So create your own 404 page for WordPress
Why create your own 404 error page? Quite simply: to help your users out of trouble.
A user has gotten somehow on your side, has caught a link that leads into nothingness. 404 – Page Not Found. And exactly this error decides: does the user click on the red X, or does he try again to reach the goal? You have it in your hand!
So that your 404 site is not a dead end for your users, you should consider a few things. We tell you what makes a user friendly 404 error page and how to create one for your WordPress page.
- HTTP status code 404: what does it mean?
- What does a good 404 error page look like?
- 404 in WordPress: create your own template
- 4 free plugins for your own 404 error pages in WordPress
HTTP status code 404: what does it mean?
You will get a URL in your browser. Instead of the desired content you land but only on one side, which reports a 404 error.
The HTTP status code 404 means “Not Found” – ie, the requested URL can not be found by the server, the content does not exist.
Such a 404 error is often caused by the content being deleted, but which is linked to elsewhere. Or simply by a typo in the link.
What does a good 404 error page look like?
The most important thing is that you can help your users at this point. They should not end up in a dead end, from which they find no way out, but are given useful help.
Put yourself into the situation thoughtfully: you click on a link, in the expectation to find a certain content. However, this is not in the expected position. What would help at this moment? For example, a search function and related links . Otherwise, most of you would probably simply click away.
To improve the usability of your bug, you should consider these three things:
1. Failure to communicate clearly
I’ve already stumbled over 404 error pages, which I have not recognized directly as such.
If you are looking for links, search fields, contact details, etc., you should not lose sight of the essentials: make the user aware that the page you are looking for does not exist!
Via the help in the form of links, etc., a prominent indication is that the requested page was not found.
2. Provide a functioning search function
Very helpful for your users is a search field directly on the 404 error page. So they can still find the desired content on your site – at least if it still exists.
If the search function does not spit out the desired result or you do not have a search at all, further links will help. Be there in any case should be a link to the home page.
Where else you link, depends on your website. For example, links to categories could be useful in onlineshops or blogs.
In general, a link to your contact page (if available) is certainly not wrong – then, in case of doubt, the user can simply contact you directly.
404 in WordPress: create your own template
Part of a complete WordPress tips Themes is a file called 404.php . It contains the template for 404 error pages under WordPress.
Want make it your own error page, you should to definitely a Childtheme create . There you shall then file 404.php and fills it with the desired content.
The best thing to do is start with the existing 404 template. So you copied the corresponding PHP file from your theme into your Child Theme and edited it. So you are on the safe side, that the template also works.
4 free plugins for your own 404 error pages in WordPress
If you prefer not to source in the source code of your WordPress page, simply install one of these 4 plugins. So you can create your own 404 error template.
1. Forty Four
WordPress Plugin Forty Four
The WordPress Plugin “Forty Four”
With the plugin Forty Four you created a simple 404 error page top loading time for WordPress. Unnecessary scripts, CSS and co. Are not loaded in the 404 template at all – the content is not available anyway. You can customize the design of your 404 page.
In addition, the plugin tracks the 404 calls. You can look at the logs and see eg broken links.
If you want to forward your users, you can also use Fourty Four. You do not need an additional forwarding plugin.
WordPress Plugin 404page
The WordPress Plugin “404page”
Even with the WordPress Plugin 404page can create your custom error pages. More specifically, you can set each page as a 404 error page! It does not get any easier. As usual, create a WordPress page, design it according to your ideas and set it as a 404 page.
3. Custom 404 Pro
WordPress Plugin Custom 404 Pro
The WordPress Plugin “Custom 404 Pro”
Also the plugin Custom 404 Pro allows you to define any WordPress page as 404 error page. You can also specify a URL.
In addition, calls that result in a 404 page are also stored. So you can see where the problem is, and fix the cause.
4. 404 Page
WordPress Plugin 404 Page
The WordPress Plugin “404 Page”
With the WordPress plugin 404 Page you just created a custom 404 error page. Colors, pictures, etc. can be customized. You can also add your own HTML and CSS. 404 Page is translation-ready and supports Multisite. You will also get additional features with the paid Pro version.
A well thought-out 404 error page is an important building block for good usability. It should give the user the opportunity to reach more content on your site instead of leaving it directly.
For WordPress you can the error template 404.php use, the portion of each theme. If you can not program, one of the presented plugins is installed. So you can also create an individual 404 error page for WordPress.