iThemes site-wide discount! 40% OFF Grab this offer!

WordPress 404 Page: A Ultimate Guide For Beginners

WordPress 404 page is caused when a user tries to access a website that does not exist. It’s important to know that these pages can be easily avoided by setting up redirects, also known as “404 Not Found” redirects, which will automatically direct users away from the 404 error page when they try to access it.

In this article, we’ll provide you with further details on what a 404 error page is and how to avoid them.

What is a 404 error page?

A 404 error page is a type of error message displayed in a web browser when it can’t find the requested resource.

The “404” stands for “page not found,” hence the name. 404 error pages are typically shown when a website visitor/user has accidentally mistyped a website address, or on occasion, ends up on a non-existent site by following a broken or dead link.

What are the causes of 404 errors?

There can be many reasons for a 404 error to occur, including dead links on your website, an outdated search engine listing, incorrect web server configuration, or some other problem that prevents a user from accessing your site’s home page.

How are 404 error pages created?

404 error pages are typically triggered when there’s an issue with the URL used to access a website, such as if it doesn’t exist or has been entered incorrectly.

Many WordPress users find themselves with this problem if they forget to update the permalinks settings after a WordPress theme or plugin has been installed.

Permalink Settings

Other common causes include soft 404 errors, which are false positives caused by bots and spiders crawling your website in search of content, as well as hard 404s, which occur when the URL used is actually incorrect.

Regardless of whether you experience a soft 404 or a hard 404, there are various ways you can try to fix it.

Tips for avoiding WordPress’s 404 error page

You can avoid 404 error pages by redirecting your users to specific web pages if certain conditions are met. This is easily done with a plugin like Redirection, which allows you to create custom redirects for many different scenarios.

Besides, you can follow the below steps that will help you avoid a WordPress 404 error page from appearing during future visits to your website.

If your website URL structure has been incorrectly set up in htaccess then you will see a 404 error page on your browser (Firefox, Chrome, etc).

  • So redirect the .htaccess file to /index.php or something similar.
  • Add a Robots meta tag to your .htaccess file
  • Add the following code:  User-agent: * Disallow: /

Note: If you’re using a WordPress plugin to manage robots.txt, be sure not to override it with this code in your .htaccess file.

How to set up redirects (404 Not Found)

If you’re receiving 404 errors, or if you’ve been experiencing them in the past and would like to prevent future 404s from happening, then setting up a redirect is probably the best route to go for.

A redirect is designed to inform search engines that a page has permanently moved to a new URL, which means they will update their records automatically. If you’re experiencing a lot of 404 errors, then this can be an effective way to permanently fix them.

How to set up redirects (404 Not Found) using .htaccess redirects?

To create a customizable and permanent solution for your WordPress site that will automatically take care of sending visitors to the correct page after they click on a broken link, you can use a .htaccess redirect.

To begin setting up this type of redirect for your site:

Save the following code to the .htaccess file. Just simply login your cPanel, click on the website root folder(Public_html), then open the .htacees file and simply paste the below code snippet.

# BEGIN 404 redirect
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>
# END 404 redirect

Note: If you’re using a WordPress plugin to manage redirects, be sure not to override it with this code in your htaccess file.

How to set up redirects ( 404 Not Found)) using WordPress plugins?

There are many WordPress 404 page plugins. Following are some of the most popular WordPress plugins that you can use in order to set up a 404 redirect:

Redirection

WordPress 404 Page: A Ultimate Guide For Beginners 1

This plugin is a great way to redirect any URL, and it can be used for temporary or permanent redirects. It’s also very easy to set up and use, so it’s a good option for anyone with minimal technical experience.

Install and activate the Redirection plugin on your WordPress site. Then go to ‘Too’ and click on the ‘Redirection’. You’ll get a new window to set up a custom redirect method. So complete all setup.

setup redirection

Tips: Using this plugin, you can set a custom 404 redirect page. But if you want to design your custom page, you can use a Gutenberg block plugin or any page builder.

How to customize your 404 page?

You can use WP 404 Manager plugin to customize the page and everything else about it. You can even use any HTML code or shortcodes that you like.

Also, creating a custom error 404 page is super easy just create a new page and design it with any page builder or block editor. And set them to Redirect plugin (talked above section) as a custom error 404. You are done.

Note: WordPress will create a new default 404 error page for each website if the custom one is not set up. This means that if you move your custom 404 Error page to another folder, then the old page will not work. A lot of people make this silly mistake.

So, create and set up a custom 404 error page carefully.

The benefits of setting up redirects for your site’s 404 errors

There are many benefits associated with setting up redirects for your site’s 404 error pages, including:

  • Helping search engines find your new content without a broken link or extra effort on their part. This is because the permanent redirect will send any links that point to old versions of your content directly to that same content on the correct page (or URL).
  • The redirect will never break, which means your new content will always be available to visitors (and search engines). This is important because some WordPress 404 page errors can prevent regular traffic from reaching your site.

Common mistakes that people make when setting up their website’s 404 page

Below are the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to managing their website’s 404 error page.

(1) Using a generic 404 error page

Your WordPress current theme might be using the “404 Error” template (wp-content/themes/yourthemefolder/404.php) or another similar template that is not being displayed as you would like or need them to be.

This is why you should check your WordPress settings and configure the Error 404 template to display the way you want it to.

If not, then a simple search through Google will yield multiple themes that have similar templates, and which can be used. Here are the top WordPress themes that use the default 404 error page.

(2) Using page numbers instead of permalinks

This is another mistake that people often make when setting up their website’s 404 error page.

In order to create a custom 404 page, you need to configure your WordPress site’s permalinks options and leave it set on “Default.” If the permalinks are changed, then no custom 404 error pages will be created.

Some people fix this problem by switching back and forth between the page and permalinks settings.

However, if you’re using WordPress version 3.0 or higher, then there’s a better way to ensure that your 404 error pages are being registered correctly.

In Conclusion

No matter who you are, or what language you speak, 404 errors still need to be managed with care. By following these best practices and implementing a plugin such as Redirection, your WordPress site will be able to provide the most accurate redirect possible for potential visitors.

Previous

8 Best WordPress Event Calendar Plugins (Reviewed)

What Is Lazy Loading? A Clear Concept

Next

Hi, I’m Khairul a freelance writer & digital marketer since 2017. I have completed many writing projects locally and internationally. Writing and gathering information is my first passion that I enjoy.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.