One of the most common errors that we can find in a Web site is known as Error 404, whether it is built with WordPress or is made by any other method. I explain why it occurs, how to fix it and how to customize the error 404 in WordPress.
What is the 404 error?
This error, also known as “Not Found” is one that displays a browser when not located on the server in the URL you are calling.
In other words, when the page or the item does not exist.
It is is very important to watch that your website does not have errors 404, ie no links from other sites to pages or images that are not already in your WordPress.
If you were positioned with a content and now no longer exists, Google will certainly continue to maintain (although not in the first positions) and that will continue to somehow carry traffic to an article, page or image that no longer exists (or at least not with that name).
How can we detect a 404 error?
Error 404 wordpress search a easiest way to discover when we have 404 errors in our website is through Google Search Console.
Using this tool free Google we are going to be able to discover the broken links to our web site, that are indexed. That is to say, google periodically enters with her spider to crawl.
I explained in another article how to manually index a page in Google through this tool. But now let’s see how to discover an error 404 in WordPress.
To do this you only have to go to the Control Panel of Search Console > Crawl > Crawl errors and there you will see a list of the main pages not found on your website.
Causes and solutions to 404 errors:
404 error in WordPress tells us that the web page we want to access is not available. To solve this error we must know the cause for which it was caused. There are several causes:
The most frequent cause for which 404 error occurs is the elimination of one of the pages that was already indexed by the search engines. When we talk about search engines we refer mainly to Google, but it should be remembered that there are other web search engines that also index the content of our pages and can show a 404 error when the web is no longer available, such as Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Error 404 will continue to show up in time, until the search engine returns to your page and realize that this web no longer exists. To solve and eliminate this error you can replace the content of the page with another one, doing its corresponding redirection to the new one, or wait for the search engine to go through your WordPress again and stop showing it. We are facing a slight 404 error with what, if you prefer to wait for the same search engine to be responsible for stopping showing that web, nothing happens.
External link to deleted page
In many cases we find a 404 error that is not located within our website, but is shown by clicking on a link that we have placed on our website to an external destination (to another web page) that has been deleted. When clicking on that URL there is nothing to show, with the error message 404. To solve this 404 error in your WordPress, the ideal will be to replace that link with an alternative one. If you can not find an alternative site to link to, you can remove the link.
Badly written link
Many times, we find badly written links. This type of badly written links will generate a 404 error. When it is an internal link, that is, from one of our pages to another of the same website, it is easily corrected, reissuing the link . On the other hand, it may be the case that it is an external web page that is trying to link to ours. In that case, his would be to add the badly written URL to the configuration of our WordPress and make a 301 redirect to the correct site.
Change in the name of a page
You have made a change in the name of a page and you have forgotten to redirect the old one to the new one. When you try to access the old one, the dreaded error 404 appears. Do not worry, because like the rest of the cases, to solve this 404 error you just need to do that 301 redirect.
Also to solve some 404 errors within WordPress you will not need to change the hosting configuration, download new WordPress templates, or install WordPress plugins in Spanish. The easiest way to solve 404 errors in WordPress, is by modifying Settings settings. Go to the “Settings” section of WordPress, and click on the option “Permanent Links” , just click on the option “Save changes” . This action will update the configuration of the permanent links and their script rules, correcting the dreaded error 404 of entries in WordPress.
How to fix the error 404 in WordPress?
Once we have already found out which pages show that error in the search engines, the next step is to put solution to try to stop appearing.
Review the URL not found
You should check if there really exists in your WordPress installation The URL that has given the error.
What is clear is that if that URL has been indexed in Google is because at some point has existed within your WordPress.
However, sometimes it is possible that this ULR has gone into draft state, private, password protected, etc… and so the Google spider cannot access it.
Configure a rediction 301
If it is not possible to re-create the content with the same Slug, the other option to solve the error 404 in WordPress, is to redirect to Google to another page that does exist.
This can be done very easily using a 301 permanent redirect plugin. For this you can use, for example you can use redirection
Although you also have the possibility to redirect all errors 404 (whatever they are) to the home of your site, using the plugin all 404 Redirect to Homepage
Checks the redirect from another browser
Once you have already created the redirect, check that it works. Open another browser (if possible in Incognito mode) and type the URL that did not exist so far to see what the browser does.
If it takes you to the new page that you have configured in the redirection, all correct. If instead a 404 error still appears, it means that you have not set up that redirect.
Tell Google that you have solved the errors 404 WordPress
Once fixed (creating the new content or redirecting to another existing), you must warn Google that you have done. To do this, you will have to go back to the Searh Console > Crawling > Crawling errors and there in the list, select them in the list and click on the red button that says “Mark as solved”.
At the moment they will disappear from the list, although it is possible that in a time they reappear again those or others. So I recommend that you periodically visit the Search Console.
Customize the error 404 in WordPress
Usually, the themes already bring a predefined page within their styles to show when someone tries to access a URL that does not exist inside your site, but you always have the possibility to modify it.
The easiest way to do it is by using the Custom 404 Pro Plugin, by means of which we will say to WordPress that when you have to show that error, show a specific page that I previously had to create.
I leave you this video from my YouTube where you explained how to do so. In the video I use the constructor visual Elementor and template GeneratePress, but you can also use, for example the Divi Builder or any other manufacturer visual.
Solving errors 404 is much more important than it seems. An accumulation of these unsolved errors can make Google tired of wasting time browsing your links and, stop showing in the first search results and therefore stop receiving traffic.
What do you think if you check your Search Console now and check that you have no errors?
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