Has Anyone Seen My 404 Page?

Error 404 Page Not Found
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Has Anyone Seen My 404 Page?

One of the things that many web designers neglect to set up is a 404 page. The 404 page, is also known as the “Not Found”, or “Missing” page or just the “404 error” page. The 404 name comes from the error message that is generated by the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) standard response code 404, which is the code for “Not Found”, meaning that the page or document is not found. There is actually a long list of response codes, with the most common one being 200, which is the code that the request has been accepted, but you seldom see this actual code as the expected result is a web page.

The whole idea behind the 404 page is to let the website visitor know that the page they are looking for or the URL that they have is not valid and that they should either search for the page or try again. It is good web design to put a site search option on the 404 page for larger sites or maybe a site map for smaller websites. But you should “hold the hand” of the visitor and help them find the missing page.

The most often reason for a missing page is a site redesign and the developer didn’t use a redirection to point from the old page location to the new page location. If the old site was let’s say, HTML, and the page was donuts.html and the new site is using WordPress and the new URL is /donuts/, then the developer should put in a 301 redirect to point donuts.html to /donuts/. So if Google has the old page indexed and someone searches and finds your donut page, they will get redirected to the correct page and if they are not redirected to the correct page, they will get a useful 404 page.

Now, I understand that it is a “thing” for developers to make a cute or funny 404 page and I’m for that I have done that as well on some of my sites, like this one {{404}}, but I also include a search and I have a ton of redirects when I rename a page.

Some Of The Runner-up 404 Pages

When you build a 404 page you need to either put a link to the site map or put a search function on the page. This will allow the end-user to help themselves find the missing content. I still can’t figure out why very few people do this, It is so annoying when you can’t find the page and you know that it is there because Dr. Google said so.


One of my favorite 404 pages - Soda Not Found

The Winner Is

Other Web Pages With A List Of 404 Pages

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