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If this sentence is correct, so what is subject?

But to start it probably helps to have an understanding of what a 404 page actually is.

I think the subject is "To start it probably".

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The subject is it. This is called a prop it or dummy it (or a few other names). It's there because the sentence needs to have a subject, and an obvious one fails to present itself.

It's precisely the same kind of it as in these sentences:

It rains most of the time in the spring.
It is a nice day today.
It goes without saying that the winner wins.
It is difficult to remember the last time that happened.

For more information, see this page.

Edit: I see that you're getting confused by To start in your sentence. The sentence is clearer if you add a comma:

But to start, it probably helps to have an understanding of what a 404 page actually is.

This has this meaning:

But as an initial concern, it probably helps to have an understanding of what a 404 page actually is.

Have a look at these:

The car is out of gas. To start it, we will need to get more gas.

The car is out of gas. If we want to get it running, then, to start, we will need to get more gas. After that, we'll need to put the gas in the tank. Once we do that, we can start the car again.

In your sentence, to start has a meaning similar to the one in my second example. It doesn't have the meaning of to start in my first example. I believe you're confusing the two.

For some further clarification, see the comments.

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  • Don't you think "to start it" is the subject?
    – Cardinal
    Jun 27, 2017 at 5:59
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    @Cardinal No, I do not. :) The sentence would be clearer with a comma: But to start, it probably helps to have an understanding of what a 404 page actually is. But to start is an infinitive phrase, which simply adds another level of meaning to a sentence which could stand on its own without it.
    – BobRodes
    Jun 27, 2017 at 6:26
  • I see. :-). I don't think it's wrong, however, to think "to start it" can be the subject though being funny. For example, it may mean something like this: the first step to learn the problem is to start our today's session on X.
    – Cardinal
    Jun 27, 2017 at 6:46
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    @cardinal To start it can be a subject for example To start it before we finish would be a bad idea. However, there's no way I can see to make any sense at all of the given sentence using the infinitive as a subject. This would make sense, although it would change the meaning: To start it, it probably helps to have an understanding of what a 404 page really is. The given sentence only makes sense to me if to start has the meaning of for a start or for starters or to begin with.
    – BobRodes
    Jun 27, 2017 at 7:07
  • @Cardinal The simple form of the sentence is "It helps to have an understanding." It's much easier to see the subject without all that other clutter! Jun 27, 2017 at 22:36

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