404 Error Pages - Essentials and Advice.
Category: Other Website Articles.
The internet provides us with endless amounts of information for us to read and study. Sometimes people may suggest certain pages by linking to them or emailing their friends. Other times people find the content using search engines.
Active websites constantly update their content and these pages may not exist in the future. What happens when a website removes content which people are trying to view?
What is a 404 Error Page and When Are They Used?
When website visitors try to load a web page which is no longer available on the server, they will be redirected to a 404 Error Page. If not handled correctly, these error pages will leave the visitors with a bad opinion of your website.
The majority of web users probably have experienced a 404 Error Page, most default pages looks like...
Whenever this page shows up, users simply close the window or press the back button in their web browser program. Your website potentially just lost a sale or maybe a loyal reader who would tell their friends about the website. If you want to operate a successful website, every visitor is important.
Stop Losing Visitors - Make a Useful 404 Error Page...
Creating a useful 404 Error Page is not very hard. Anything is better than the default page. A good error page should help locate relevant information for the lost visitor. The problem is, the amount of time the visitor needs to look around the 404 Error Page to find what they are looking for. If it doesn't catch their eye right away, they will simply press the back button and leave your website.
One good strategy for error pages is to list a broad website sitemap. Point out the main sections of your website which contains the most useful content. This will help keep the visitor browsing your website, increasing the possibility of a sale or click-through.
Another good method is to display the newest content on your website. Hopefully the user will get hooked right away and browse your website for more related information.
Install the Customized 404 Error Page...
If you are using eWebCreator, you can modify the 404 error page from the management section of your website. The script uses a built-in HTML editor, so you can easily customize this page.
If you are not using eWebCreator, here is how to install the 404 Error Page...
1: Design or create the 404 error page you would like to display.
2: Save this page as 404.html and upload to your base directory of your website.
3: Open your existing .htaccess file located in the base directory of your website. If you do not have a .htaccess file listed, you can create your own with notepad.
4: Input the following line of code into the .htaccess file... ErrorDocument 404 /404.html
5: 404 error page customized and installed.
Make sure you have created and uploaded your custom 404 error page to the base directory of your server. Using the above line of code, the filename of the error page should be "404.html". You can define any filename you wish as long as it matches what you type in the .htaccess file.
It is important to have a customized 404 Error Page for every website you own.
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