X
X
X
X
X
Owner:
Authorized users:
X
Owner:
Authorized users:
X
Owner:
Authorized users:
Check and Optimize Your 404 Page – Lil Assistance

Check and Optimize Your 404 Page

by | Sep 17, 2022

🎯 What’s the goal?
Customize your 404 page.
⚠️ Why does it matter?
When your visitors encounter a good looking and interesting 404 page there is a high chance that they will not leave your website immediately.
🏁 What’s the result?
A Custom 404 page appears when an audience tries to reach a non-existing page on your website. Your 404 page is excluded from XML Sitemap.
⌚ When do you do this?
Ideally, as soon as you put your website online.
✅ Any special requirements?
N/A.
🙋‍♂️Who should do it?
The person in charge of SEO and Analytics.

👉 Where this is done: WordPress Admin Panel.

⏳ How long will this take? about 15 minutes

Let’s get started.  In less than 15 minutes you’ll be able to attract audiences even when they hit a non-existing page on your website.

Environment setup:

  • We recommend that you use Google Chrome browser to navigate the web.
  • Access to your WordPress admin panel.

Checking your 404 page

  • Simply type “yourwebsiteURL/404” on your web browser.
  • You will be presented with your 404 error page.

Many WordPress themes have their own custom 404 pages like in our case. 

Setting your own 404 page using a WordPress Plugin

Installing 404page – your smart custom 404 error page Plugin

  • Log in” to your WordPress admin panel.
  • Select “Plugins” on the left side menu.
  • Then click on “Add New”.
  • Type “404” in the search box.
  • You should see “404page – your smart custom 404 error page” Plugin in the search results.
  • Click on “Install Now”.
  • Then on “Activate”.
  • A confirmation message should appear in the upper part of the screen.
  • Newly installed Plugin will appear in your Plugin list on WordPress Admin Panel.

Preparing your website, before using the plugin

Setting Permalinks correctly

  • Choose “Settings” from the left side menu in your WordPress Admin Panel.
  • Then press on “Permalinks”.
  • To make your 404 Plugin works, all you have to do is to make sure that you are not using “Plain” Permalink structure. Any setting other than “Plain” is allowed. 

Making your page to serve as a 404 error page

  • Click on “Pages” on the left side menu of your WordPress Admin Panel.
  • Then choose “Add New”.
  • Regular WordPress page creators will appear. Simply make a page that you want to appear if someone hit your 404 error page. You can also use some pictures or ask your designer to create one.
  • For the purpose of this SOP, we came up with a simple text to serve as our 404 error page.
  • After customizing your page click on “Publish”.
  • If you choose to publish immediately, you will instantly see your newly created page in the “Pages” section of your WordPress Admin Panel.

Setting your custom page as 404 error page

  • Select “Plugins” on the left side menu of your Admin Panel.
  • Find “404page – your smart custom 404 error page” Plugin and click on “Settings”.
  • Choose the “Advanced” tab.
  • Turn on the setting to “Hide the selected page form Pages list” by clicking on the slider. This will prevent your 404 custom page from appearing as an accessible page on your website. 
  • Click on “Save Changes”.
  • Now navigate to the “General” tab of the Plugin.

In our case, there is a piece of information that due to the Yoast SEO Plugin installed on our website, our 404 page will be automatically excluded from XML sitemap created by Yoast Plugin. If You are using a custom XML sitemap remember to exclude 404 pages from it to prevent it from being indexed by search engines!

We highly recommend you to install the Yoast SEO Plugin on your website if you don’t have it installed already. It will make your SEO-related work within your website much easier. Check our SOP-006 on how to install it!

  • Select your custom page from the list…
  • …then click on “Save Changes”.
  • Now open “yourwebsiteURL/404” in your browser. Your custom 404 error page will open.

Now you know how to set a custom 404 custom page! From now you should consider it as an opportunity to attract your audiences rather than discourage them. Remember to design it in a manner that reflects your website content. You should also check Quicksprout’s article about how to use your 404 pages to boost your SEO!

Check and Optimize Your 404 Page

🎯 What’s the goal?Customize your 404 page. ⚠️ Why does it matter?When your visitors encounter a good looking and interesting 404 page there is a high chance that they will not leave your website immediately. 🏁 What’s the result?A Custom 404 page appears when an audience tries to reach a non-existing page on your website. […]
You May also Like: