How to handle error 404?

Website Tips

Everyone has encountered the frustrating 404 error page. You follow a link, looking forward to the joy waiting for you on the other side, when BAM! you get an error because the page you were looking for does not exist.

The Error 404 "Page not found" is the error page displayed whenever someone asks for a page that is simply not available on your website. The reason for this is that there may be a link on your website that was wrong or the page might have been recently removed from the website. As there is no web page to display, the web server sends a page that simply says "404 Page not found".

The 404 error message is an HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) standard status code. This "Not Found" response code indicates that although the client could communicate to the server, the server could not find what was requested or it was configured not to fulfill the request.

When I first started, the extension for my content files was dot html. Then I changed it dot php. And now it is dot shtml. The search engines, for example, Google might still have the old extension files index and they may not have removed it yet.

Just to give you an example, click on
It will send you to the 404 error page that I have created.

By the way, to come back here to this page, click on "Back To Previously Visited Page".

Create a file like that, write any message you want in it, save the file naming it appropriately and FTP it to the server.

Then download .htaccess file, open it in Notepad and add the following statement to it. To begin, go to the main directory of your web site (where your main page is located) through FTP. Look for a file there named .htaccess, it begins with the dot as though it is a long file extension. If you have the file, you will want to edit it. If you do not have the file, create a new text file and save it as ".htaccess".

If you are creating the file from scratch, simply type the following line into the file, changing the url to the location of your custom page:

ErrorDocument 404

Keep it all on one line, with a space on each side of the number 404. Also, this is case sensitive, so be sure to check the case of the E and D in ErrorDocument before you proceed.

For example, my .htaccess file has the below statement in it.

ErrorDocument 404

Save the file and FTP it to your server in the same directory you downloaded it from.

And that is it.
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