My Page Is 404ing: Here’s What You Should Do

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When you’re browsing the internet, encountering a “404 – Page Not Found” error can be incredibly frustrating. Not only does it prevent you from accessing the content you were looking for, but it can also negatively impact the website’s search engine optimization and result in lost revenue.

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What Causes 404 Errors?

When a user encounters a 404 error, it means that the requested webpage is not available. While it is common to assume that the site has been taken down, there are numerous reasons why a page may not be accessible. One of the most likely causes of a 404 error is an issue with the website’s code. However, there are other potential causes that are more common.

These include relocating the page, editing the page directory, moving the entire website, and not including 301 webpage directs. If the error is due to any of these issues, there is a simple step-by-step process that can be followed to identify and address the root of the problem.

In summary, 404 errors occur when a requested webpage is not available, and this can be caused by a variety of issues, including errors in the website’s code, relocation or editing of the page directory, moving the entire website, or not including 301 webpage directs.

1. Have You Moved the Page?

Moving pages around on your website can sometimes result in errors, such as a 404 message. One common cause of this error is when the page is added to the wrong folder. To investigate this issue, compare the pathway to the page you are visiting and ensure that it matches your content management system or FTP. If the page is in the wrong location, move it to the correct folder and refresh the browser. If the issue persists, contact your website host to investigate further. It’s important to ensure that your webpage is in the correct location to avoid any errors or confusion for your visitors.

2. Has the Page Directory Been Moved?

If you are encountering a 404 error message, it may be because the page directory has been moved. This can often happen when a container folder or page directory has been relocated, causing the URL to change automatically. To resolve this issue, you may need to move the folder or directory back to its original location unless the move was intentional. In this case, you will need to update any affected links on your site. To ensure that the folder’s name matches the names in your CMS or FTP service listing, double-check the URLs to avoid any mismatched links.

3. Has the Whole Site Been Moved?

When you migrate your website to a new hosting service, you may encounter Error: 404 messages, indicating that the site is not available. The hosting service should ensure that everything is working correctly, but issues may arise during the adjustment period. In most cases, the problems resolve themselves within a few minutes. However, if the issue persists, you may need to consider other options. The site’s domain name system (DNS) and IP address may need to be updated to reflect the new hosting service. Double-check that the entire site has been moved, and not just a portion of it.

4. Have Proper 301 Redirects Been Added?

When moving pages, directories, or your entire website, it’s crucial to add effective 301 redirects. A 301 redirect informs website visitors that your page has moved to a different address. If you fail to add these redirects, you are likely to encounter “page not found” errors, leading to lost website traffic and missed updates for search engines like Google.

If you’re temporarily moving your page, you can use a 302 redirect. However, this type of redirect doesn’t carry any SEO value and should only be used in temporary situations. Otherwise, use a 301 redirect.

To check if your 301 redirects have been properly added, you can use a tool like Screaming Frog or Google Search Console. These tools will identify any broken links and provide suggestions for fixing them.

It’s important to note that 301 redirects are typically added to the .htaccess file on your server. If you’re not comfortable editing this file, consider hiring a professional to ensure your redirects are properly implemented.

Issues Caused with Redirecting

Redirects can cause issues with user experience and SEO strategy. Poor user experience is a primary reason why visitors may leave your website. Long-lasting 301 redirect pages can create more serious obstacles within the indexing process. Search engines like Google will visit your old pages instead of the updated URLs, which can wear away your crawl budget over time.

It is essential to ensure that your web pages do not have any existing 301 codes after finishing with them. This practice enables search engines to crawl your sitemap with greater ease. Broken links or dead links can also affect user experience and SEO strategy. Therefore, it is crucial to identify and fix them as soon as possible.

To avoid issues with redirection, you should regularly update your website’s content and remove any outdated pages. This practice will help maintain a positive user experience and improve your website’s SEO.

Technical Issues

In the process of website development, various issues may arise, such as error messages, dead links, and poor performance. These issues affect user experience and can lead to a decline in website visitors. To resolve these issues, it is essential to invest in a quality developer and content management system (CMS). A custom 404 error page, search bar, and sitemap can also improve user experience. Additionally, using a dead link checker and regularly checking browser and SEO compatibility can prevent errors and improve website performance.

Redirect to Your Webpage Solutions

In conclusion, when faced with the frustration of a 404 error on your website, don’t panic! Take a deep breath, follow the tips mentioned in this article, and work to resolve the issue step by step. Remember, every challenge is an opportunity to learn and improve. Good luck in getting your page back up and running smoothly!