A 404 page is a default page that shows up when someone is linked to or types in a page that does not exist on your website. A custom 404 should be standard on every web design in order to affirm your SEO and web flow – but a fun one always ups the game.
- Create your 404 page not found custom page
- the page should include acknowledgement that the page doesnt exist
- the page should include a way to get back on track, for instance “use the navigation above…”
- you can just copy one of your existing pages and name it 404.php or 404.html as your site designates
- Upload your 404 page to the web server as you would any other web page
- Configure your server to point to the proper 404 page
- Connect to your site via FTP. Do you already have a file named .htaccess? If so, skip to step 3
- Create a new file. Name it .htaccess – use that exact name! Some programs will complain that this is not valid, ignore it and use that filename or should I say lack of filename extension.
- Add the following line of text to the file: ErrorDocument 404 /404.html
- Save the htaccess file and upload it to your web site.
- Test this by typing in a page that doesn’t exist
For the record the reason this is important is if your default 404 is shown to a potential site visitor – chances are they simply mistyped something and will now abandon your site rather than continue looking due to the lack of site design and content.