Many website owners don’t care about 404 errors because they think they’re harmless. However, it can hurt your website in many different ways.
On the one hand, it will cost you a lot of potential customers who will leave your website after seeing a 404 page. More importantly, it could also cost you valuable backlinks and a lot of traffic.
Don’t ignore 404 errors like they’re nothing. You can use those 404 pages to easily send more people to your homepage. In fact, you can do this in just three steps with the help of a plugin. We’ll teach you how to do it.
What’s a 404 error?
A 404 error is an HTTP status code that means the server couldn’t find the resource that was asked for. This can happen when a user tries to get to a page that no longer exists, has been moved, or has been deleted. A browser will often show a 404 error message to tell the user that the page they are trying to get to cannot be found. It is a common error message on the Internet.
What brings about 404 errors?
There are a number of common reasons why 404 errors happen:
Typing the wrong URL: If a user types the wrong URL or clicks on a broken link, they will be sent to a page that doesn’t exist, giving them a 404 error.
Pages that have been deleted or moved: If a web page has been deleted or moved to a new URL, any links to that page will give a 404 error.
Wrong redirects: A 404 error can happen if a redirect is set up wrong. For example, if a page has been moved to a new URL but the redirect is pointing to the old URL, users will get a 404 error when they try to access the page.
Server or Domain Name System (DNS) issues: In rare cases, 404 errors can be caused by problems with how the server or DNS is set up.
Incorrect URL case: A 404 error may happen if the case of the URL does not match the case of the actual URL.
For example, if the URL is “example.com/page” and the user types “example.com/Page,” the server may give a 404 error.
Web server not set up right: If the web server isn’t set up right to handle the request, it may give a 404 error.
The best plugins for redirecting:
There are several popular plugins for WordPress that can be used to manage and redirect URLs:
This plugin is one of the most popular and widely used plugins for redirection. It makes it easy to create and manage redirects, keep track of 404 errors, and even see how many times a redirect has been used.
Simple 301 Redirects: This plugin is simple to use and lets you set up 301 redirects quickly and easily. It also lets you import and export large numbers of redirects.
Yoast SEO: This plugin has many features, such as the ability to create redirects. It also lets you keep track of
404 errors and send people to the right URL when they happen.
Safe Redirect Manager: This plugin lets you make, manage, and track all of your website’s redirects and handle errors. It also lets you set up redirects based on the user’s device, country, language, and referrer.
This plugin, WP 301 Redirects, is small and easy to use. You can set up redirects for individual pages or posts, and you can also import and export redirects in large groups.
It’s important to note that these are only a few of the many redirection plugins that are available for WordPress. Your needs and the needs of your website will determine which plugin is best for you.
Using code to direct 404 pages to the homepage:
If you don’t want to use a plugin, you can write code to redirect 404 pages to the homepage. Log in to your server and go to the Public HTML folder or the folder with your website files. You can also get your website files back by using an FTP file programme like Filezilla. Another option is to log in to WordPress and go to Appearance > Theme Editor.
No matter what method you use, look for a file called “404.php” or make one if “404.php” doesn’t already exist, and add the following code to it: When you are done, save the changes. Visitors to a website who get a 404 error will now be sent to the homepage.
Should you send a 404 error to your homepage?
When a website is broken (or destroyed), a URL redirect may be needed, but it shouldn’t always be done. It is not a good idea to send everyone to the homepage. Send a category or parent page only if it will help the user have the best experience possible. It’s fine to show a 404 when the page is no longer available.
How do I send a 404 error page on an HTML website to the home page?
To your.htaccess file, add this line.
ErrorDocument 404 http://website.com
But it’s not a good idea to send 404 pages to the homepage.
This will make crawlers index your files and directories that don’t exist, which could hurt your SEO.
Does Google crawl 404 page?
Google Remembers 404 Pages. Even if Google deletes a web page from its index, it will still remember that the URL used to be live and will crawl that old URL to see if the page came back.