Customizing 404 : Not Found Error Page

404 Error pages which means the content is not found. This generally doesn’t happens but Unfortunately, if someone reach it- A blogger may lose one valuable visitor. So, Webmasters should always be ready to handle such situation by customizing it in own way to reach your visitor the correct place or find him some alternative.

You could say that there are two trends on these pages: one, trim or fun, and another that points to usability rather than aesthetics. Although this last aspect is perhaps the most we have to take into account, a balance between aesthetics and ease of use can enrich the user experience when visiting our site.

General Directions :

Take the points below as general discussion and think about it…

  • Different from the rest of the pages on your website : Don’t confuse (more)
  • Clear : The visitor should not keep think about what happened- Make him realize that it’s 404 error. Tell it loud and clear.
  • It must exist! : Yes, there should be a 404 error page on your site, to customize the content and theme of your website. That shows that you have taken the trouble to take care of small details like this.

What to include ?

  • A message that clearly tells the user that an error has occurred. Should be short, but if you can extend to lengthy explanations (even humorous), it is up to you.
  • Your logo or at least the name of your site for you know who has gone where I wanted to go but have not found what you wanted.
  • An internal search engine on the web: to help the user to find what you need.
  • Nothing that makes it heavy when he got the leg as he got. No user will like it over with a big picture or even a flash animation that shows how good you are with yours.

What is recommended:

  • Links to other parts of your website or highly visited posts: ask the user to know, but maybe what you’re looking for is no longer there, you still have many interesting things to see. However, do not abuse. With three or five links is more than enough.
  • A link to the homepage: This seems obvious, but not all sites comply.
    Link to site map, if you have it (which is also highly recommended).
  • Tag clouds and / or an index of categories helps your user to locate what you are looking for, or at least to discover new things about your site.
  • Of course the number 404 or put it in the background: the majority of users do not say anything that error, and may even confuse some. Although this may depend on what kind of audience you are going.

How to Customize?

It is extremely simple. Within the folder of theme of blog, there is a file called 404.php: this is the file you need to change.

The changes are according to your taste. Generally, this file includes the header, the Sidebar and the Footer. You can keep them. 404.php file a very simple and can be seen.

All you have to do is change what is between the <? Php get_sidebar ()> and <? Php get_footer ();?>, Including why your own code. If you want your page does not have any of the elements of your blog, just delete everything and put anything you want there to be seen.

Simple, right?

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Ajay Pathak - February 17, 2009

looks really good for 404 error

Nihar - February 17, 2009

I heard about one WordPress plugin which is specifically for Customizing 404 error page. Did you check that?

Rohit Langde - February 17, 2009

@Nihar, Why add another plugin and edit when you can edit it directly from your Theme Editor.

Ted Wasicka - April 11, 2009

Great post. I am just starting my blog as well. Do you find it hard to have something to say, because I don’t feel like natural writer and it seems to come natural for you.

How to Get Six Pack Fast - April 15, 2009

I read your blog for a long time and must tell you that your articles are always valuable to readers.

S.Pradeep Kumar - July 25, 2009

Nice tutorial buddy ! ^_^

I’m trying to mention archives in 404 Error page.. ! 😀


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