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Website Technology Issues Forum

'404 Error'
Need suggestions for error page content

 5:40 am on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Defunct Web pages and mistyped URLs generally deliver 404 Error File Not Found message.

Webmasters can you tell me How to get creative with error page.

(edited by: sasika at 5:59 am (utc) on Mar. 27, 2002)



 5:48 am on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Setup your web server to use custom ErrorFiles, from there you can setup the page to process the people directly to your homepage. My favorite was to write a errorpage in PHP that looked what URL people tried to goto, if it ended in the file extension (ie: .cfm) that I changed to .php it automaticly directed them to the right .php page, if it wasnt from a .cfm page on my webserver it sent them to my homepage.


 6:12 am on Mar 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Use the same stylesheet that you use on the whole site; that gives consistency, and avoids the effect of the visitor feeling that did leave your page.

Build a site map on your 404; not too cluttered, and with "what's new" and "hot topics" links.
Just don't make it look like a portal, or the visitor may feel redirected.

And of course, a big link to the homepage at the top and the bottom.


 7:32 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have a feature on my site that runs thru the file name and makes suggestions based on partial matches. It ain't perfect but it does help.

This will no longer take you to the 404 page

(edited by: DaveAtIFG at 7:36 pm (utc) on April 5, 2002)


 7:40 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think it's a good idea to place the following meta tags on the webpage you use for errors. Most Linux systems will give a 302 code to search engines, which is a re-direct. These meta tags will make is clear that you're not up to something bad with your re-directs. Just my opinion.

<meta http-equiv="Pragma" content="no-cache">
<meta name="robots" content="FOLLOW,NOINDEX">


 8:04 pm on Apr 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Put an abbreviated site map on the custom 404 page... Keeps visitors from getting frustrated and leaving if they can get where they want to go from your 404.

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