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Page 404. We’ve all encountered those error web pages, announcing that the page we’re looking for is caput. Wikipedia describes it better…
The 404 or Not Found error message is a HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not find what was requested.
The web site hosting server will typically generate a “404 Not Found” web page when a user attempts to follow a broken or dead link; hence the 404 error is one of the most recognizable errors users can find on the web.
The default 404 error page is usually a sparse, sad looking page without much info other than the “page doesn’t exist”. Here is the default 404 error page kicked out by most WordPress themes:
Not much there. It’s wasted online real estate! I like to spruce up my 404 pages. It only takes a minute or two, and I’ll direct any traffic I get to my message. Why waste precocious web traffic? Here is what my 404 error page looks on this blog:
You can see it live here: Optimized 404 Error Web Page
It’s easy to do. Just click on “Themes” in the “Appearance” section of your WordPress theme.
Under the “Templates” section, click on the 404 Template.
From here you can customize your 404 Error page with WordPress. Make sure you make a copy of the original code, in case you mess up, you’ll have the original. I just use straight HTML. I highlighted the code I used. I just inserted it into the template, leaving the rest of the code alone.
And that’s it. A customized 404 error page using WordPress.
On this fiction writing blog, I’m using it to re-route lost visitors to my website to my fiction book, The Asset. You can insert your own book, books, Facebook page, whatever you like, that way you’re wasting your online real estate.