How to edit your 404 Page in WordPress

How to edit your 404 Page in WordPress

Hey everyone, welcome to another WordPress
Wedneday. My name is Kori Ashton here at WebTegrity
in beautiful San Antonio, Texas. I wanted to share with y’all, today, a little
bit about what’s called a 404 page on your WordPress website, or for that
matter, any website. But, we’re talking specifically about
WordPress. So, what happen if somebody comes to your
website and they type in a link or they have an old bookmark of something
and that page no longer exists on your website, right? So, it’s a broken page. This is called a 404 page on your website and
your’s is gonna look completely different depending upon your author and the theme
that you’re using inside of WordPress. But, what I want to point out to you is that
it’s really important to be sure that you have a 404 Page in place on your website. You also want to be sure that it offers the
viewer really great options, so it’s not just a “Oops, that sucked” without helping them to
understand how to redirect, right? So, we want to give them plenty of options
on the 404 Page. So, how do we do that? What does that look like? The way you can test this is by going to your
own website and just typing in some jibberish after the dot com. You can type in whatever you want
(speaks in jibberish) and click “Enter” and it should bring
you to what’s called a “Page Not Found” or a 404 Page, that should display and
show you “Oops”. Something around those lines. Along
that line with that message. If you do not have one of these, you need
to consider a totally different theme; because, your author is a dingaling. Every author should have a 404 Page in
there. But, there is a good possibility that the
author has not given you this really great search feature in here or any
sort of options for suggestive locations for them to move toward. So, how would you change them and
customize the message that’s in the 404 Page. Here we go. I’m going to take into an
area under “Appearance” and go into your editor area. Now, normally I would tell you, “No, no, no.
Keep your hands out of here.” Because, it’s kind of intimidating and you
think you have to know PHP; but, the beauty about PHP is that it’s
blended with HTML and if you’re used to using HTML you can get back
here and not mess up anything too badly. We’ll always want to remember, though, if
you’re editing any of PHP files, you always want to be using a Child Theme, right. I’m gonna put a link in the description
box below to teach you how to set up a Child Theme. Because, any time you come into your PHP
files and you make a change, whenever you go to update that theme, unfortunately
these files revert back to their default and any customization you’ve done inside of these
you will lose. So, notice that I clicked on the 404.PHP File and
very typically, these are gonna look a little bit different in your theme; but, you should have
one named “404 PHP”. We’re gonna click on that and that’s gonna bring
up the screen here, to let us see exactly how that page is being displayed and
what content is on that page. What I want us to look for is this bit of
text here: “Oops. That page can’t be found.” I want us to see if we can find that text in
this area and see if we can edit that. Here it is, right here. “Oops. That page
can’t be found.” So, you can rewrite that and say “Whoops”,
if you wanted to. You could say “Oh no! So sorry!”. Whatever you wanted to say there to
apologize that whatever they were looking for, obviously wasn’t found. What you could do, if you don’t have
a search function or if you don’t have any of these options that this author
coded for me, is you could just simply write in a custom message that
says, “You might want to try the menu bar
above to find more options or click here to return to our homepage” Give them some sort of option; because,
the last thing you want them to do is land on a page that is broken on
your website and get frustrated and move away from you. You always want to keep them paying
attention to your website. Keep them coming back to you. So, what you could do here is you’re
gonna see that this is set to an H1. This is HTML this should not be too
intimidating for you. H1 and then it’s dynamically displaying
the content. It’s echoing out the content of
“Whoops, that page can’t be found” and then, it’s closing that H1 tag, right. That’s in the page header, up here. Then, I want to look for “It looks like
nothing was found at this location”. I want to look for that text.
Here it is right here. “It looks like nothing was found at
this location.” “Maybe try one of the links below or
search?” This isn’t really a question. So, I’m just gonna take out
this question mark and put a period there. And, it’s gonna still have a question mark here,
until I click this button down here. It says update file. It’s gonna be a blue
color, it depends on your color scheme to your user setting. But, “Update File”. Click that. Now, I’m gonna come here and
click refresh. This should now be a period. “Maybe try one of the links below or
search” and then, this now says “Whoops” So, really do a great customization job
here to really engage people and let them know that you apologize for the
inconvenience; but, please redirect and try to find another page. So, let’s say here, maybe try one
of the links below or search (typing) Let’s do a comma or “or visit our homepage”. So, remember inside of PHP you can type
HTML. So, let’s add a link, right here to our homepage. (typing) And we want to link this little bit
of text right here. So, that people can easily throw in a title. “Homepage”. Alright. A little quick snippet of code in there. I’m gonna click “Refresh” here. And now, I should have something
that says, “It looks like nothing was found
in this location. Maybe try one of the links below or search or
visit our homepage”. So, when I click on that, it immediately takes
me back to our homepage for the blog. You can do anything like that to be
sure that all the viewers on your website have a really great experience, even if
they’ve landed on some sort of a random “Whoops” page. Alright, I hope that helps you. Be sure
to join us next week for WordPress Wednesday. If you have any questions or you’re
struggling with something on your WordPress website, please comment
in the box below. Let us know either this video helped you
or maybe you’ve got a question that I can actually create a video for. I’d love to help you out. I’m Kori Ashton. You can find me on
Twitter @WebTegrity or @KoriAshton. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye, bye y’all.

