404 Error Page: How to solve this problem? (Complete Guide)

404 error or “Page not found” (404 error not found) is the common problem in blogging. This error problem does not affect on Blog’s SEO and ranking. But it diverts user attention. Every day I am facing the same problem with a minimum one 404 error problem. This gives a negative user experience. So I started writing this article on How to deal with the 404 error for your blog. There are so many doubts on this 404 error page like “Are 404 pages are good for SEO? If there are too many 404 pages found on my blog, Google penalizes my blog ?”

404 error page

What is a 404?

Why this article? One of my readers wrote a request on 404 error rectification on his blog. He is also a blogger. He asked me to make a guide on how to detect and eliminate 404 errors on a web page or blog.

It is for this reason that I thought to teach you the best tools to detect 404 and how we can correct and eliminate these errors from your website.

Finally, I am suggesting some additional tips on how we can take advantage of our 404 pages to orient to the conversion and get leads.

A 404 page or “Page not found” is a pause in the user’s navigation when searching online. The normal reaction is to close the browser tab or go back. In this case, When you have a few seconds to hook your attention, otherwise it will return back to your browser, where you will find your competitors.

What is a 404 error?

What is the 404 Error Code? The 404 is the standard response code of an HTTP status that informs the browser that indicates that the client or user was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was the request. Finally, the web server generates 404 Not found the page when a user attempts to follow a broken or invalid or dead link. This is the most common error on the web.

According to theory, this error code returned by the server where it is hosted on the website, the search engines do not crawl and no-index of the content page, because if the page was already indexed in Google, it may take sometimes days to weeks to remove from the search result.

What are the Causes of 404-page Errors?

There is no blog without this lucky number code 404. The 404 error page is produced by different causes, but these are perhaps the most common:

  • If you change the permalink or link structure of your blog.
  • If you removed the content from your blog
  • If anyone linked your blog URL with an incorrect or misspelled link

An error 404 not available page should be useful and creative

When a user lands on page 404, we have to be creative, we do not lose our visitors. Ask yourself some questions and make the most of this page how can we help? What can we offer? How can we capture him? If you optimize either the resources on this page 404 you can become an ally to enhance the interaction of your visitors.

  • If you have a blog, you can display a list of your most popular posts to draw the user’s attention.
  • In business pages, a good strategy would be to include a direct link to the contact page to remain always accessible.
  • Another alternative is to show the search bar.

An example of customized 404 pages from Top Blogs

I will show a Great 404 Pages collection that exudes creativity and ingenuity, are 12 pages of error; you will great inspiration and ideas, and of course, you will get a more than a smile.

1. Hasbro

Mr. Potato Greets disjointed, the text tells your situation and why you got there, ask the visitor come out with a link, which is linked to your homepage.

hasbro 404 error page

2. Mailchimp

Here is the famous chimpanzee in cool forest, which welcomes us, while supporting a smooth and cool weather there. We show that at the top there is a navigation menu or you can use your browser.

mailchimp page not available

3. Angry Birds

A cheerful and fun to a page 404 of the famous cartoon design. The gamification is present as could not fail to be if you click on the center button takes you to a fun journey through space and Angry Birds games. 

angry birds page not available

4. Biltmore

It has achieved not modify the Home page, to keep the user always in touch with services. Once you get to page 404, change a banner and teaches you another copywriting. An idea to copy.Example 51:

5. Duoh

It employs its error page to inform your website has been redesigned and use a link to take the user to their home.Example 6:

6. Launchlist

A sense of humor is a resource heavily exploited in the design of the 404, in this case, will be notified of black holes in Internet websites swallowed.Example7:

7. Hotdot

A 404 error with mild effects of displacement, incorporates links to the main social networks, anything goes to keep a user.

Do you know the project NotFound ? Thousands of children go missing every year across Europe. The NotFound project is a brutal idea for anyone who wants to support this cause solidarity. Use error pages to post pictures of missing children, you just have to settle their application, each page of your site not found; it will become a picture of a missing child.

Tools for detecting 404 and Broken link Pages

Since there are many tools to detect errors 404, what I did was choose the most important or most used.

1. Screaming Frog

ScreamingFrog SEO Spider tool

The free version will allow us to analyze up to 500 pages of our website and look for the happy and annoying 404.

How to use this?

  1. We analyze our web page or blog.
  2. We click on “Response Codes”.
  3. Filter chose as the “Client Error (4XX)” option.

2. Xenu

How to detect and Fix broken links with broken link checker

One of the most classic and effective tools to find errors 4XX and 5XX any website.

