A 404 page is basically another page that will show you nothing much, but an error. Are you confused? No, don’t be! You will see a 404 page, when a file is not available on the server of a website. Here’s an example: http://techhamlet.com/abcdefg/ (there’s no such directory as techhamlet.com/abcdefg – so you’ll rather see a 404 page.)
It’s fairly important to have a customized 404/error page for your website. Why? To inform your users that they’re lost inside an invalid-place on your website. This will make them feel more comfortable, navigating through your website or at least, it won’t snatch their interest in browsing… Above all, the webmaster bares complete responsibility in designing an impressive 404 page, to sustain the interest of visitors.
Diagram #1 shows us the default 404 page, most servers would produce.
Diagram #2 shows us a well designed 404 page, that’ll impress visitors.
Which one of the two, do you think, is user-friendly and eye-catching? … That’s right.
How to Create a 404 Page? It’s simple.
I’ll walk you through the steps, in creating a 404 page, however, designing an awesome page is pretty much your work! :)
1) Design the error page, and save it as error.html or error.php
2) Upload the file (error page) to the root directory (home directory) of your web server.
3) Edit the .htaccess file and write: “ErrorDocument 404 /error.html” (without quotation marks)
Note: there might not be a .htaccess file on your server. In that case, you have to create one.
Open a text editor, save the plain document as “.htaccess” (without quotation marks), upload it to your root server and read step 3 again
4) That’s it, you’re done. I hope you’ll entertain your visitors with a creative 404 page. And let them feel the difference.