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Error Pages

There are times when a visitor is unable to get a response to their requests due to some errors. Visitors get an error page message as HTTP status code 404 that they have connected to a wrong link. The website displays a “page not found” message which conveys the message that the visitor has clicked for some content that is either no longer available or that the website server has been configured not to fulfill the request. It also can mean the page has been removed from the website.

It is very much necessary for a website to display the 404 error page and the reason why the page is not being displayed. If the custom message is not there the visitors will get a default error screen with a warning message.

A 404 error page message is displayed when

The link has been misspelled when it was being created or the user has mistyped the URL
The page URL has been changed and the earlier link is no longer working
The website is experiencing downtime or is offline so pages cannot be displayed.

Error pages can also be with code 401 i.e. user authentication is required or code 403 where the server is forbidden from giving access to the pages requested for.

Error pages are bad for business. Visitors today have plenty of options and will move on to other sites and not return. Visitors browsing a site will be attracted by the colorful designs and suddenly when they find a blank page with no information, it confuses them that they have landed on a different website.

The 404 error page can be tracked by the web server log. It should automatically be redirected to the fresh new replacement page. If some web pages frequently display error page you should block the search engines from indexing them with the robots.txt file in the databases to prevent 404 errors.

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