How to Fix and Find 404 Errors Web Pages
If you are a web user and visit a number of websites daily, you will know the frustration that comes with the common 404 error not found page. And there is not much doubt that once a user sees this page, they are more likely to leave the page than stay and keep hitting refresh or even contact the page moderators.
The thing is there are many other alternative pages where the same information or product can be found unless, of course, you have to monopoly on that piece of information like NASA.
The result of this is the frustrating negative effect on your SEO, “Search Engine Optimization” along with the lack of professionalism in the online presence. All this discussion brings forth the importance of these 404 not found pages.
So the question is how to reduce the possibility of 404 error pages and how to present this 404 code error on the website.
1st step: FIND THESE 404 PAGE NOT FOUND BROKEN LINKS:
Firstly, You can complete this task by using various free websites that can use the provided link of your website and tell them the ones which are broken with the 404 error of page not found.
Some helpful websites providing these tools include Broken Link Check, Ahrefs Broken Link Checker, and Dead Link Checker. Following is the Ahrefs Broken Link Checker’s tool showing an example: (you can ask us for guidance if you find any difficulty in using these tools.
The 2nd step is to FIX the BROKEN Links with the 404 error
The next step after finding the broken links is, obviously, to fix the broken links by updating them or just removing them. While doing this, tracking it will help you in a way that no 404 goes without getting treated.
This is a time-consuming step but going to each and every broken link is important. Also, with every time you do it, you will be able to, someday, recognize the 404 errors, maybe even before the viewers do.
The 3rd step is to update the page with the 404 error
Updating the page as soon as you see one or as soon as the viewer highlights it. It is crucial because even if you are late for one viewer, you won’t be for the next.
Some of the BEST 404 error web pages/websites practices:
What not to do!
To make your 404 page more useful, consider some of the 404 page best practices used by some making it customized instead of the usual 404 – file not found or directory not found.
What to do!
Don’t use the generic 404 landing pages.
Make a visual relationship by using the brand image and logo and a creative line. Instead of just the normal “404 file/page/directory not found”.
Let’s see some examples:
Make it useful
There is a chance that the viewer was looking for something else and ended up on the 404 error page. But you try to guide them in the right direction and adding a search bar on the page or adding a few tabs options is how you guide them.
An example of this is the 404 page of ModCloth that includes cheese puns and hamburgers menu along with the new arrivals page. Take a look below:
Technical & Dull or Informative & Entertaining
Instead of using technical jargon and a lengthy explanation of why and what happened? Make it interesting by using something or someone known internationally like Mario, the game.
This is interesting and cute and has a “Click here to continue” hyperlink to show you the way.
The other cool 404 page I found was the one or Taco Bell, no descriptions are needed. Just see below for a funny caption and cool illustration:
Okay so the last one, is really interesting:
“Dribble” is an awe-worthy “creative marketplace for design professionals” so there is no way that they won’t be offering something creative. What they offer is a “fully-functional” 404 page not found error. As you can see, you can use the color selector below and drag the dot to a specific color. Which will change the 404 number displayed on the screen with other designs of any specific color selected by you. Clicking any one of the designs takes you to the designers’ page or you can try the search bar placed just below the color selector bar.
WHY THOUGH? Why is the 404 page up usually?
There may be a few reasons which can cause this error that you may need to consider for removing this error on your pages:
Brief reasons can be seen in the Venn diagram below:
The top 5 reasons for the 404 error page are:
- The server was down
- There was an issue in the redirecting to the page where it was moved
- The viewer was looking with the wrong spellings or words which were not available, to begin with
- The “URL” had a typing error
- The “URL” was broken
NOW ABOUT FIXING THIS ERROR:
Hosting providers like HostonFox, a cloud-based hosting service provider, can help you in providing instructions related to accessing and updating the 404 error webpages. If WordPress is being used by the website then you can use the WordPress plugin specially made for the 404 error page.
How to Fix 404 Error:
- cPanel account – login
- Custom Error Pages – Find and click
- From the list – Select the page with the error 404
- Text box – fill it with relevant HTML coding
- Save – Click
- Confirm if this worked by using a fake word at the end of the URL
& YOU ARE GOOD TO GO…
If coding is not your thing or your web designer is out of reach. Just go to our “Host on Fox” website and let us do all the work. Fast & Easy Enjoy this last one where rescuing from the 404 error will be done.