Use of 404 Error Pages on your site

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If you are unfamiliar with the 404 Error message, try doing a net search … or click here.

“404 Error Page”,”examples”

Chances are that you are quite familiar with the 404 Error message. This happens when you click on a bad link or are directed to a specific URL and that page has been deleted from the host server. Sometimes, if there is no 404 error page, your browser will just hang up a bit, and then you will see a familiar page … perhaps something like this one (click to enlarge):

http://www.winnipeg.ca/ThisPageDoesNotExist

Standard 404 Error message

I’ve been online and with a website since 1995. I use a simple FTP program, and always use windows NotePad as my editor. I was always conscious of files and directories and stuff in “my space”. Currently, I am hosting with BlackSun.ca out of Saskatchewan, Canada. Inside my space, there are these folders called “error”. Inside this folder are four files. It’s the same with every domain I have registered and hosted with them.

The four files are:

  • 401-authorization.html
  • This server could not verify that you are authorized to access the document you requested. Either you supplied the wrong credentials (e.g. bad password), or your browser does not understand how to supply the credentials required

  • 403-forbidden.html
  • You do not have permission to access the requested file on this server.

  • 500-internal-server-error.html
  • The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Your administrator may not have enabled CGI access for this directory.

  • 404-file-not-found.html
  • The requested URL was not found on this server.

    This is how my original 404 Error message looked when I first began with Blacksun.ca … click on a link, and a new window will pop up .. http://1800hart.com/error/copy.404-file-not-found.html .. As you can see, it is quite different from the normal and standard 404 error messages that are aroundthe ‘net. That intrigued me. Because, I finally got it! It’s just a webpage on your server, and I am able to change it!

    So I did. Click on the following thumbnail and see what I did. I modified this file to let people know about my website. I even added an automatic referral to another page, if no action is taken.

    http://www.1800HART.com/ThisPageDoesNotExist

    1-800-HART 404-Error message

    It’s a simple design .. in fact, I use it for all of my websites … e.g. http://HARTandYVONNE.com/ThisPageDoesNotExist http://www.petlvr.com/ThisPageDoesNotExist etc etc ..

    There are some really inventive sites out there, which you should have seen by doing the initial WWW net search I recommended above. I was surfing a few sites that came up in my Bloglines and came up with this message … it would have seen that a blog page was created, but soon after deleted – which gave me their 404-Error page … you can click the picture to get a better view, or just click on this link:

    http://www.unknowngenius.com/ThisPageDoesNotExist

    unknowngenius.com 404 Error Message

    What does 404 mean?

    404 is an HTTP status code. Every time you visit a web page, your computer (the ‘client’) is requesting data from a server using HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Before the web page is even displayed in your browser, the web server has sent the HTTP header, which contains the status code. Not surprisingly, your browser has sent the server its own headers, which contain a lot more information about you than you think!

    So .. be inventive! You never know when someone will type in a wrong URL on your website .. do you want them to just type in another URL? At minimum, try placing a link to your Site Map on your message.

    Take care.
    HART
    1800HART.com

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