What’s an HTTP 302 Error Code? And How to Fix It

Posted on September 18, 2023 | Updated on January 22, 2024

If your webpage displays an HTTP 302 error code, you should fix it as soon as possible so visitors can continue to access your website. Here’s why you might be getting the error code and what you can do to fix it.

What Does an HTTP 302 Error Code Mean? 

An HTTPS 302 error code is a sign your page isn’t redirecting properly, preventing visitors from getting to the location you’re trying to send them to. You can get it when you attempt to visit a resource that you’ve moved or when your redirect attempt doesn’t work. 

Typically, HTTPS 302 is a handy way to temporarily redirect visitors when you perform site maintenance, display different pages to target demographics or want to carry over your link juice. However, if you see an error code, it isn’t performing as it should. 

Does an HTTP 302 Error Code Affect SEO?

Luckily, an HTTP 302 error code doesn’t directly impact SEO since search engines view it as a routine, temporary change. Google won’t deindex the original page, so it retains its ranking and domain authority. However, this may pose a problem if you want to genuinely redirect visitors. 

Although your website’s SEO remains relatively unaffected, you can’t improve it at all as long as the error is present. A 302 redirect is only supposed to be temporary, so it’s best to fix any issues immediately.

Users may grow frustrated over getting the error rather than the page they wish to visit. If they are long-time customers, they might go back to the home page, search and find the correct location. However, they could also grow aggravated and bounce to a competitor’s site.

Newer users aren’t likely to go to the effort of searching for the right page. They are more likely to just leave and never return. While 302 errors don’t directly impact SEO for search engines, they do impact the conversion rates of your website.

Since HTTP 302 causes Google to continue indexing the original page, the new URL doesn’t receive the link juice. If you intend for the redirect to contribute to your website’s SEO, you must readjust it. 

Why Are You Getting an Error Code? 

Misconfigurations, plugin conflicts, redirection issues, and server incompatibilities can be why you get an error code. 

Here are some common causes of an HTTPS 302 error code: 

Plugins

WordPress has nearly 60,000 plugins on its official site. While people often use one to help redirect visitors, it won’t work properly if it conflicts with other tools or has incorrect settings.

One of your first steps to attempt a resolution of a 302 should be to disable plugins and see if the problem still occurs. Start enabling the plugins one at a time, checking between each activation to see if the site throws the code again.

Settings Misconfiguration

Misconfigurations in your website or URL settings can confuse the server, causing a 302 error. Start by looking at your redirect code. If you’re using a WordPress plugin for redirects, check the settings to make sure there aren’t any typos.

Did you spell the page name correctly? Is the domain name and extension the way it should be? What happens when you type in the address for the new page? If you type it into a browser window and get an error, the problem could be in the address rather than the redirect command.

Redirect Loops

Accidentally setting a page to redirect away and then back to itself creates an infinite loop that servers can’t handle, causing an error code to appear. The best way to fix redirect loops is to turn back to your code.

Start by clearing your browser cookies to make sure it isn’t causing the error. Next, clear your WordPress cache. Double check HTTPS settings for issues or typos. Pause and restart redirects and test again.

Web Hosting Provider

While error codes beginning with “4” stem from end-user complications, the 302 code occurs because something went wrong with the web server host. Sometimes, the hosting provider has technical issues that are the cause.

If you’re tried other troubleshooting and the issue persists, reach out to your hosting provider and ask if they see any issues on their end. An excellent company will offer ideas to help you find the bug and know how to handle similar issues in the future.

Server Logs

Since browsers keep records of every action on the servers, they sometimes accidentally retain incompatible changes, causing an error. Server logs may also show you a pattern and path of the error and help you isolate the problem.

While there are many reasons why a 302 error code could appear, these are the most common. Luckily, all of the solutions are relatively straightforward.

How to Fix an HTTP 302 Error Code

Use one of these methods to fix your 302 error. Some solutions may differ since WordPress websites have multiple hosting options, web server types, and plugins.

1. Deactivate Plugins and Themes

Misconfigurations or incompatibility in plugins and themes can sometimes cause HTTP 302 errors. If you deactivate them all and your website suddenly works as it should, turn each off one at a time until you find which one causes the issue. 

2. Clear Server Logs

You must clear your logs to fix incompatibilities with server logs. To do so, log into your admin account with cPanel or hPanel and remove them. If you want to manually clear browser logs on WordPress, use the WP_DEBUG PHP constant. 

