What are the effective ways to fix error 404 not found? Learn quick tips

Among many potential WordPress errors users come across WordPress error 404 not found. This is one of the issues that hinders and users start looking forward to an effective solution. However, that does not mean that you or your visitors will not be frustrated if they continue to see the message Error 404 not found when trying to browse your website. This is the last thing you want potential customers to see your brand for the first time. A 404 error can also indicate that something has been changed or moved and that you need to add a 301 redirect to your SEO.

If you are someone looking to fix the hinderance, this blog will assist in smoothly operating the error free website.

 

What is the 404 Not Found error?

One among the top-notch questions that comes in users mind is what does 404 means. To answer the question, various secondary information on the web says that, 404 Not Found error defines the following thing:

Code 404 not found indicates that the origin server has not found or does not want to indicate that the current representation of the target resource exists. In short, the 404-status code does not indicate whether this lack of expression is temporary or permanent.

 

When does the error code appear?

 

Whenever you or one of your visitors visit your website, your browser sends a request to a web server and receives data containing so-called HTTP headers. The HTTP header contains an HTTP status code that describes what happened to the request.

In most cases, the request works fine and I don’t see the HTTP status code. However, when a problem occurs, the web browser usually displays a message with an HTTP status code to indicate the exact problem.

Like other error messages (500 error, 502 error, 503 error, 504 error), the WordPress 404 error is the result of this process.

 

What does it really mean that error 404 is not found?

 

Basically, this is because the web browser or visitor’s web browser was able to successfully connect to the host, but the actual resource was requested such as a specific URL or filename. It means that I couldn’t find it.

 

 Common symptoms that cause WordPress error 404

If you see this error in all the content on your website, it’s usually due to a problem with your WordPress site’s permalinks. However, if it only appears in individual content, it could be because you changed the content slug without setting a redirect.

Moreover, a 404 error is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s only bad if it affects usability. And sometimes things are out of your control!

 

Variations of Error 404 Not Found

Different browsers display different error messages, so you may see different messages for this error. Other common variations that comes on the user screen can be as:

  • “Error 404”
  • “404 not found”
  • “HTTP Error 404”
  • “Not Found”
  • “Page not found”
  • “The requested URL was not found on this server.”
  • “Page not found”
  • “The page you are looking for cannot be found.”
  • “The requested URL / ~ was not found on this server. I don’t know anymore.
  • Google404 Error page

 

” Error 404 found. The “No” error message is also unique in that many websites actually create a custom page to fix the error instead of displaying the above message. Some WordPress themes also come with a custom 404 page by default. Because of this, many websites use interesting or creative 404 pages instead, and you may not see any error messages.

 

Why fix error 404?

 

Error 404 not found Impact on SEO

There are no SEO-specific adverse effects. However, this can be detrimental depending on the reason for the failure.

If a visitor mistypes a URL and gets a 404 error, SEO will not be adversely affected. However, if there are individual bugs due to URL corruption, they will affect Google’s ability to crawl websites properly, which will have a negative impact on SEO. If the permalink issue is causing a 404 error across the website, Google will not be able to crawl the content of the website. That is, always fix the 404 error as soon as possible.

 

Site Performance Impact

Many people don’t know, but sites that generate a lot of 404 errors usually don’t cache these responses, which makes them more prone to performance issues. This is common on large websites and can be a big problem. In case the user accidentally promotes your 404 page or if the viral traffic to your 404-page spikes. 404 pages are automatically cached for 15 minutes to minimize the impact of 404 requests on website performance. When you create a new page with the same URL as the 404-cache page, the cache is automatically cleared so that visitors can view the new page immediately. This means that your website is protected from PHP and CPU spikes caused by dynamic 404-page traffic.

 

Common 404 Errors

Error in Google console and third-party Plugins

You can also check for 404 errors in the Google Search Console and install third-party plugins such as redirects that log 404 errors. However, keep in mind that plugins like these also have a performance impact. It is recommended that you should rely on server-level tools. That’s why WordPress make these tools available to all its customers.

Reason: The reason for these errors is that many 404 pages are very resource-consuming. For large websites, avoid heavy 404 pages. If possible, create a simple 404 template that avoids querying the database.

 

How to fix a 404 Not Found error in WordPress?

Below are several different ways to fix a 404 Not Found error message. Depending on whether it is site-wide or specific content.