How to use this?

  • We analyze our web page.
  • We click on the File menu to “Report”.

It is very easy to follow this report because it will show 4xx and 5xx errors, what is the URL affected and websites that occur, which greatly facilitates us to find and correct them.

3. Ahrefs

ahref site to detect 404 not available pages

Ahrefs, besides being a powerful tool to analyze our inbound links can also be used to analyze any broken links page so you can remove the lucky 404.

How to use this?

  • The Ahref analyzes our web page.
  • When we click on “Broken Links” in the “Outgoings Links” section.

4. Google Search Console

Google search console is one of the popular Google services for all bloggers and webmasters to analyze their site searching levels and they give very good suggestions about your blogging errors. It gives very good insights. It helps you to find the broken links, toxic external links to protect your blog penalization. Every webmaster needs to join in this GWT.

The Google search console informs us of our website pages that return 404 errors.

5. SEMRush

The SEMRush audit tool allows you to search for the 4XX and 5XX HTTP errors. How do we do it?

  • In the left tool menu, we go to Tools> Site Audit.
  • Add the website that we audited.
  • Click “Errors” for errors 4XX and 5XX errors, among many others

6. Broken Link Checker

online broken link checker

The free version of this tool to analyze and detect broken links up to 3,000 web pages. The good thing about this application is that it is very easy to use and do not need to install anything. You can detect 4XX and 5XX errors in minutes.

 7. Check My Links

Check My Links are the free Google Chrome extension and it is a Free tool to detect broken links, created by Dave Chaffey. To use it you’ll have to install this extension for Google Chrome.  When you try it you’ll see it’s a very intuitive visual tool and see how you like it.

What to do after finding this Pages?

If you find 400 pages, you can use any redirection WordPress plugins. This plugin helps to redirects the user from the error page to the correct page. There are a number of redirection plugins are available on the WordPress plugin repository. Here I am providing a smart guide for WordPress users, which gives better results in many cases.

Step by step process:

  • Login to WordPress dashboard
  • Go to Plugins > Add New, then search with Redirection
  • Click on the Install then activate it.
  • Go for Tools > Redirection
redirection 1

Scroll down the page and enter the error page URL in the Source URL box and destination URL in Target URL. Put the tick mark in Regular expression. Finally, click on Add Redirection.

add new redirection

That’s it.

This is the simplest solution for most cases after detected the 404 problems. Here are some other plugins other than the above plugin that will help you to solve the problem.

They are

How I designed my 404 Not available Page?

Most of the WordPress themes having a special inbuilt design code for the 404 pages. Here I have a special inbuilt code in my theme. So I used this page. Follow the steps or you can use any 404 custom page plugins.

Appearance Editor panel

After login into WordPress dashboard, Go to Appearance > Editor.

Then select “404.php” and I have added the simple code in the box to display some posts.

404 page editor box

Paste the below one of the codes in the left side box.

paste the code to display random posts or recent posts

Use any one code according to your needs.

Code 1: To display Recent Posts

Add this code in the 404 templates without using any additional plugins to display your recent posts.

<?php wp_get_archives( array( 'type' => 'postbypost', 'limit' => 10, 'format' => 'custom', 'before' => '', 'after' => '
' ) ); ?>

Code 2: To display Random Posts:

Add this code in the 404 templates without using any additional plugins to display Random posts.

<ul>
<?php 
$posts = get_posts('orderby=rand&numberposts=15'); 
   foreach($posts as $post) { ?>
        <li><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" title="<?php the_title(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a>
        </li>
   <?php } ?>
</ul>

Check the Best 404 Page of my blog here

Blogging den 404 problem page

Final Words

404 page is not against SEO, but not good to see a bulk list of 404 pages in your blogs. My aim in this post is to explain a poor experience with 404 pages of users. This article helps you the Error 404 How to Fix. How do you handle 404 pages on your blog? Are you using any 404 redirection WordPress plugins or using any custom 404 error page. Just use the comments section to share your experience on your blog.

404 error page smart basic guide

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we will get some commission (However you won't be charged extra). The reviews are written based on our own experiences, we were not paid for these reviews. Here is the affiliate disclaimer

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by Satish Kumar Ithamsetty
Hi, I am Satish. Full-time Blogger since 2009 and tech enthusiast. The main motto of this blog is to help newbies to start their blogging as a business. I love to write on Blogging, SEO, Make money online, and Affiliate marketing. If you need any assistance Stay connected and join in our Facebook Community to get industry relavent updates which helps you to connect people like you.

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