what is a 404 error?
Ever click on a link and get an error code or message indicating the page is not available or not found? that is a 404 error and it can be frustrating!
A 404 error can be caused by a broken link, a page no longer existing or the site visitor typing the wrong URL. It may even appear as a link from another site or search engine.
It can be frustrating and a plain generic error code/message may give bad impression of your website or business. This may cause the site visitor to abandon your site and go to your competitors. This will increase your bounce rate, which can negatively affect your search engine rankings.
However, a custom 404 page may turn this negative experience into a more positive one!
Here are 5 reasons you should create a custom 404 page today.
how to create a 404 custom page in wordpress
If a visitor tries to access a page that cannot be found they will be sent to your 404 page, therefore customising this page is a must!
Here are 3 options to create a customised 404 page for your WordPress website!
If you don’t want to add code and modify theme files, and if your theme doesn’t have option to customise, then a plugin would be the best option.
Creating a custom 404 page template using Elementor Pro is my preference, as it is easy to set up and has great templates to use!
*elementor pro link is an affiliate link. Link for video above
what should you include on a your custom 404 page?
Design your custom 404 page to speak to site visitor, encourage them to stay on your site. your goal is to show the visitor you care about their experience, keep them on your site. You can even do this with some humour and make them smile.
Tell your visitor what has happened and provide information to guide them elsewhere.
Make sure to brand your page
My top recommendations for including on your 404 page
View some of my favourite example of top brands and their customised 404 page.
how to find internal 404 error pages?
Your custom 404 page is important, but don’t forget to check any 404 errors out.
You can check via Google analytics if your visitors have encountered 404 errors. Go to Google Analytics, go to Behaviour → Site Content → All Pages. Then, change the Primary Dimension to Page Title and search for “page not found”
Other ways to check for broken links include..