How to fix a 404 not found error

HTTP 404 – 404 Not Found

Page Not Found – Server Not Found

Updated: January 25, 2021
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff

How to fix a 404 not found error

404 Page Not Found Error

A 404 error is an HTTP status code that means that the web page you were trying to reach could not be found

The 404 error indicates that while the Web Server is reachable, the specific page that you are looking for is not. 404 Not Found error messages are frequently customized by individual websites

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Here are some common ways in which you might see the HTTP 404 error displayed:
404 Error
404 Not Found
Error 404
HTTP 404
Error 404 Not Found
HTTP 404 Not Found
404 Page Not Found
404 File or Directory Not Found
The requested URL [URL] was not found on this server

A 404 page should do more than show that a page is missing or for poor navigation on behalf of your website. Why creating better 404 pages could help people navigate your website and possibly they will come back despite the inconvenience. And how to track those errors to reduce how often people see it

Often your website visitors can get turned around. And it is not always their fault. Maybe typed in the wrong URL or clicked on a broken link. Whatever the reason you now have a confused visitor who was looking to view your website. You can help them find the page they were looking for and the best way to do so is through a 404 Error Page

Your websites 404 error page can get your visitors back on their journey. Some of the Biggest Internet websites use bad or no 404 pages. No navigational links, No text, Nothing that reflects their brand messaging. Visitors are left even more disappointed in their encounter than before

There are some good 404 pages that go above and beyond. Well created 404 Pages can redirect your visitors away from being lost and confused and to a more helpful page on your website. A great 404 page does one thing above all else, make the visitors feel okay with not finding what they need, even if only for a moment. And then helps direct them to where they need to go

How to fix a 404 not found error

While 404 pages vary greatly, the best ones all seem to do two things well:
Support the company’s overall brand and messaging
Successfully redirect website visitors elsewhere on the page through clear navigation and support

Your 404 page can be a opportunity to show that your brand has humans behind its marketing rather than robotic, cold, automated messages seen elsewhere. Move beyond the “this page is unavailable” or “404 – File Not Found”

Here are some ideas that successful 404 pages have used to succeed

Humor, A joke (even a corny one) can do wonders for alleviating awkwardness or inconvenience
Happy and snappy
Get Clever
How about sassy or something totally unexpected
Sarcasm can pay off well to
Be Friendly. The friendliness can come from an inviting design or warm copy
Be Thought-provoking. Your 404 pages can even be educational! 404 pages can offer up resources and links to other helpful spots on your website
Anything that culminates in a sense of “oh hey, we’re really sorry about that. Let us try to fix it”

On a final note. Make sure those navigation links and tactics are just as efficient on mobile as they are on desktop. Treat your 404 page as you would any other. In order for it to succeed, it should be easily navigable to a variety of users, especially in our now “Mobile First” world. Make sure the navigation on your pages are clear. The fix could even be as simple as changing descriptions on a page to paint a clearer picture for users

By creating a better 404 page you can transform your web site into a pleasant unexpected stop for any website visitor