Managing 404 error page for a WordPress website
If you are searching information about a particular website and find a web page with “page not found” message, then the technical name for this problem is called as “404 error”. This occurs when a website is moved, renamed or deleted from a web server but links stay the same. According to Google search engine, it is the 5th most common error that is being redirected to the users to manage damage control system of a WordPress website. Managing and customizing the 404 page helps to generate traffic for a blog or website.
Ditch the default
This is the first step that needs to be managed in 404 error pages. Customizing these kinds of pages, a WordPress website can show the basic information and useful links. A website with great design and layout without any errors may also face these faults, so providing a “back” link button and a colored default-style of page may help the users to get information to some extent.
Keep it simple and familiar
Use recognizable banner and logo, so that users can get connected with the “404 not found” messages. The basic users may go away from the unfamiliar data, so do not put any huge data on error page and try to keep it simple and familiar for the visitors, so that they can visit your site in future too.
Offer search bar option
Using search bar option in “error found” page may help the users in several ways. Visitors can easily search the information by typing simple words in a search box and web developers may explain them where they should go for the information, providing a better opportunity to explain the problem in a prominent way.
It is essential to explain the possible reasons and the problems behind your error of a WordPress webpage when visitors lands on. But it would be beneficial not to use jargon or technical terms, as many users may not have technical knowledge. Write “try again” or “page not found” instead of technical words.
Do not get index with another design
The style of the 404 error page has to be as per the home page of a WordPress website, with same style, design, font and color. If you have made very good design for your 404 page, then use it for another purpose and try to make it simple and jargon free.
Provide link to homepage
It may be possible that users do not find what they search for, but providing a link to the homepage on an error page may help them to get some new information about a company and may also retain them for future visit. If they find a link valuable to them, they may follow the website right away.
Provide contact information
Allow the users to contact you immediately, in this way you can find out more information about errors on a webpage. Give chance to the frustrated users to write about their problems during searching the page and try to help them in best possible way. Use short and relevant message and asking users to report their difficulties may be beneficial to keep the visitors satisfied.
Fix broken links
Broken links are those links which don’t work at all and result into “404 not found” page as web server may indicate these links but the specific page cannot be find. Make sure to check the performance of your website once in a month so that users don’t get more error pages and hence get frustrated while navigating.
404 error pages occurs when site owners change the structure of webpages, new links and manage their website for changing content of webpages. If a user finds fault pages frequently, then he/she may go away from a WordPress website or blog that may lead to loss of the web traffic, so make sure that a website shows less error pages to gain the traffic. Managing 404 pages in an efficient way are the key aspects to retain the traffic and this may be possible when you give useful link and brief information instead of redirecting the visitors on another websites.