What does the gateway 504 timeout mean?

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The ERROR pages that we see appearing on websites can be frustrating and confusing.

Here we take a look at what exactly a 504 gateway timeout means …

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Error pages can be confusing and frustratingCredit: Alamy

What does the gateway 504 timeout mean?

A 504 gateway timeout means that your web servers are not communicating with each other quickly enough.

When you visit a website, your server sends a request to another server – the upstream server – where that site is hosted.

The server is what requests and responds with whatever is needed to load the website.

So when the server does not receive a fast enough response from the upstream server, the website cannot load.

This is when the 504 Gateway Timeout Error message appears on your screen.

Why does the error appear?

The 504 Gateway Timeout Errors notice does not indicate exactly what the problems were between the servers.

This means that it is sometimes difficult to decipher why the message appeared.

However, there are a few common possibilities.

Server connectivity issues

If a website’s server is down for maintenance, it might display a 504 Gateway Timeout Error page.

DNS changes

If a website has recently changed servers, it will make changes to its DNS server.

This could result in a 504 gateway timeout error page.

Faulty firewall configurations

Sometimes a faulty firewall configuration can cause it to reject requests from the server, resulting in a 504 gateway timeout error.

How do I resolve a 504 gateway timeout?

  • Check for server connectivity issues
  • Check DNS changes
  • Sift through your logs
  • Correct faulty firewall configurations.
  • Contact your host


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