Like most website owners – regardless of which web hosting service you use – your website probably has a few 404 errors. 404 errors are pages that don’t exist on your website. They can be caused by broken links, incorrect URLs, or mistyped addresses. If you’re not sure how to find and fix them, this blog post is for you!
I’ll show you how to find and fix 404 errors on your website.
Let’s get started!
1. What are 404 Error Pages, and why are they essential for your website visitors
404 Error Pages may seem like nothing more than an annoying hindrance. However, they play a crucial role in the user experience of your website. 404 Error pages appear when a user tries to access a web page that doesn’t exist.
This could be because the page has been moved, deleted, or never existed in the first place. 404 Error pages should include a friendly message, helpful links, and even humor. They should also be easy to find; your visitors shouldn’t have to click through several links to find one.
404 Error Pages are essential because they help reduce the frustration level of your visitors, and they can also help you keep track of broken links on your site.
By 404-ing gracefully, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one.
2. How to find 404 Error Pages on your website
404 Error pages show up when a user tries to access a website page that doesn’t exist. This can happen for various reasons, such as the page being deleted or the user mistyping the URL.
Regardless of the reason, 404 Error pages can be frustrating for users and website owners. Website owners can lose potential customers if their 404 Error page is not well-designed and user-friendly. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to find 404 Error pages on your website.
The first step is to check your website’s traffic logs. This will give you an idea of which pages are being accessed most often and help you identify any 404 Error pages.
You can also use Google Search Console to find 404 Error pages. Go to the “Crawl” section and click on “Crawl Errors.” This will show you any errors that Google has encountered when trying to crawl your website.
Finally, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog to crawl your website and identify any 404 Error pages. Please enter your website’s URL and let the tool do its job. Once it’s finished, it will provide you with a list of all the pages on your site and their status codes.
3. How to fix 404 Error Pages on your website
404 Error pages are frustrating. You’ve clicked on a link, eagerly anticipating the content on the other side, only to be met with a blank page and an error message. 404 Error pages can be frustrating for both website visitors and website owners. However, there are some simple steps that website owners can take to fix 404 Error pages.
The first step is to check the URL of the page you’re trying to access.
Often, 404 Error pages occur when there is a typo in the URL.
If the URL is correct, the next step is to check whether the page has been moved or deleted. This can be done by looking through your website’s control panel or file manager.
If you find that the page has been moved or deleted, you can redirect the URL to the new location or create a new page.
4. The benefits of having a custom 404 error page for your website
We all know the feeling of frustration when we click on a link and end up on a 404 page. But did you know that having a custom 404 page can be beneficial for your website? Here are four reasons why:
- A custom 404 page can provide a better user experience. If visitors end up on a generic 404 page, they may not understand why they’re there or how to find what they’re looking for. But if you have a custom 404 page, you can provide more helpful information and potentially even help them find what they were looking for in the first place.
- A custom 404 page can build trust with your visitors. If you have a professional-looking 404 page, you care about providing a pleasant experience for your visitors, even if they make mistakes. On the other hand, if you have a generic or poorly designed 404 page, it can negatively affect your brand and turn visitors away.
- A custom 404 page can help search engine optimization (SEO). By including relevant keywords and phrases on your 404 page, you can help improve your site’s ranking in search results. This is especially important if your site gets a lot of traffic from organic searches.
- A custom 404 page can be used to collect data about your visitors. If you include a contact form or other means of getting in touch on your 404 page, you can use it to collect information about why visitors are ending up there. This data can improve your website and prevent similar issues in the future.
5. Why Create a Custom 404 Page for your Website?
A custom 404 page is a great way to show your personality and branding on your website. It’s also a way to let your visitors know that you’re still working on your site, and sorry for any inconvenience. Here are a few tips on how to create a custom 404 page:
- Use your branding colors, fonts, and logos on the page.
- Write a short message that is friendly and apologetic.
- Include a search bar or links to your most popular pages.
- Add some humor to the page with a funny image or meme.
Creating a custom 404 page is a simple way to add some personality to your website. By following these tips, you can ensure that your visitors know that you’re still working on your site and are sorry for any inconvenience.
6. Examples of Creative and Interesting 404 Error Pages
404 Error pages are inevitable. No matter how well you design your website or how often you update your content, there will always be a broken link, or a page moved somewhere else.
404 Error pages allow you to get creative and have fun with visitors who have landed on a dead end. Here are six examples of 404 Error pages that are both creative and interesting:
Pixar features a beautiful 404 Error Page with one of their characters crying. The page reads; “AWWW…DON’T CRY. It’s just a 404 Error! What you’re looking for may have been misplaced in Long Term Memory.”
The Guardian features a nicely designed 404 page encouraging visitors to report the dead link and featuring a prominent button redirecting them to the home page.
Huffington Post features a simple 404 Error page with a button redirecting the visitor to the front page.
Help Scout features the graphic of a dog walker walking multiple dogs at the same time, depicting the mayhem that usually ensues when trying to keep track of too many things at once. The 404 page offers links to their knowledge base and the front page.
These examples show that there are many ways to approach 404 Error pages. By being creative, you can turn an error page into an opportunity to engage with your visitors and provide them with an enjoyable experience.