It should be set to “define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, false );” by default for security reasons, so you must change it to “define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true );” to begin. From there, you can access the error log and make adjustments.

3. Check the Validity of Redirects

If your page displays “ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS,” it’s in a redirect loop. You create one when you direct a visitor away from a page and then bring them back. It’s a straightforward fix, as you only need to verify the domain name and URL spelling is correct. 

You can also get an HTTP 302 error if you accidentally redirect visitors to the wrong location. The fix is the same, as you simply must ensure everything is correct. On WordPress, go to the dashboard, navigate to Settings, and click “General.” Make sure the “Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)” fields match and are correct. 

4. Check Software Compatibility

HTTP 1.0 Request for Comment (RFC) is an important internet standard that controls when pages display a 302 code. Websites are supposed to ask visitors to accept the redirect, but they sometimes proceed without confirmation. This automatic redirection creates server issues, causing the error code. 

The newer version — HTTP 1.1 RFC — utilizes 303 and 307 codes as a workaround and can handle “POST” and “GET” responses. Ensure your software is compatible with HTTP 1.1 to fix your 302 error code. Be mindful that this method may affect your SEO since most SERPs don’t index pages with a 307 redirect like they do a 302 version.

5. Check Website Server Configuration

Since a website-server misconfiguration can cause an HTTPS 302 error to appear, you must ensure you’ve configured everything properly. Use a control panel or FTP client to access the root directory and open the “.htaccess” file. 

Apache web server users must look for the “RewriteRule” and “RewriteCond” directives. If the “RewriteRule” line displays “[R=302]” at the end, it’s telling the browser to perform a temporary redirect. 

Nginx web server users need to find the “nginx.conf” file and rewrite the redirection directives. You can adjust these directives here to fix the issue. To be safe, save a backup before making changes.

6. Restore the Website from a Backup

Since an HTTPS 302 error code can come from a malicious redirection attempt or misconfigurations, a backup restoration is a straightforward cure-all. You should be in the clear as long as you restore from an iteration that doesn’t have the issue. 

Ideally, your web hosting provider keeps backups daily. Your job is to figure out when the last time was the redirect worked appropriately and restore to that point. Alternatively, you can also restore to before you created the redirect and recode it from scratch.

7. Change to a Direct Link

If you’re still struggling with the redirect, consider changing to a direct link to the new page and later changing back. Whether your new link is permanent and you were just trying to maintain SEO for an old page or you are temporarily directing visitors to a page, it’s better to lose a bit of momentum than send users to a faulty page.

Going to a direct link model may even save time. You’ll no longer have to spend countless hours troubleshooting a 302 error. The user goes directly to where you wish them to be. You can always restore the redirect later.

Changing to a direct link approach is beneficial if you know you’ll get a lot of traffic during a special sale or promotion.

8. Contact Your Hosting Provider

If the HTTP 302 error code persists despite all of your attempts to fix it, the issue may require an expert’s technical insight. Contacting your web host provider is the best approach when all else fails — especially considering they may be causing the issue. 

Depending on your plan, you may have to pay a support fee. You can also hire professional developers on gig sites. Pay close attention to reviews to ensure you find someone experienced in fixing the problem you’re having and who is safe and reliable.

Even if the developer comes with rave reviews, it’s a good idea to give them their own login and disable it after they fix your issue or delete their administrator privileges. Trusting your site to an outsider can be scary.

Can You Prevent HTTP 302 Errors?

You can double-check your work whenever you reconfigure or redesign your website to prevent future HTTP 302 errors from appearing. Once you fix it, make a backup so you have something to compare any future issues against. You must back up your website with a plugin, a control panel, or an FTP client since WordPress doesn’t automatically perform backups for you.

Although no method guarantees you will never get an error code again since a web-server miscommunication can be entirely out of your control, you can significantly reduce the chances of it reoccurring with the correct methods.

Prevent Future Error Codes

Although fixing your HTTPS 302 error code can be tricky, preventing it from happening again is very straightforward. Since you know what caused it in the first place, you can keep an eye out and prevent it from happening again.

Related Posts

About The Author

Cooper Adwin is the Assistant Editor of Designerly Magazine. With several years of experience as a social media manager for a design company, Cooper particularly enjoys focusing on social and design news and topics that help brands create a seamless social media presence. Outside of Designerly, you can find Cooper playing D&D with friends or curled up with his cat and a good book.

Leave a Comment