What Is A Gateway Timeout?

504 Gateway Timeout errors are a common problem on the internet.

What Is A Gateway Timeout?

A bad gateway can be extremely frustrating when you’re trying to access a web page, and as a content creator, it is important to learn how to identify and solve these issues to work through the bad gateway and get your website up and running again. 

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about gateway timeouts, including why they may happen and how to resolve them. Read on for more! 

What Is A 504 Gateway Timeout Error? 

A 504 Gateway Timeout Error code is a temporary issue that occurs when a web server isn’t receiving a timely response from another web server.

When you visit a website, your web server will send a request to the server of the site you’re trying to access – also known as the “upstream” server. 

However, if you see a 504 Gateway Timeout error, this means that the upstream server did not respond fast enough to your server’s request.

Therefore, your server will be unable to load the web page, and you will be faced with a 504 Gateway Timeout error. 

What Are The Causes Of A Gateway Timeout Error? 

504 Gateway Timeout errors are rather generic, which means you cannot exactly point to the cause of the error, but there are a plethora of reasons as to why they could be caused. Let’s take a look at a few examples! 

Issues With Server Connectivity 

Most of the time, websites will live on third-party hosting providers or multiple servers.

So, if the upstream server is down, then it will not be able to connect to other servers, and customers or visitors to your web page will see a 504 Gateway Timeout Error message. 

DNS Changes 

If you have recently moved your web page to a new IP address or have recently changed servers, then this will change some things to the Domain Name System (DNS) of your website.

Sometimes, this causes visitors to your website to see a 504 Gateway Error timeout. It may take a few hours for the DNS to recognize these changes, and your website will not be visible to customers and visitors until then. 

The Firewall Configurations Are Faulty 

The firewall acts as a gatekeeper for the website. It protects it from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and from any visitors to the site with malicious intent.

However, if the firewall configuration is faulty, then it will sometimes see requests from another network as an attack. If this happens, the DNS will reject the “attack” and this results in a 504 Gateway Timeout. 

Your Website’s Code Has Errors

Sometimes, there will be a mistake in the code of your web page. If this happens, then the server will not be able to answer requests correctly from a network, and a 504 Gateway Timeout error message will appear on the screen. 

Connectivity Errors In The Network 

The most likely cause of a 504 Gateway Timeout is a server error rather than connectivity errors in the network.

However, if you find only one user reporting an error, then it is likely because of network connection issues on their end, possibly because of issues with their router, modem, a different network device, or their internet connection. 

Because there are a plethora of reasons why a Gateway Timeout message might occur, it will be down to those who run the website to find the root of the problem.

Luckily, it will be easy to figure out how to fix the issue once you know what it is. 

How You Can Fix 504 Gateway Timeout Errors 

What Is A Gateway Timeout?

Let’s take a look at how these 504 Gateway Timeout errors can be fixed! 

Find Out If There Are Any Server Connectivity Issues 

The best way to fix server connectivity issues is to troubleshoot them. However, if the connectivity issue is due to maintenance, then you will need to wait until the maintenance finishes before you can fix the problem.

Check For Any Changes To The DNS 

DNS issues are caused by a change to an IP address. To fix a bad gateway caused by a DNS, then you will need to update the DNS server. This may take a few hours to complete. Unfortunately, this wait is unavoidable. 

Search Through The Logs 

Sometimes to fix a 504 Gateway Timeout error message, you need to search through your server logs. Server logs give details on the status and health of your server.

While searching through them, you may find issues that could be causing the 504 error. 

Find And Fix Faulty Configurations In The Firewall 

To rule this out as an issue, you first need to deactivate the firewall. There are a few different ways to do this, depending on what operating system your PC runs on.


– Go to the control panel

– Click the option for “Update & Security”

– Find “Windows security” 

– Once you have completed the step above, click “Virus & Threat Protection”

– Finally, click “Manage settings” and deactivate the firewall

Mac OS 

– Go to your system preferences 

– Find the option “Security & Privacy”

– Once you have done this, you can go ahead and deactivate the firewall

Once the firewall has been deactivated, you can check to see if the 504 error has gone. If it has, you can reconfigure the settings of the antivirus program you use, or you can swap to a new one.

However, if the 504 Gateway Timeout error is still there, then you will need to reactivate your firewall and find the actual cause of the problem.

Look For Bugs In The Website’s Code 

As previously discussed, a 504 error may be thanks to bugs in the code of the website. You will need to search through the code to find them.

You can do this by putting the code through a debug process. This should resolve the issue in no time! 

Get In Touch With Your Host Provider 

If you cannot resolve the issue yourself, then sometimes the best thing to do is contact your host provider. They will be able to resolve the issue, and have your webpage up and running in no time. 

Final Thoughts

A 504 Gateway Timeout error happens when the upstream server cannot make a connection with another server in a timely manner.

It is important to remember that even though these server issues are quite common, it is not always simple to fix.

There can be many reasons for a 504 error, such as network issues, DNS changes, or a faulty firewall. It may take a process of trial and error to determine the problem.

However, once you do, it should be fixed with relative ease, and you can get your website back up and running in no time! 

Matthew Jacobs