404’s are part of every website. 404 error comes when requested page not found on the web server. Are you experiencing a lot of 404 page not found errors in WordPress? 404 errors are not good for your site’s SEO and user experience. Therefore, quickly fixing them on your site is imperative ( if they exist, of course).
Fortunately, WordPress enables you to tackle 404 errors using multiple methods, most of which are quite easy to implement. In this guide, we’ll talk about what 404 errors are, explain how to detect broken links on your site, discuss creating a custom error page, and show you how to fix the issue using different methods. Now, let’s get started.
What the 404 Error for WordPress Is? Why is Your WordPress Site Showing a 404 Error?
“404 error” refers to the error code your browser displays when it can’t find what you’re looking for. Your browser will always look for the URL entered, regardless of whether it exists. If it doesn’t find anything, you’ll see an error.
Another reason for mysterious 404 errors for existing content is a missing or corrupt .htaccess file.
If you installed a new plugin, created a new custom post type, or registered a custom taxonomy, then accessing the new URL may result into a 404 error because your .htaccess file is not updated.
These are just few of the many possible reasons that may cause existing content to show 404 errors.
The harm caused by the 404 error for your site
It sounds like a hassle, but 404 errors can have serious negative repercussions, such as :
- They’re highly frustrating: In a lot of cases, your visitors might not be able to differentiate between your site being down and a 404 error. It means they might keep trying to access the same page and become frustrated
- It makes you look unprofessional: No one enjoys running into a “broken” site. Even if the 404 error isn’t your fault, it can impact how your visitors perceive you.
- An increased bounce rate. Some people will leave your site immediately after running into this error, which will increase your bounce rate and affect your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).