How To Create A Custom 404 Page In WordPress

By WP Saviour •  Updated: 03/06/21 •  8 min read

There’s little doubt most Web customers are postpone by the all-too-familiar 404 Web page Not Discovered error message. Likelihood is you’ve been bombarded by this annoying message not less than as soon as this month once you clicked a damaged hyperlink.

A 404 Error is a typical HTTP response to an internet web page request that the server wasn’t capable of fulfill for varied causes. By default, the error message is displayed as plain textual content in opposition to a white background. Should you hate this tacky message, you wouldn’t wish to topic your web site guests to see it too. So why not make it much less irritating by way of a customized message?

On this tutorial, I’ll take you thru the steps of making a customized Web page Not Discovered message in order that your web site guests are much less irritated once they hit a clean. First although, let’s get a greater understanding of why you could hit a clean when making an attempt to entry an internet web page.

How and Why 404 Web page Not Discovered Errors Happen

Whenever you click on on a hyperlink and get a 404 Error, it implies that your web page request to the server was profitable however the explicit web page you have been making an attempt to entry was not discovered by the server. There are lots of causes for this.

For example, if the online web page to which the hyperlink was connecting was eliminated, a 404 Error will show. A typical state of affairs that results in that is when an outdated web page that contained well-liked content material is eliminated but it had a number of hyperlinks pointing to it from different web sites. Massive information web sites are doubtless culprits of this if web site directors don’t take precautionary steps to forestall lacking web page hyperlinks.

A 404 Web page Error may happen if the requested web page was relocated to a brand new area title. If the issue is with the server (server is down or is inaccessible for some cause), you could get a DNS error. Firewalls, content material filters, and different types of content material blocking could trigger damaged hyperlinks as effectively.

Backside line is damaged hyperlinks are commonplace on the net. It’s as much as web site homeowners or directors to make the expertise extra bearable for customers. Bear in mind, Web customers are usually impatient when looking for data on a web site. A consumer will waste no time in searching for one other web site to get what they need if all they discovered on yours was a plain, irritating 404 Error.

A Consumer Pleasant Error Message

As I’ve already talked about, most internet servers are set as much as return a fundamental 404 Error web page that shows an apologya brief description why you weren’t capable of entry the requested web page. In some instances, you may additionally be introduced with a hyperlink to a webmaster’s e-mail (when you want extra technical assist) or a hyperlink to a search engine to proceed along with your search.

Whereas this default error message is well mannered, it’s fairly plain and often a turn-off for many web site guests. That’s why severe site owners customise this message in order that guests who hit blanks may even see a extra user-friendly (and fewer irritating) 404 Error web page.

All default themes that ship with WordPress have a fundamental 404 Error web page template named 404.php. In fact, this default template works good however likelihood is it doesn’t say what you wish to say to your guests. Fortunately, customizing the message within the template is a breeze. Merely open the web page template in a code editor and alter the message textual content to your personal. Save the adjustments after.

The construction of the default error web page template shipped with the Twenty 13 theme is made up of tags for displaying the header, footer, and a search bar. That is what it seems like in motion (simply kind a faux web page deal with within the browser’s deal with bar):


Should you study the code of your 404 web page template, you’ll discover the heading of the web page Not Discovered throughout the

heading tag, together with a _e operate that truly shows the consequence on the web page. That is what you’ll want to edit first when customizing your 404 web page. Chances are you’ll then go forward and add extra user-friendly textual content within the


tags beneath it. Notice that you could be or could not change the Not Discovered heading but it surely’s usually good to place a customized heading that doesn’t irritate your guests, together with customized textual content within the paragraphs.

You might also discover that the heading seems inside the large 404 quantity on the web page. Whenever you do a web page inspection of your error web page utilizing Firebug, you will note that the large 404 is inserted by a pseudo-element (.error404 .page-title:earlier than). So open the 404.php template and change the default textual content within the


, and

tags to what you wish to inform your guests. Additionally, edit the aforementioned pseudo-element to your liking or take away it (remark it out within the model sheet). I’ve modified mine to this:


When you can say something you need on to your guests right here, it’s all the time good to maintain it brief and candy. Additionally, attempt to say or level the customer to what they may have been searching for within the first place. And that’s just about all it’s good to do to make your 404 Web page extra consumer pleasant. Examine the web page after which change the types as you see match.

Additionally, relying on the WordPress theme you’re utilizing the developer could have included customized 404 web page assist. In our Complete WordPress theme we in-built a customized 404 web page theme possibility that makes it simple so as to add a customized 404 redirect, or a customized web page title and content material proper from the WordPress dashboard.


Screenshot of the customized 404 web page editor in Complete


The .htaccess File is The place the Magic Occurs

As soon as your 404.php is custom-made, all that’s left is for WordPress to show it when the state of affairs is suitable—when it can not discover a particular web page. That is the default course of. Nevertheless, there are occasions when the online server may encounter points earlier than WordPress is conscious of them, which means that guests may not be capable to entry some pages. In that case, it’s good to be certain that the online server can redirect them to your 404.php web page and that is the place the .htcaccess file is available in.

The .htcaccess file is situated within the root folder of your WordPress set up. For the case of WordPress, it’s generated routinely once you change your permalink construction from default. All it’s good to do to make sure that the server finds your customized 404 web page is add a single line to the file like this:

ErrorDocument 404 /index.php?error=404

As you’ll be able to see, this url begins on the root (/), which means that to make use of this url format, your WordPress set up have to be on the root of your server. In any other case, if WordPress is put in in a sub-directory, the redirection path ought to be:

ErrorDocument 404 /yourfolder/index.php?error=404

This fashion, even when you change your theme, index.php will all the time name up the correct 404 file on your new theme.

Wrapping Up

By studying this fast tutorial, now you can hopefully create a customized 404 web page full with a customized user-friendly message. You may as well configure the .htcaccess file to make sure that your web site guests are all the time redirected to the correct 404 web page by the server in conditions when WordPress shouldn’t be capable of or once you change themes.

If you wish to entice loyal guests that may all the time come again to your web site, it’s necessary to customise your 404 web page with a much less irritating message. And naturally, making an attempt to restrict the variety of instances a customer even lands on a 404 web page is a good suggestion, too.

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WP Saviour

I am a WordPress specialist. My mission is to help you create beautiful websites with ease!