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What is 504 gateway timeout error? 8 ways to fix it

Wonder what it means when you get a ‘504 Gateway Timeout Error’ when you try to access a website on your browser? Read on to find out.

504 gateway timeout error occurs when your browser isn’t able to make a connection to the server to retrieve the requested information.

Some nodes (connecting points) exist between your computer and the server of the website you are trying to access, thus forming a chain linked to the website’s server as the destination.

If any of these nodes connecting your device to the end server fail to get a reply from any one of them in the chain within a specific period, the browser fails to fetch the information and a 504 gateway error is displayed.

This time period to fetch data is pre-defined so that when you aren’t able to access the website in case, its server is down, your computer doesn’t send continuous requests to establish a connection – thereby saving time, effort and resources.

Also read: Why do you get a 403 forbidden error? 6 ways to fix it

How 504 error might be displayed to you

The error is shown in different formats in depending on your browser. The most common methods by which the 504 error is displayed on browsers include:

  • 504 Gateway Timeout Error
  • Gateway Timeout (504)
  • HTTP Error 504 – Gateway Timeout
  • HTTP 504

8 ways to fix the 504 gateway timeout error

If you’ve received the error while trying to access the browser, you can try to fix it via any of the following six methods.

Refresh the web page

What is 404 not found error? 5 ways you can fix the error

Often a more helpful resort than most (and simpler too), instead of panicking on coming across to the 504 error, try to refresh the page first. It’s a possibility that the data packets did not traverse the required route properly or was lost during the travel.

Check proxy server settings

It’s possible that the request may have gone via a proxy through the browser that caused the 504 error to appear. Disable the Proxy server for LAN and Automatically detect settings options in the Advanced tab of the Settings menu and try to reaccess the site.

You might also like: Want to create your own VPN? Jigsaw’s Outline might be the answer

Restart all network devices

What is 504 gateway timeout error? 8 ways to fix it
Photo by Misha Feshchak

There may be some temporary issues in your modem, router or switch that may cause the 504 error to appear. Restart all of these and if the problem persists, try going for the next step.

Ensure the domain can be found

Look up the site’s IP on DNSMap and check if the server is active or not. This is effective in terms of actually displaying which network device present in the route to the destination server is down or malfunctioning.

Contact the webmaster and ISP

If you have detected for sure that the site’s server is down, you can contact the webmaster in charge of the site. You can try to contact them via the contact details given on their website, and if there’s no access to that either, you can reach out to them on their social media profiles and let them know about it.

If you have noticed that the server in your network is down, you can contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and ask them to resolve the issue.

Also read: How to use Ping command to test your internet network

Try later

When all fails, just wait. Be patient and try to access the site later on. It may be possible that the website is being accessed by many people at once and the server is not equipped to handle so many requests.  It may also be the case that the site is under a DoS attack and hence cannot cater to your request or the site is just under routine maintenance.  So try accessing the site later on.

If your site that is showing the 504 error

Check with your Hosting provider

If your website is undergoing a DoS or DDoS attack, your host provider will immediately notify about the same, but in case they don’t, you can check in with them about the problem. If there’s too much traffic on your site, you can upgrade your web hosting plan.

Disable CDN

The CDN option is used to decrease the burden on your server by replicating your data on different servers. It is convenient, but it may be the reason due to which you get the 504 gateway error. Disable the CDN option from your dashboard on the CDN provider’s website and check if the problem persists.

The mentioned tips should most definitely help you get rid of the 504 gateway error and let you get back to accessing the website with ease.

Also read: What is 404 not found error? 5 simple ways you can fix the error


Featured image by Descrier | Flickr


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