I used my existing site's layout (I have, a for lack of a better term, a template page that I made). I opened this page and did a "save as". I named it 404.htm. I made the page's title "404 Page not Found" I then made it look like a directory. I listed pages in "groups". Each group I gave a keyword laiden, with other content, desctription of the pages for that group. Under the descriptions I then listed the pages for that clump/group.
I then called my host and had them set this page for a 404 responsee. It took them around one minute to do this.
Just make sure that it makes sense to the surfer the way you setup the listings.
We are with Interland - one of the largest in the US. They have adopted a policy over the last year that you have to try to make all changes yourself through the ADMIN panel before one of their tech reps will step in and help you.
If their instructions were clear it wouldn't be a problem or if, in this case, I could have just typed in a url and pushed a button then it would have been no problem however with Interland nothing is that easy. I was sent to an explanation page of Redhat Linux on how to deal with the .htaccess (or something like that)file. There is an explanation of how to create an errorpage string however no step by step explanation of how to create the file or exactly how to do it. If I had that kind of expertise or knowledge I probably wouldn't be using FP 2002. Nothing in the FP "help" covers it. After being bumped from them 3 times I finally got them to do the changes to 3 sites for me and now everything is working fine. If anyone is planning a server change from MS to Linux for an existing site and wants to sticky me I'd be happy to point out some important things and pitfalls to watch out for. In any event create a custom 404 page. Out of an average of 1100+ visitors a day to the 3 sites we are getting a 100+ 404 errors mostly due to Linux being "case sensitive". These are outside links that we do not control (including errors in how Google lists the pages).
"You can do this by editing/creating your .htaccess file. and uploading your custom 404.html file"
OK, This is exactly what I mean. This is how Interland starts their explanation.
With FP 2002 how does one create a .htaccess file.? Do you create a page with an .htaccess extension instead of .htm or .html? If it has to be done through the ADMIN page, how? Are you getting the picture? Many of us who build very effective and profitable web sites (we run 5) using an html editor have no idea about the technical aspects behind the interface.
My experience with Interland is they get very arrogant and short if you indicate that you are less than 100% sure of what you are doing although once you just give up they will do it if pushed. Many of their on-site explanations require a higher understanding than you need with FP.