Every internet user must have come across the page tagged along with the lines “404 error” & how it disheartens us on seeing this page while browsing. An error 404 message is an HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) status code pointing out that the server could not find the requested website. Technically it means that the web browser could connect with the server, but your requested page couldn’t be accessed. To know more about What Does Error 404 Indicate in Computer Terminology, keep reading this article till the end.
The HTTP status code is also known as “error 404”, “HTTP 404” or “404 code” and many more depending on the browsers & servers. Here are the other common ways you’ll find this displayed:
- 404 Not Found
- Error 404 Not Found
- The requested URL was not found on this server
- 404 File or Directory Not Found etc
There are many reasons which trigger an error 404 message. They are as follows:
- The link or its content was deleted or moved
- The URL was written incorrectly.
- The server responsible for the website is not running.
- The connection is broken.
- The entered domain name doesn’t exist anymore.
Many websites still appear in the search engine results pages even though they are no longer available, thus they become a dead link. Website operators often forget to update the changes in the other linked websites like blogs or news portals or events. If they don’t update your external link, the functioning link of your website can easily become a dead link.
How to fix the error 404 pages?
For every problem, there is a remedy and so as for the “error 404” page. At the end of the day website traffic does matter a lot as it would discourage the visitors from browsing your website. Trying out these potential remedies would help you fix the “404 error” page:
Refresh the page: It might happen that the error 404 appeared for the simple reason that the page wasn’t refreshed or loaded properly. You can simply press the F5 key on your keyboard and check it easily.
Check the URL: It might happen there would be a typing mistake while entering the link or it could also be that the special characters must have been left out. So by simply checking the grammatical errors, one can fix the page.
Use a different search engine: The browser which you are using could be currently down or taking too much time to load. In this case, you can try out a different browser.
Delete the cache: If you happen to access the website from any other device then the error 404 only seems to be the problem in your device’s browser. By deleting the cache & cookies for the site, you may be finally able to access the page.
If none of the above-mentioned fixes be of any help, one can resort to the “contact us” option & get in touch with the website’s help desk. They would provide the exact information as to whether the page you are looking for actually exists or not. It might be a case that the page you have been looking for has been moved to a new URL. In this case, your query would be influential to the website operators as they can fix the 404 error by introducing a redirect page from the old web page.
How can we set a custom error 404 pages for the website?
Isn’t it very frustrating to see the blank “error 404” page? Well, there is a solution to it. By creating a friendly page informing the user of what happened & telling them what to do next. Creating a custom page for 404 error page would mean keeping your viewers engaged on your site, getting more leads, selling more stuff, etc.
Content Management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla automatically generate an error 404 page when your web site’s URL isn’t found.
You can create your error page in HTML by following these simple steps:
Look for the “.htaccess” file in the root directory of your server and edit it. If you don’t have one, you can create it by naming “.htaccess”.
Edit the “.htaccess” file and add the following line:
“ErrorDocument 404 / not-found-page.html”
With this technical jargon, we are just telling the server that in case of 404 error scenario, return this file to the browser
Now test and make sure the path you entered is correct. Search a page that doesn’t exist on your website and hence you get your custom 404 pages displayed.
By providing specially designed error pages like error page containing a link to your main page or sub-page, adding a search function or even a funny 404 page, etc you can keep the viewers from getting disappointed.