WordPress and the Enigma of 404 Errors: A Bursts of Confusion
WordPress is a vast and multifaceted content management system, powering countless websites across the globe, admired by many for its innovative features and its versatility when it comes to website creation and control. However, there lies within its programming a commonly occurring problem, which leaves users feeling confused and frustrated – the abstruse and indeterminate 404 error page.
What is a 404 Error Page?
A 404 error page materializes when a user attempts to access a page or URL on your website that does not exist or is somehow no longer available. A 404 error page is a messaging system that pops up whenever a user lands on a non-existent page. A variety of reasons can cause a 404 error page to surface, ranging from deleted pages to a change in the URL structure, or a broken link from an external website.
Why Set Up a Custom 404 Page?
Creating a custom 404 page can serve as an effective strategy, helping to retain users who accidentally land on a non-existent page, provide guidance to users, and enhance the user experience on your website. By creating a custom 404 page, you can inform users that the page they are attempting to access is not available, and then steer them towards finding what they need on your website. Moreover, a custom 404 page effectively can reduce the bounce rate and ultimately lead to an overall improved user experience. It can present various information such as a search box, a site map, or links to popular pages on your website, making the most out of the 404 error page.
How to Set Up a Custom 404 Page in WordPress?
Setting up a custom 404 page in WordPress is a straightforward process and is executable through various methods. Three different practices will be discussed below to help set up a custom 404 page.
Method 1: Using a WordPress Plugin
An effortless and popular technique to perfecting a custom 404 page in WordPress is through the use of a plugin. There are several good plugins available within the WordPress repository that can accurately do the job. One such plugin is the ‘404page – your smart custom 404 error page’ plugin, which is free and simple to use.
- Install and activate the plugin
- Customize the 404 Page
- Save Changes
Method 2: Editing the Theme Files
Another method to create a custom 404 page is through editing your theme files manually, although this process isn’t suitable for beginners and requires a bit of technical knowledge. However, this method provides more control over the design and functionality of your 404 page.
- Create a new 404.php file
- Add the code
- Save changes
Method 3: Using a Page builder Plugin
The third method to set up a custom 404 page in WordPress is by using a page builder plugin such as Elementor or Beaver Builder. These plugins offer drag-and-drop functionality, which simplifies the process and sparing you from having to obtain any technical knowledge.
- Install and Activate the Page Builder Plugin
- Create a New Page
- Design Your Page
- Set the Page as Your 404 Page
In conclusion, creating custom 404 pages for WordPress is a vital element that improves your website’s user experience. Three different methods were discussed in this article, which included the use of a plugin, editing the theme files, and using a page builder plugin. No matter which technique you utilize, producing a custom 404 page will help retain users on your website and reduce bounce rates.