My wife was browsing an automotive site and came across this error message. This is a top 100 type web site (I’ll not embaress them by naming names). My wife had to laugh the message was so cryptic and cyber-geekish. Here’s a sample:

The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it.

Sounds pretty personal! (translation: “I hear you, but I refuse to listen”)

It is pretty easy to customize your web server error messages. It’s pretty embarrasing to have end users see text like this.



Error 403–Forbidden

From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1:

10.4.4 403 Forbidden

The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it. Authorization will not help and the request SHOULD NOT be repeated. If the request method was not HEAD and the server wishes to make public why the request has not been fulfilled, it SHOULD describe the reason for the refusal in the entity. This status code is commonly used when the server does not wish to reveal exactly why the request has been refused, or when no other response is applicable.