Do you want to prevent your visitors seeing that annoying “Error 404” message while browsing your WordPress site?
If your users are looking for something in your blog, but the content does not exist (or they mistakenly type a URL that does not lead to any page), a 404 error page will be displayed.
You should worry about this (and find a solution), in order to redirect the visitors to your other blog pages.
In this post, I’m going to list the nine best WordPress plugins that allow you to handle the 404 page (I’m using the #8 in this list, which includes almost all the features of the other plugins mentioned in this page).
1. Google 404
The Google 404 plugin has the capability to enter a search window in your custom 404 page so as to provide the reader with information that he needs.
Also, if possible, it will also suggest other ways to find the information that the visitor needs, or what he’s searching for, increasing the probabilities that they will remain on your site.
You will improve the users experience on your blog, increasing the duration of their visits.
404Page is really a versatile plugin to set your error page.
You can customize it like any other content on your WordPress site, and you will be able to insert the image and the general format you prefer.
You will be able to use the same editor of WordPress, so to quickly set your 404 page.
3. Genesis 404 Page
With Genesis 404 Page WordPress plugin, you can easily configure the 404.php template of your site.
This plugin only works with Genesis Framework themes.
4. All 404 Redirect to HomePage
All 404 Redirect to Homepage Wordress plugin is great, if you want a quick solution for your 404 error page.
This simple plugin is going to redirect all the 404 pages to your blog homepage.
5. 404 to 301
This one is similar to “All 404 Redirect to Homepage”.
You may select whether to redirect to a custom page or to specific blog posts.
The author of this plugin is also keeping an active GitHub repository, which is really useful.
6. Custom 404 Pro
Custom 404 Pro allows you to change your theme’s default 404 error page with a personalized one.
There are basically three options:
- selecting a custom page from your WordPress admin panel
- typing a custom URL
- going over the logs from all 404 errors
404 Pro WordPress plugin is free (not as the name may let you imagine) and grants a really interesting feature: it saves all the keywords used by your visitors to land to error page, also including custom filters to dig more into this option.
7. 404 Error Logger
404 Error Logger is kinda different from the other plugins listed in this post, as it doesn’t help you setting your 404 error page, but it just saves handy notes.
It lets you record details like IP addresses, browsers and referrer URLs. You can then use all of this data to fix your broken pages.
Redirection is the most popular WordPress plugin in this list, with more than 400,000 active installs, at the time of this writing.
It has several features, doing almost everything all the other plugins mentioned in this article do.
And it’s the one I’m using right now for NoPassiveIncome blog.
You can add 301 redirections of 404 pages or choosing to redirect all URLs – not just “Not found” errors.
I particularly like the “log” and “404s” otpions, where you can monitor all the activities of the plugin, with date, source URL, referrer and IP.
For more information, check this Github repository, managed by the plugin developer, John Godley.
9. Smart 404
Smart 404 is the WordPress plugin I was using to manage my 404 page, before installing “Redirection”.
This plugin automatically searches the website for similar kind of content and redirect the user to that specified page.
Example: if you type
the plugin will redirect you to the most similar search:
Really easy to install (as any other WordPress plugin) and nothing to set up.
Note: this plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years, but it works perfectly with WordPress 4.3.1
I trust that this list of resources can prevent your potential reader too quickly abandon your “not found” page.
These plugins, in fact, have been developed to try to keep the users on your site, and perhaps to send them to similar or related content.
This allows you to lower the bounce rate, while increasing the average length of visits on your site, which is important both for user experience and for Google rankings.
Need more information? Try visiting this Google webmaster support page.
Have you already set your 404 error page?
Did you know or are you using any of these plugins?
Please share with us your experience, leaving a comment in the box below, thanks!