What is a 404 Error Page?

When a user or search engine requests a URL that cannot be located on a server, a 404 error page is produced. The 404 error code indicates that the requested resource was not found but may be accessible in the future.

A user or search engine may experience a 404 error for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The requested webpage or resource has been removed or relocated.
  • The requested URL is misspelled or wrongly entered.
  • The requested URL is no longer valid and does not exist on the server.
  • A security feature or plugin has blocked the requested URL.

When a user or search engine meets a 404 problem, it’s critical to present a helpful and user-friendly 404 error page to help them go on to the next step. A decent 404 error page should include the following elements:

  • Indicate clearly that the requested page cannot be found.
  • Give a clear and short message that explains the mistake.
  • To assist users in finding what they are looking for, include a search bar or a link to the homepage.
  • To assist users in navigating the website, provide connections to popular or related pages.
  • Include a contact form or an email address so that users can report broken links.

Creating a custom 404 error page can help improve the user experience while also informing search engines that the page no longer exists.

It is vital to note that 404 errors might have a detrimental influence on SEO if they are not handled properly. Multiple 404 errors may be seen by search engines as a symptom of a poorly maintained website, which may result in lower ranks or removal from search engine indexes. When a website or resource has been permanently relocated or destroyed, it is best practice to utilize 301 redirects to lead users and search engines to the right page.

It’s also a good idea to review your website’s 404 errors regularly and create 301 redirects or update internal links as needed to replace broken links, which will benefit both user experience and SEO.

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