Custom 404 Error Page Can Kill Your Good User Experience

What is 404 Error?

A 404 is response code returned by your server when the certain url is not available. It’s a way of telling the browser that page content or url is not found. You can see nothing but a clear white page with the words “Not Found” or “404 Error” and other words that sound techy to you like the following:

sample of bad 404 page

It brings desperation to visitors to see this type of page, nowhere to go. It gives bad user-experience and could increase your bounce rate then , eventually could hurt your rankings.

Default Custom 404 Page Of Other Platforms

Some site platforms like WordPress , depending on the theme you’ve used, have good default custom 404 page in placed where it’s your judgement to change it or not. Check below for sample:
sample custom 404 Page

Also, you may improve your custom 404 page to make sure the visitor won’t leave your site by giving them alternatives to visit in your site. In this way too, you can hold your visitor to stay long and browse your important pages of your site and could decrease bounce rate, a good signal your visitors love your site. Check below for a good example:
Good custom 404 Page

Quick Way To Create Custom 404 Error Page

You can do this by adding this code in your .htaccess file found in your root directory of your server. If you have no .htaccess file then you can create one and add this code.

ErrorDocument 404 http://www.domain.com/404page.html

You need to create first your custom 404 Page file like for instance 404page.html before modifying your .htaccess file.

Words of caution, .htaccess file is very sensitive especially for wordpress platform. A little change of it may affect your whole site from working. It is advisable to make a backup of the original copy. If worst case happen, you can easily revert it.

You may check this video to know the process of creating custom 404 page.