We all work hard ensuring that every link on our site leads to an existing file. But mistakes can happen, and our visitors might land on the famous 404 Error page by following broken links to your web pages from other sites, or misspelling your URLs. Most of them will be too lazy to search for the needed information from your site, so they simply leave, and you lose them forever.
To capture their attention and make them stay on your site you need to create a custom user-friendly 404 Error page. Most web hosts would allow you to upload a custom 404 Error page, which will be displayed when someone comes to a non existent URL within your domain.
It’s very simple to do in WordPress blogs. All you have to do is edit your Theme’s 404 error template file:
- Go to your WordPress admin panel
- Click on Presentation link
- Click on the Theme Editor
- Usually, there should be a “404 Template” in the list of files, click on it
- Edit the error message withing the H2 heading tags and add more content if needed
- Update file
If your WordPress Theme does not include a template file named 404.php, you can create your own. For more instructions check WordPress manual.
For “404 Must-haves” make sure to read A List Apart article.
Finally, here are my 8 bits of inspiration for your 404 Error pages with a clever and sometimes humorous twist:
- Andy Rutledge
- mezzoblue Error 404
- A List Apart
- Technorati: 404
How original is your 404 page?