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How to fix / eliminate 404 errors?

Discussion in 'Website Development and Design Discussion' started by draggar, Aug 23, 2009.

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  1. draggar

    draggar þórr mjǫlnir Staff Member Moderator

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    Some of my sites are getting a significant amount of 404 errors - most likely from linking old pages.

    Is it possible to set up something where all the 404s will be redirected to the splash page?

    Is something like this advisable (say anti-spam measures)?
  2. Bob

    Bob Jedi Master DNFcollege.com Exclusive Member

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    In your .htaccess file, put this line:


    ErrorDocument 404 /index.html

    where index.html is whatever file you want to direct to.

    -Bob
  3. dodo1

    dodo1 DNF Addict Exclusive Member

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    Using a simple text editor, you'll have to create a file called .htaccess. Then add the following into the file:

    ErrorDocument 404 /index.html

    This would redirect users to the home page. You can also add more redirects for other error codes, such as 400, 403 etc.

    Then upload the file into the web site's main directory.

    *Edit* Bob beat me to it. ;)
  4. draggar

    draggar þórr mjǫlnir Staff Member Moderator

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  5. south

    south DNF Addict DNFcollege.com Exclusive Member

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    Be careful. Not sure google likes that..
  6. dodo1

    dodo1 DNF Addict Exclusive Member

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    Why not? I haven't had any problems with it so far and the biggest websites use this or a similar method to avoid blank error pages, too.
  7. draggar

    draggar þórr mjǫlnir Staff Member Moderator

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    Why?

    My main concern is people going to the site and getting the 404 thinking the site no longer exists (it is my wife's business) as opposed to just typing in / going to a wrong page?

    Google not liking it may be an issue, too.

    Also - how about global subdomain redirects?
  8. south

    south DNF Addict DNFcollege.com Exclusive Member

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    Not saying to use it under no circumstances, but it is my impression that google likes to find a true 404. If I see a lot of 404's to a page that used to exist, I often create that page, as google and others frequently maintain it in their search results even if it's no longer a real page, or not linked to from your internal links. In addition, if you have too many pages with the same content, they will further penalize you. Meaning that if a good chunk of your traffic is being redirected from a non existent page to your home page (for example), it could appear as the same content on multiple pages.

    Also: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=93641

    Cheers!
  9. gckorn

    gckorn Platinum Member

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    Well, Google actually provides a widget that you can install that suggests what might be the correct page on your site. See www.maine.info/festivalss.php (an erroneous page for which Google's widget itself has suggested the correct page, plus has given an internal search box).

    For more info, see http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/08/make-your-404-pages-more-useful.html

    Get the enhanced 404 widget here - http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=136085

    You will need to to ensure that Custom error documents are available (and enabled) on your server, and you will need access to the relevant custom error document so that you can edit it.

    gck
  10. dcristo

    dcristo Exclusive Member

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    True. Setting up a custom 404 page is best, and achieves the same purpose.
  11. godolphin

    godolphin DNF Member DNFcollege.com Exclusive Member

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    I've got some 404's on pages of my Wordpress Blog. Is the process for it same? I do not have good web design knowledge, kindly help.
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