When we see the 404 or “Not Found” Error message during the course of online browsing and surfing, we are sometimes taken aback in thinking about what it means. It is actually an HTTP standard response code representing the failure to communicate with the server. Placing the 404 widget on a site or blog will help visitors find their way.
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What Causes 404?
The appearance of the 404 page means that the server was found but it was not able to retrieve the requested pages. It is possible therefore that the requested page may be available in another time although there is no assurance of this. This often results when a page has been removed or deleted or an url has been wrongly typed.
A 404 page occurs because of broken links. These broken links have to be found and addressed accordingly. Broken links can occur from within the site or another site that links to the site displaying 404.
Making the 404 Page Useful
The 404 Page is probably the most neglected part of a site or a blog. Although no one would be really interested in specifically searching for a 404 page, it makes sense to make the page useful in as much as there will be errors bound to occur somewhere along the line.
Many websites have used their creativity to make use of what would be otherwise an unwelcome page for users to see. Conducting searches and ending up with 404 pages can be very frustrating. A 404 Page that shows the way is a positive way of addressing an undesirable error.
To be more useful , the 404 page may contain more than the usual message that the requested page cannot be found. Site owners should consider including a search box to help visitors find what they are looking for. With a little creativity, 404 pages can contain a simple projection of a site’s unique personality through graphics and witty text.
The additional information found on the 404 page can be put in place through 404 widgets such as links that point to the right direction. A snippet of code can also be added to serve a specific function. In some countries fake 404 errors are actually a form of concealed censorship.
It is a good idea to provide links as well to the site’s most popular contents. This provides an option to readers in the event that they are unable to find their originally chosen content. Installing a 301 redirect in the site can also prove useful.