My Page Is 404ing: What Do I Do?

My Page Is 404ing: What Do I Do?

The internet is a fantastic tool. The ability to discover anything quickly and easily has opened endless doors of possibility. And when it comes to maintaining a website, making it user-friendly and appealing is key.

Creating and maintaining a website can be time-consuming, but it draws consumers to your site and improves your ability to reach the masses when done right. A few things can lead people away from your page, however, and one of the worst instances is a 404 Error message.

When a 404 Error is encountered, people may choose to abandon your website, looking for whatever information, product, or service they seek elsewhere. This makes it important that you find what is creating the 404 Error and correct it as soon as possible.

What Is a 404 Error?

A 404 Error is a status code that means your page can communicate with the server, but for whatever reason, the server can’t find your page. There are a few typical reasons why a 404 Error message is reached. This could be a simple user error caused by typing an incorrect letter in the URL — an issue that can be corrected by just retyping the URL and trying again.

It can also be caused by a page being moved or deleted without a redirection established. There may be a server malfunction, or a site has been shut down, too. On the user end, it might even mean that a person needs to clear their cookies and cache. When it comes to your site, you’ll want to discover the issue as quickly as possible to ensure you don’t risk losing visitors to your website.

Three Tools to Fix Your 404 Errors

If you’ve discovered a 404 Error message on your site, don’t fret. There is a simple reason you might be encountering this error and are quick, easy fixes to make things right in many instances.

To fix your 404 Error, you’ll first want to find that error. These can pop up for a variety of reasons. It could be from clicking on a bad link, using an offline advertisement but mistyped the URL, or someone trying to follow a broken URL they may have bookmarked in the past. What is most important is finding and fixing these errors.

Let’s take a closer look at a few different ways to do so:

Crawl Tools

These tools are popular choices, and there are various options out there. Many of these options are free and can be found with reviews from other users to understand their experience.

A crawl tool helps you by checking for broken links. It is a quick way to evaluate the health of the different links utilized throughout your site. Crawl tools identify the source of the 404 Error, providing you a way to correct it easily.

Dead Link Checker is a fast and simple tool that can find both internal and external linked 404 Errors. It can check a single webpage or the whole site. Another popular tool is the W3C Link Checker. This platform provides a more detailed test of individual web pages but can take longer than other checking tools due to the more extensive check.

Web Analysis

This is another common method for tracking errors. One popular tool for web analysis is Google Analytics. This platform can give you an accurate picture of how the errors impact your business and provide the option to track by event or page title.

Both are excellent options, but many prefer the page title search since it can be an easier option. The event tracking is advanced, so it may be difficult to fully understand, depending on your comfort level.

Web analysis is a great tool, but it is vital to keep in mind that it only shows past issues. You’ll want to utilize other means so that you can be more preventative. This tool also does not fix the issues but simply makes you aware.

Google Search Console

This is a free tool provided by Google. It gives website owners detailed information about how Google sees their website in its entirety, including the errors.

This tool offers a wealth of data and can be used for many different site assessment and analysis types. The Google Search Console can provide a report that presents a wide range of errors.

Many of these errors can go undetected through other online tools since they don’t have the same search capabilities as Google.

When you discover a 404 Error, there are a few different things to try:

  • Redirect. This method can be one of the most straightforward fixes to encountering a 404 Error message. Redirecting the 404 Error takes people from the error page to a working page on your site. This essentially prevents them from ever seeing the error page. If you opt to go this route, you’ll want to make sure that the page they are being directed to is relevant to the original that they were expecting to find.
  • Correct The Source Link. Once you’ve located the issue, you can correct the error if you have direct control of the site. If the link is attached to a page you’ve deleted, you may want to consider restoring it. If not, redirecting may continue to be your best bet. That said, if the page is getting little to no traffic, it might be easiest to ignore the error.

Dealing with 404 Errors can be frustrating, but correcting them can be relatively quick and easy when monitored often. These error pages could ultimately affect your business. In a world where people expect to find exactly what they are looking for when searching online, the last thing you want is to create a bad user experience (UX).

By using the variety of tools at your disposal, you can make sure that your website is accessible and that all links and pages work at their full capabilities. 404 Errors can be frustrating, but they don’t have to impact the overall health of your website!

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