The 404 Page Not Found error is a common issue faced by WordPress website owners. It occurs when a user tries to access a page that can no longer be found on the website.
This error can be frustrating for both website visitors and administrators as it may negatively impact the user experience and search engine optimization.
However, there are several simple solutions to fix the 404 Page Not Found error on a WordPress website.
In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to diagnose and resolve this error, ensuring a seamless browsing experience for your website visitors.
what does 404 page not found mean
The “404 Page Not Found” error is a common message displayed by websites when a user tries to access a page that can no longer be found. This error occurs when the server is unable to locate the requested page or resource on the website.
The error code “404” is a standard HTTP response code, indicating that the requested URL could not be found on the server.
The 404 error message is usually displayed in the form of a webpage, and often includes an apology for the inconvenience, as well as suggestions for navigating the rest of the site.
The message is displayed because the server is unable to find the requested page or resource, which may have been removed, renamed, or moved to a different location.
There are several reasons why a 404 error may occur on a website. Some common causes include broken links, typos in the URL, outdated or incorrect redirects, and changes to the website’s structure or content.
In some cases, the error may also be caused by technical issues with the website’s server or hosting provider.
The 404 error message can harm a website’s user experience, as it can be confusing and frustrating for users.
It can also negatively impact a website’s search engine optimization, as search engines may view broken links as a sign of a poorly maintained site.
To prevent these issues, it’s important for website owners to regularly monitor their sites for broken links and fix any 404 errors that may occur.
3 Best Ways To Fix 404 Page Not Found Error On WordPress Website.
In this article, we’ll cover the top three ways to fix this error, including using plugins, editing the .htaccess file, and setting up redirects.
With these solutions, you can ensure that your website provides a seamless experience for your visitors and prevents them from encountering frustrating 404 errors.
Fix 404 Page Not Found Error Using Free Plugin :
One of the most popular plugins to fix 404 errors on a WordPress website is the “Redirection” plugin. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use this plugin:
1. Install and activate the Redirection plugin: Go to the “Plugins” section of your WordPress dashboard and search for “Redirection.” Install and activate the plugin.
2. Create a new redirect: Once the plugin is activated, go to “Tools” and then “Redirection.” On the next page, click the “Add New” button.
3. Enter the source URL: In the “Source URL” field, enter the URL that is returning a 404 error.
4. Choose the redirect action: In the “Action” section, select “Redirect to URL.”
5. Enter the target URL: In the “Target URL” field, enter the URL that you want the source URL to redirect to. This can be any URL on your website or an external website.
6. Choose the redirect type: In the “Match” section, select “URL only.” In the “Type” section, select “Temporary (302)” if you want the redirect to be temporary, or “Permanent (301)” if you want the redirect to be permanent.
7. Save the redirect: Finally, click the “Add Redirect” button to save the redirect.
This should resolve the 404 error and redirect users from the source URL to the target URL. Note that you can create multiple redirects using the Redirection plugin if you have multiple 404 errors on your website.
Fix 404 Page Not Found Error Using Yoast SEO plugin :
The Yoast SEO Pro plugin can be used to fix 404 errors on a WordPress website by setting up redirects. Here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Install and activate the Yoast SEO Pro plugin: Go to the “Plugins” section of your WordPress dashboard and search for “Yoast SEO Free plugin .” Install and activate the plugin.
Now install & Activate your Yoast SEO Pro plugin to activate pro features. Because right now Redirects feature is available in Yoast SEO Pro only.
2. Go to the Redirects section: Once the plugin is activated, go to “SEO” and then “Redirects.”
3. Add a new redirect: On the “Redirects” page, click the “Add Redirect” button.
4. Enter the source URL: In the “Old URL” field, enter the URL that is returning a 404 error.
5. Choose the redirect type: In the “Type” section, select “Temporary (302)” if you want the redirect to be temporary, or “Permanent (301)” if you want the redirect to be permanent.
6. Enter the target URL: In the “New URL” field, enter the URL that you want the source URL to redirect to. This can be any URL on your website or an external website.
7. Save the redirect: Finally, click the “Save Redirect” button to save the redirect.
Fix 404 Page Not Found Error Using access File:
The “.htaccess” file is a configuration file for Apache web servers, which are commonly used for hosting WordPress websites.
You can use the .htaccess file to redirect users from a broken or non-existent URL to a working URL. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Access your .htaccess file: You can access your .htaccess file through an FTP client such as FileZilla or the cPanel file manager if your website is hosted on a server that uses cPanel.
2. Make a backup: Before making any changes to the .htaccess file, it’s a good idea to make a backup in case something goes wrong.
3. Edit the .htaccess file: Open the .htaccess file in a text editor and add the following code:
Redirect 301 /old-URL/ http://www.yourdomain.com/new-url/
Replace “/old-URL/” with the URL that is returning the 404 error and replaces “http://www.yourdomain.com/new-url/” with the URL you want to redirect users to.
4. Save and upload the file: Save the changes you made to the .htaccess file and upload it back to the server, overwriting the existing file.
5. Test the redirect: Visit the old URL in your browser to make sure it’s redirecting to the new URL. If everything is working as expected, you should see a “301 Moved Permanently” status code in your browser’s developer tools.
Youtube Tutorial :
In conclusion, fixing 404 Page Not Found errors on a website is crucial for providing a good user experience.
The methods discussed in this article, such as using plugins, editing the .htaccess file, and setting up redirects, are effective solutions for resolving these errors.
By using one of these methods, you can ensure that your website operates smoothly and provides a positive experience for your visitors.
No matter the size or complexity of your website, fixing 404 errors is a straightforward process that can have a big impact on your website’s success.