I noticed that many bloggers are ignoring the Page Not Found message or HTTP 404 error pages
What is a HTTP 404 error?
Taken from wikipedia.
The 404 or Not Found error message is a HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with the server but either the server could not find what was requested or it was configured not to fulfill the request and not reveal the reason why.
The reasons 404 occurred could be:
- the page has been removed or doesnâ€™t exist anymore
- broken link or out-dated link
- maybe a temporary technical glitch
A simple test on many WordPress blogs, found that many blog owners just ignoring the important 404 pages.
Potentially, you’re losing all 404 incoming random visitors. Over the times, you’re losing lots of traffic too.
Most reader will not make an effort to find a missing pages if they see a 404. By simply customize the 404 error page, you can keep them on your blog.
So, how would you turn your random traffic into regular readers?
All WordPress theme has a 404.php file, which you can design an user friendly page to display 404 errors and then help random visitors to find the information they’re looking for.
Edit Your WordPress Theme
1) Goto WordPress Control Panel, click on Presentation, then Theme Editor.
2) Open the 404 Template (404.php) file
Suggestions for for 404 error page
1) Writing friendly messages or show them some important pages of the site or tell them an interesting stories. Don’t just tell them to correct the URL address.
2) Offer them an opportunity to subscribes your email update.
3) Encourage them to subscribes to your RSS feed.
4) Include a Google search box to search the site.
5) List some related links that are similar to what was entered.
What I suggested above is just some commonly used. There are thousand creative ways to keep your blog readers.
See how I customized the 404 page for this blog.
This is OPAD Day 7 post