Ideas For Creating A Custom 404 Error Page

Filed under: Information,web design — Tags: ,

In case anyone doesn’t know the 404 Error page is the page you get when a visitor types in an address or clicks a link that is not there. It could be a page that’s been moved, deleted or was never there in the first place.

Most sites still have a generic error message that is assigned by their server that just says “404 Error: File Not Found”. Many people don’t realize that you can have any page be the one that shows up when your visitors gets a 404 Error. I have a simple custom 404 Error page.

On Apache servers this process is controlled by a file called htaccess.
Note: There is a “.” before the htaccess, but Word Press won’t allow this word on my blog.

This is a file which controls security and all error messages, but this post is about the 404 Error.

To make a Custom Error Page you first create your HTML error page. I recommend that you have a link to or search for all of your other pages.

Create a plain text file and name it *htaccess (replace* with .) The text in your document will be…
ErrorDocument 404 /Error.html

where Error.html is the name of your error page and it is in the same directory as htaccess.

If you place these files in your root directory they will work for your entire site or they will also work on a folder by folder basis.

You can also have a cool, funny, or beautiful error page. There’s a post on Smashing Magazine called “404,Design,Error,inspiration,Navigation,Design Showcase.” There are some really great 404 Error Pages here.



  1. I am now using Ajax-powered google search results on my 404 Error Page Easily done with .html or php.

    You are using blogging software so why not use the templated system?

    Comment by AskApache — September 18, 2007 @ 6:18 pm

  2. I think it’s fine to have an automated system, but I was looking at the cool custom pages.

    Comment by Jim — September 18, 2007 @ 6:48 pm

  3. […] while back I wrote about why you should have custom 404 error pages and found a link to some really cool custom ones to inspire you. I recently found a post on […]

    Pingback by Lillicotch.com » More Cool 404 Error Pages — May 6, 2009 @ 7:03 am

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