Avoid HTTP 404 (Not Found) Error

What is an HTTP 404 (Not Found) Error?

“The requested resource or page cannot be found.” Yes, the dreaded 404 error. This is the message that your visitors will see when the page they were looking for no longer exists. Not great for the user experience or building trust with potential new customers. Seeing a message like this will likely cause them to look elsewhere. They can certainly try refreshing the page, but if the page was recently taken off the server, refreshing or confirming the URL is not going to help.

From the user’s perspective, the issue with an HTTP 404 error is that it does not tell them where they can access the page, or similar resource, they were searching for, making it even more frustrating. From the viewpoint of a web developer or webmaster, if a page is inadvertently taken down, it is likely it will go unnoticed for some time.

Methods to Avoid the HTTP (Not Found) Error

There are several methods you can take to avoid users receiving the 404-error message. One way is to make sure to use a tool, like Google Search Console, to proactively crawl your site and notify if any 404 status error codes occur so you can take immediate action. Another way to avoid the HTTP 404 (Not Found) error is to ensure that any page that is removed is redirected to an appropriate page. In some cases, you may also be able to automatically set up redirects to a specific page, such as the homepage, if a user encounters a 404 error. This ensures that they are not left hanging on a 404-error page, and at a minimum, they are directed back to your site to hopefully keep them engaged.



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