36 thoughts on “How to edit your 404 Page in WordPress

  1. Thanks for  the video on updating 404 pages.  Would love to see a video on adding 301 re-directs to "old" pages to point them to my new site.


  2. Let me understand one thing here! You are talking about a Child theme, but you are updating the Parent theme. Now, if I've got you right, in order to make changes that will not screw up by an update when the Autor make on the Parent theme, you need a child them. So in order to update the 404 site, I can make the changes on the Parent theme? I am little confused here. Thank you for your time

  3. Hi Cory,
    please could you advise me on how to remove an SEO 404 page from my wordpress website. It is simply a link that i do not want. (site URL)
    Many thanks

  4. Hello, I am trying to install wordpress and I keep getting a message that says "Object not found, I have uninstall word press as well as the xampp to make sure that they were not mess up in anyway, and I am still getting this message when I get to the step of putting the localhost/wordpress into my browser. I have looked a many video and I can't seem to get this to work. Can you please show me what I am doing wrong, please.

  5. This video was helpful, but you lost me when you were creating the link to the homepage. How did you do this?

  6. Very helpful! Thanks Kori!! Hire a professional with excellent reputation to handle your WordPress website needs.

  7. Dear Kori,

    Thank you very much for the video. It was really helpful to me. I have a question to come up with. I hope you can help me.

    I tried implementing 404 Page not found – It's working fine. But this page display landing page's default menu whereas I have created my own menu. From where I can update this?


    Best Regards,

  8. This video was very helpful I was able to edit my WP 404 page and it now looks the way I want come check it out at

  9. I tried to do this following your instruction which was very clear and seemed easy, however now the page doesn't redirect anywhere – it's totally blank – not even a 404 page which at least shows the header, widgets etc, HELP!

  10. I'm in France and worked on building my WordPress site in English everything works ok however when I change the language to French the "Shopping" page on the menu bar opens fine however when I try to open a 'Category' in the shopping menu the 404 error page not found appears the same happens if I try to open a product on the Shopping page ???? Help …. when I return the English Language it works fine again, what am I missing.

  11. Thank you for the vid… it was very helpful for editing my 404 page… however HELP… I tried to center the line of txt with center code and my whole website went down. the dreaded white page…… now cant log in and website is gone.

  12. Hi, Kori. Do you have a tutorial about what Google publisher is and how to apply it in websites? If you don't have one please teach me.

  13. This is good but how can we redirect directly to our home page or some related page for our dead links in our website

  14. when i hit my website which is created by a developer shows 404 error(page removed) .
    I want to edit this on my own .Your video is impressive ,i hope it will be grateful if u can help .

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