that the cause of the issue may also vary from one server to another.


The most common ways how an HTTP 405 Error can appear to consumers include:


  • HTTP Error 405 - Method Not Allowed

  • HTTP 405 Method Not Allowed

  • 405 Not Allowed

  • Method Not Allowed

  • HTTP Error 405


Regardless of how the error appears, whether that is as HTTP Error 405 or Method Not Allowed, the trouble is the same, and that is that it's difficult to fix. You know that something is wrong but have no clue what that may be. The burden is on you to find the core of the issue and fix it before it does irreparable damage.


How Do I Fix an Error 405?

Check the URL

The first thing you need to do when you see an Error 405 on your site is to check whether you typed the right URL.


Take a closer look at the URL and see if it contains all the correct letters. If the URL contains any special characters, ensure they're correctly inserted. 


While you're at it, you may also try refreshing the page. You may find that refreshing the page can prompt it to load correctly.


If you're confident that you typed the correct URL but are still seeing an error, proceed with rolling back recent upgrades.


Rollback Recent Upgrades

A large portion of websites are hosted on a CMS like WordPress or Wix. You may discover that a recent upgrade to the system may be the root cause of the issue.


Try and think when you first noticed the 405 error on your site. Was it right after you updated the CMS? If this is the case, then consider rolling back to the previous version. 


Uninstall New Extensions, Modules, or Plugins

Extensions and plugins may be great at improving the capabilities of your website, but they can also cause severe damage. 


Some extensions can take full control of your system and make changes to any code, including PHP, CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and your database. In this case, it's recommended to uninstall any new extensions you've recently added to your system. 


If you need help uninstalling the extension, simply do a quick Google search to find the official documentation for the process. 


Double-Check Your Database Changes

Sometimes, even if you uninstall an extension, the changes that extension made to the system may not be fully reverted. 


There are some extensions, particularly on the WordPress CMS, that have a carte blanche within the application, which includes full access to the database. An extension may modify database records that don't belong to the extension itself but are instead created and managed by other extensions. When this happens, the extension may not know how to revert alterations to the database records, leading to the extension ignoring such things during uninstallation. 


The best thing you can do 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 try to find people who have experienced the same issue to see how they handled the problem.


Check the Configuration Files for Your Web Server

If double-checking database changes didn't help, try checking 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. After you locate the .htaccess file, open it in a text editor and look for lines that use RewriteXXX directives. In case you come across any strange RewriteCond or RewriteRule directives, try temporarily commenting them out using the # character prefix. Restart your web server and see if the issue is resolved. 


If you're using nginx, you need to check the nginx.conf file. The file is located in one of a few common directories: /usr/local/nginx/conf, /etc/nginx, or /usr/local/etc/nginx. Once you locate the file, open it in a text editor and search for directives that are using the 405 response code flag. Comment out any abnormalities and then restart the server to see if the issue was resolved.


Check the Application Logs

The application logs contain your website's history, 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 405 errors. Hopefully, you'll determine what's the root cause of the problem.


Debug Your Application Code or Scripts

If you tried all the things from above and nothing worked, it might be time to see whether a problem in some custom code within your application is the reason for the error. 


You can make a diagnosis by manually debugging your application and parsing through your application and server logs. 


Make a copy of the application to a local development machine and do a step-by-step debugging process. You will manage to recreate the exact scenario in which the 405 Method Not Allowed occurred and view the application code when something goes wrong.


Final Word

Every website owner must understand all the types of HTTP status codes. Whether that's a 404 Error or 502 bad gateway, knowing what these errors represent can save your business. 


That's why we've put together this comprehensive HTTP status code cheat sheet that you use to learn about the different types of status codes and their meaning.


And after you're done with learning all about the HTTP status codes, make sure you invest in proper website maintenance services. Regular monitoring and maintenance will help keep your website error-free and its owner worry-free.

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