Page Not Found 404 Error

Page Not Found. This is something just about everyone has seen at one time or another if you’ve spent anytime online at all. In ‘web’ lingo these types of pages are called 404-pages

frank deardurff
The dreaded 404 error

Now  you  are  probably  thinking why is a “page not found” or a 404 error page a website mistake, and that would be a fair question to be asking, so let me explain what this mistake is, how you can  benefit from it and how to correct it.

First  we’ve   already   mentioned “what”  it  is  but  let  me  explain how “people” get there.

404s are usually found either from a broken link on your website somewhere; or  someone has tried to type in a  url to a specific page on your site  and  has  either  mistyped  it or  the  page  is  no  longer  there.

It is possible that you will see in your stats that there  have been requests  for  your robot.txt  file which is a common file that search engine spiders look for, and if you don’t have one then a 404 page would be triggered.

Now to explain how 404 pages can “help” you.

There is a lot of discussion about what should or shouldn’t be displayed on your 404 page  or  if you should even display the error page.  

My personal opinion is to display the page but have key  elements on the page, such as a logo or look and feel of your  website, along with a  message saying that the page they are looking for was not found but click here to go to the home page of your website.

Another  option  is  if  the  visitor hits your 404 page, automatically redirect them to the home page of your website.  This option works really well, but in discussions I’ve heard people say that the visitor is  a  little  confused  as  to  what just happened.

By   utilizing the custom 404 page, you don’t miss out  on the opportunity  to connect  with  that visitor.  Without  any  information on that page the visitor would just enter something else into the web address bar and go elsewhere.

The easiest way to remedy  this issue is to log in to your  control panel  (cpanel)  and  look  for  the icon that says “Error Pages.” This will list all of them. Be sure to click the 404 and enter your information there.  If you are unsure what to put there you can search Google to see some examples.

If   you’re uncomfortable doing this you can easily hire a programmer from getafreelancer.com  to quickly do this for you. It is a quick project and  once  you  have  a  template you  can  copy  and  paste  it into your other sites.

Frank Deardurff

An early love for graphics brought me online over 20 years ago which lead me to consume a vast knowledge in marketing, conversion, design and various types of web technologies. That information led to becoming a web master, serial entrepreneur, author, coach, trainer and That One Web Guy! FrankDeardurff.com

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