You know how every once in a while you’ll move things around on your website? Maybe rename a page or post? Or maybe delete them all together.
Then a client returns to a link on your site that they bookmarked a year ago, but the page has been removed or renamed and the client sees your 404 Page Not Found page.
If you’re WordPress site is running Genesis (affiliate link), your clients would see something like this…
This page will provide links to every page and a good number of recent posts currently existing on your site. This could be good. This could also be bad.
Why This Can Be Good
Well, it provides a links to every page and a good number of recent posts currently existing on your site. It certainly gives the person an idea of what is there, and maybe they’ll see what they’re looking for. Yay!
Why This Can Be Bad
Well, maybe you’ve got pages on the site that you don’t want the public to see. Maybe you’re developing projects that you don’t want to be revealed yet. If that’s the case you probably don’t want those pages exposed every time someone sees this 404 Error page.
The Solution: A Custom 404 Error Page
Why not create a custom 404 Error page for your site? A page that is unique and can provide more help to your lost customers. A page that doesn’t expose all you have to expose!
Now, if your programming chops are up to speed you could dig into some code and create a shiny new 404 Error page. However, that’s really not as fun as it sounds. 😉
Genesis 404 Page WordPress Plugin
If your WordPress site runs on Genesis Framework (this applies to all my people) (affiliate link, btw) there is an easier solution: The Genesis 404 Page plugin. It’s available from the WordPress.org Plugin Repository.
This plugin allows you to use the text editor to easily create a custom 404 error page the same way you would create a regular page or post. You could add photos, search bars, even video if you want to really entertain your lost guests.
How Can You Get This?
A couple ways. You could go to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/genesis-404-page/ to get the plugin, or you could just:
- login to your WordPress admin area
- go to Plugins > Add New
- type Genesis 404 Page in the search field
- When you see the plugin listed, click Install Now
- Then Activate the plugin.
Once it’s installed and activated:
- go to Genesis > 404 Page
- create your custom 404 page
- publish it
- you’re done!
Check Out My 404 Error Page!
Credit Where Credit’s Due
I learned about this cool plugin via another WordPress/Genesis buddy of mine, Bob Dunn. Bob offers a lot of WordPress tips and training and would be a good guy for you to follow if you also love WordPress. Visit Bob’s site at www.bobwp.com.