While accessing the browser, you must have encountered big three-digit codes on your screen that stop you from accessing a webpage. Right? These codes are nothing but HTTP status codes

They are indicative of the status of the request received by the server. 

Some of the most common ones are 200 OK, 301 Moved permanently, 404 Not Found, 500 Internal Server Error, and 304 status code. In this blog post, I will discuss the 304 status code and ways to fix it! 

Let’s begin! 

What is a HTTP Status Code?

A HTTP status code is a three-digit code that responds to a client’s HTTP request to the server. It simply shows the result of the request raised! 

Broadly, there are five categories of status codes, as mentioned below:

  • 1xx: Informational
  • 2xx: Success
  • 3xx: Redirection
  • 4xx: Client error
  • 5xx: Server error

What is HTTP 304 Status Code?

The HTTP 304 status code is a simple redirection response by the web browser. The server traces for modifications whenever a client requests any resource. If there are none, you will see the 304 Not Modified response from the server end on your screen. 

The developers can use the below-mentioned code to invoke this response:

HTTP/1.1 304 Not Modified

Date: Wed, 11 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT

Server: Apache/2.4.10 (Unix)

Connection: close

ETag: “abc123”

Importance of 304 Status Code

Multiple reasons make the 304 response quite important. Some of the key factors are listed below:

  • The status code is used to improve performance. When the server receives a request from the client, it checks for any modification compared to the last time the client accessed the resource. If there are no modifications, the server shows the user a 304 Not Modified response. How does it help? It minimizes the server load and results in fast web browsing. 
  • The 304 status code helps to reduce latency as it saves time while transferring the resource again. 
  • It reduces the server load and improves scalability.
  • Developers also use this status code to invoke content delivery networks for using the cached version of the resource. It helps to improve the efficiency of the content delivery network or CDN. 

In a nutshell, the 304 status code is essential to escalate scalability, provide an excellent user experience, and optimize the overall web performance! 

How To Fix the 304 Status Code?

If you are facing a situation where the 304 status code is unwanted, you can implement some methods. Here is a list:

1. Remove Caches

You can try removing the caches and cookies. There is a possibility that this status code occurs due to caching. Follow the below-mentioned steps to complete this process:

  • Go to the settings or history section and find the ‘Clear cache’ option. This will result in clearing your browser cache.
  • In case of a 304 status code, you can also try to disable the server cache. 
  • You can also try to use cache control headers. 


1. How to Clear Cache in Chrome, Firefox and Edge Browser

2. How to Clear Cookies in Chrome, Firefox and Edge

2. Use Conditional Requests

The 304 status code is associated with conditional requests. In case to get rid of it, try the following steps: 

Firstly, check for inappropriate conditional requests. You must understand that frequently changing resources do not include an ETag header that may not take advantage of conditional requests. 

To make a conditional request, use the following header in your request:

If-Modified-Since: Fri, 11 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT

It indicates that there is a cached version of the resource before the mentioned date. Moreover, it also addresses that you only wish to accept the latest version if there is a modification. 

In short, you can use conditional requests to avoid the 304 status code by checking if the requests are appropriate or by including the request headers in the request. 

3. Try Using Versioning

Developers can use versioning in the resource URLs. It implies that the client always requests the latest version of the particular resource. The question is, how to use it?

You can write the version number in the URL of the resource as mentioned below:


Here, v=2 implies the version number. So whenever there is a change in the version number, a request is made again by the browser, even if a cached version of the resource exists. In addition, you can also implement this method with the help of a CMS, such as WordPress. 

As you can see, using versioning ensures that the client always receives a modified version of the resource. Hence, it’s an excellent way to avoid the 304 status code. 

4. Reduce Cache Expiration Time

Decreasing the cache expiration time ensures all the resources are updated to the latest versions. Here is the method to implement the same:

You can use the cache control header in the HTTP response as mentioned below:

Cache-Control: max-age=3600

Here, 3600 implies 3600 seconds. The statement above implies that it will only cache the resource for the specified time. 

5. Keep in Check the Size of Resources

To avoid the 304 status code, you can also try optimizing the resource sizes. Take the below-mentioned steps:

  • Optimise images, videos, and text files. Try reducing the size using compression algorithms, as it will help reduce the data and make the website faster. 
  • Try reducing CSS and JavaScript, as the files are quite heavy. 
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network).
  • Do not use old image or video formats. 

This reduces the occurrence of the 304 status code!

Final Remarks 

There are instances where we generally see status codes on our screens. One of the most common ones is 304! Try using versioning, removing caches, optimizing files, etc., as depicted in the post above.  

As we reach the end of this article, I hope you are clear about the 304 status code and ways to fix it. In the future, whenever you find it on your screens, you know what to do! 

A passionate freelance technical writer with several years of experience specializing in crafting engaging technical content for a diverse range of businesses and platforms. With a track record of developing original, client-centric content, I excel at tailoring my writing to meet the unique needs of each project. Thorough research and attention to detail enable me to deliver content that not only meets but exceeds client expectations.


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