How To Create A Custom 404 Error Page In WordPress And Fix Broken Links

How To Create A Custom 404 Error Page In WordPress And Fix Broken Links

When guests attempt to access a page that doesn’t exist, your website’s hosting server takes them to a 404 page instead.

Most of the time visitors leave the site without being able to find what they were looking for.

This can lead to a poor first impression. And from associate SEO perspective, it makes it incredibly difficult for search engines to crawland index your website.

There are two things you can do here:

  • Create a custom 404 error page that helps users realize whatthey were trying to find (or one thing about to it)
  • Discover that URL’s area unit generating the foremost 404errors and add redirects to the right page (or the foremost relevantalternative)

In this post, I’ll show you how to do both and it all starts with using a free plugin. Let’s get started:

Getting started

custom 404 error page

There is additionally a premium version which provides you with advanced customization choices like popup menus, extra layout options, logo upload and, advanced tracking functionality. But the free version is enough to get started with.

Aside from the customization choices, Forty Four will log all the URL’s generating 404 errors. It will then permit you to setup differing kinds of redirects, therefore, you’ll be able to fix the broken links on your website that area unit cost accounting your sales. And of course, those that are making it difficult for Google to index your website.

Now, let’s take a glance at the way to produce your custom 404 error page:

How to produce a custom 404 page with WordPress

Step one

Transfer your free Forty Four plugin. From your WordPress dashboard, click “Plugins > Add New”. In the “Add Plugins” page, kind “Forty Four” into the Keyword Search field. Click “Install Now”. Then, activate.

PRO TIP: Here is How To Properly Install A WordPress Plugin.

custom 404 error page
Forty Four Plugin

Step Two

Go to Appearance > 404 Page. Then, begin customizing the title, message, background image, and colour.

custom 404 error page
custom 404 error page

This is where you can add links and resources that help visitors find what they were looking for. It may be worth adding a way visitors can contact you – possibly a link to your contact page so they don’t have to look for it.

The key here is to make things as easy for your readers as possible.

You may prefer to tweak your page’s look by exploiting these controls.

custom 404 error page

Step Three

Don’t forget to click the “Publish” button beforeyou view the page to see the changes you made.

custom 404 error page

All done!

Now, let’s scrutinize the way to fix those broken links:

Setting up 301 redirects

Over time, URL’s will change and links pointing to pages on your site will then break.

This means that users and search engines can’t find their way to the correct page on your site. This can frustrate users, value you salesand negatively impact your programme rankings.

No problem. Each time somebody tries to access a page that doesn’t exist on your website, the Forty Four plugin can track it.

And conjointly assist you direct the non-existent universal resource locator to consequently most relevant page on your website. Just go to Appearance> 404 Page to get started.

You can select either of the following types:

301 – Moved Permanently

302 – Found or Moved Temporarily

307 – Moved Temporarily

All of those redirects can pass away the ‘SEO benefit’ to the new page however the foremost unremarkably used is that the 301 redirects. Thistells search engines that the page has modified address for good.

Now, consequent time a traveller or a hunt engine crawler tries to induce to the none-existent page, they’ll be redirected to the chosenpage.

Follow these easy steps to feature redirects for your broken links:

Step 1 – From the “Logs Tab”, look for the URL that you want to redirect. Click “Add/Edit Redirect” button.

Step 2 – Enter the new URL.

Step 3 – Click the “Go to Link” button to see if the change takes effect.


Broken links will negatively impact user experience and value of your cash.

But, with a custom 404 error page you’ll be able to optimize it to create it easier to seek out what they were trying to find. And followingthe steps on top of, you can add redirects to fix broken links.

This not solely helps guests, it also helps search engines to crawl and index your website.

12 thoughts on “How To Create A Custom 404 Error Page In WordPress And Fix Broken Links”

  1. This was really helpful Patrick. When I restarted my site and changes hosts back in 2016 I had quite a few 404 pages, and a guide like this would have been really helpful.

    I’ve also known people to include links to other popular content in the 404 page so that the traffic isn’t totally lost.

    Thanks for the guide!

  2. Thank you so much for this post. It’s really helpful and I’ve bookmarked it.
    I changed the address of my WordPress blog and now, I can’t do a site redirect. It’s not working. Can you please help with that?

  3. Hey, Patrick!

    Super helpful article! I know that a lot of new bloggers and website owners don’t understand the significance of creating a custom 404 page. 404’s should be helpful, not an invitation to leave the site! Done correctly, and following your tips, people can create 404s that entice visitors to stay around longer, which is great for SEO.

  4. Thank you for this very practical and useful post! This makes it very easy to follow step by step and use!

  5. Patrick well done. Always helps to customize this page so folks feel better about hitting a 404 page.

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