 

Update Permalinks on WordPress Sites

You get a 404 error across your website while trying to access content, the most likely cause is a permalink. If so, it’s a .htaccess file problem. If you’re using Kinsta, you’re using Nginx, so you can exclude .htaccess files as a possible cause.

The easiest way to fix this is to update your permalink settings from your WordPress dashboard.

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Permalinks
  • Click Save Changes
  • Regenerate permalinks in WordPress
  • Set up 301 redirects for moved or renamed content

If you get a 404 error on a particular content element, this is probably due to the following issue:

The URL slug for this content has changed.

This content item has been moved manually. Delete an existing post and insert it into a new post. Then, when users try to access the content in the old location, they will see 404 pages instead of the expected resources. The best way to fix this is to automatically redirect anyone trying to access the old location to the new location. That way you can get to the right place without a 404 error. Also suitable for SEO. If you move or rename a post without adding a redirect, you lose all domain permissions associated with the backlink that points to that post.

WordPress attempts to redirect modified/moved content by default. However, don’t rely on WordPress for this feature as it doesn’t always work. But don’t worry. There are several easy ways to set up redirects in WordPress.

 

  • First, you can manage redirects from your WordPress dashboard using the free redirect plugin.
  • After installing and activating the plugin, go to Tools
  • Redirects, enter the URL for page 404 in the Source URL field
  • and enter the new location for your content in the Target URL field.

 

How to set up redirects using redirects?

If you are hosting with Plugin, you can also manage redirects from the dashboard. Since the rules are implemented at the server level, using the tool is actually a better way and is far better in terms of performance. It also means that you don’t have to worry too much about third-party plugins.

 

  • Go to the site you want to manage.
  • Then click the Transfer tab.
  • To add a new redirect, click the big Add Redirect Rule button.

 

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How to set up redirects and get rid of Error 404?

 

 Finally, if your host is using a server, you can set up redirects using .htaccess. The .htaccess generator site helps you generate the correct code to add to your site’s .htaccess file.

 

How to create your own 404 Not Found error Page?

 

You can do your best to avoid a 404 error by following the tips above. However, you can completely avoid a 404 error because there is something just outside the control lies. It is impossible to remove. It’s not uncommon for small WordPress sites to get thousands of 404 errors each month.

You can use one of many 404 page plugins to provide a more user-friendly error page. For example, you can use the free 404-page plugin to set up the following custom 404 error pages:

  • Search Box
  • Important Links
  • Contact Information

Another important feature of the plugin is not to create redirects. Do not redirect 404 pages to physical pages like yoursite.com/404. 404 errors should always be dynamically generated on the associated page. Including these elements provides the tools visitors need to access the right pages. However, don’t forget to keep the 404-page bright to improve performance. Include only what you absolutely need.

 

How to monitor future 404 errors?

In the future, it can be useful to know which query is causing a 404 error on your site. This can help you in getting assistance for the following:

  • Find broken links that lead people to non-existent resources (these may be internal or external links from other sites). Then, if possible, you should do your best to fix these links.

 

  • Check out the page where Google has a crawling problem. Next, you need to find out why Google is trying to crawl pages that don’t exist and set up redirects if needed.

 

Troubleshooting performance-related issues with 404 errors

 

Process 1-Google Analytics

If you are using Google Analytics, you can set up a custom report that tracks 404 errors from external links.

 

Process 2-WordPress Plugin

If you use the WordPress Plugin, the redirect plugin mentioned above will help you monitor 404 errors from your WordPress dashboard.

 

Process 3-Third Party Audit Tool

You can also use a third-party audit tool to monitor your WordPress site for 404 errors. You can also set this to run according to a schedule.

 

Process 4-Google Search Console

Finally, Google Crawler can track 404 errors that occur in the Google Search Console. After reviewing your website using the Google Search Console, go to Crawl> Crawl Errors> Not Found to see a list of 404 errors that have occurred in Google. This is one of the easiest ways to date. It also offers the best performance as it does not require additional scanning of third-party plugins or websites. Google bots are already crawling your website on a regular basis. So why not just use the data they provide?

 

Conclusion

Unfortunately, you will get a 404 error on your website, whether you like it or not. The larger your WordPress site, the more information you will see. Hence WordPress Support recommend that you put together an appropriate workflow for monitoring and fixing these types of errors. 404 errors are by no means good for visitors and your brand, and Google hates them too.

In any which ways, you still find the issue, approach them and you will receive 24/7 immediate help from WordPress hosting experts. Indeed, talented professionals will bring the best solution.

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