What is a 504 Gateway Timeout Error (and How Can I Fix It)?

What is a 504 Gateway Timeout Error (and How Can I Fix It)?

A 504 Gateway Timeout Error happens when a server that was attempting to load a web page did not get a response in time from another server. Almost always, the error is on the website itself, and there’s nothing you can do about it but try again later. Still, there are a few quick things you can try on your end.

What Is a 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

A 504 Gateway Timeout Error indicates that a web server attempting to load a page for you did not get a timely response from another server from which it requested information. It’s called a 504 error because that’s the HTTP status code that the web server uses to define that kind of error. The error can occur for a number of reasons, but the two most common reasons are that the server is overwhelmed with requests or is having maintenance performed on it.

Website designers can customize how a 504 error page looks. So, you might see different looking 504 pages on different websites. Websites might also use slightly different names for this error. For example, you might see things like:

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

An important thing to remember is that the 504 error is a server-side error. That means the problem exists with the website you’re trying to access, and not with your computer. That’s both good and bad news. It’s good news because there’s nothing wrong with your computer, and it’s bad news because there’s usually nothing you can do to solve the problem from your end.

Nonetheless, here are few quick things you can try.

Refresh the Page

As we mentioned, a 505 error indicates a temporary problem, and sometimes that problem is very temporary. A site might be getting overwhelmed with traffic, for example. So, refreshing the page is always worth a shot. Most browsers use the F5 key to refresh, and also provide a Refresh button somewhere on the address bar. It doesn’t fix the problem very often, but it takes just a second to try.


Warning: Be sure to pay extra attention if the error occurs while you’re making a payment. Refreshing the page might get you charged twice, so keep an eye out for that.


Check If the Site Is Down For Other People

Whenever you fail to reach a site (for whatever reason), you can also check if it’s just you that’s having a problem connecting, or if other people are having the same trouble. There are lots of tools out there for this, but our favorites are isitdownrightnow.com and downforeveryoneorjustme.com. Both work pretty much the same. Plug in the URL you want to check, and you’ll get a result like this.

If you get a report saying the site is down for everyone, there’s not much you can do but try again later. If the report shows that the site is up, then the problem might be on your end. It’s very rare this is the case with a 504 error, but it is possible, and you can try some of the things we describe in the next couple of sections.

Restart Your Devices

So, you’ve used a site checking tool and determined that the site is just down for you. And, you’ve tested another browser and are having the same problem. This tells you the problem is likely something on your end, but it’s not your browser.

It is possible that there are some strange, temporary issues with your computer or your networking equipment (Wi-Fi, router, modem, etc.). A simple restart of your computer and your networking devices might help fix the problem.

Another possibility is that the error is caused by a DNS issue but on a DNS server rather than your computer. In that case, you can try switching DNS servers and seeing whether the problem gets resolved.



Contact the Website

Another option is to contact the website owner directly. Look up their contact information on the website and contact them about the page in question. If there is no contact form, you can try and reach the website on their social media.


Try Again Later

If you’ve tried all the solutions outlined above but are still getting a 504 error, then the only solution left is to wait and try later. Since the problem is not with your computer, there are only a limited number of solutions that you can try. Chances are, the people responsible are already on it and will have it fixed soon.

Check back with the website in some time. There is a good chance that the error will be resolved by then.

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