Having 404 errors on your WordPress website can be an incredibly frustrating experience for your visitors. Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can take to help you prevent them, which we’ll talk about in this post.
But first, let’s talk about what a 404 error actually is. A 404 error is the result of a broken link or a page that has been moved or deleted. And it’s important to keep an eye out for these errors because they can hurt your website’s user experience, affecting your search engine rankings and negatively impacting the traffic going to your website.
So it’s really important that you fix any 404 errors on your website. Here are some general tips on how to prevent them.
Fixing 404 Errors
Keep your permalinks up to date
The first and most crucial step is to keep your permalinks up to date. Permalinks are the permanent URLs of your posts and pages and should be updated when you make changes to your content. For example, if you change the title of a post, you should also change the permalink so that it reflects the new title. This will prevent visitors from arriving at a page that no longer exists.
Use a plugin to monitor broken links and redirect them to the correct page
Or, you can use a WordPress plugin that monitors broken links and redirects your visitors to the right page.
Finding a good plugin that does this will help reduce the number of 404 errors that appear on your website, as well as help improve the user experience for visitors.
It can also help you keep track of any changes to your website, ensuring that all links are always up-to-date and functioning correctly.
Carefully test any plugins or themes before installing them
Doing so will ensure that the plugin or theme you want to install is compatible with your website and will not cause any unexpected errors. Testing a plugin or theme before installation can also help identify any potential security vulnerabilities so that you can take the necessary steps to protect your website.
Create a custom 404 page
A custom 404 page should appear whenever someone requests a page that doesn’t exist and should provide helpful information on how to get back on track.
A custom 404 page generally includes a search box, links to your most popular pages, and a link to your homepage.
Install a caching plugin
A caching plugin helps by storing a copy of a page that has already been loaded so that the page can be served quickly when requested again.
This means that visitors to your website can access pages faster and that it is far less likely for 404 errors to occur due to reduced strain on the server. Caching plugins can also help improve the overall performance of a website.
Use custom post types and taxonomies
WordPress websites can benefit from the use of custom post types and taxonomies to better organize content and prevent 404 errors.
Custom post types are different from the standard “Posts” and “Pages” found in WordPress. Instead, they are user-defined content types with their own set of fields and data structures.
Custom post types allow users to easily create and manage content, such as adding new content, editing existing content, and displaying content in different forms.
Taxonomies, on the other hand, are used to classify and categorize content. They help to provide structure to the content and make it easier to find and search for.
Taxonomies are also used to create relationships between different types of content, further helping to organize information.
And by having organized content, users can easily find the information they need and navigate the site without running into errors. It also helps to improve user experience because they’re able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
To recap, if you want to avoid annoying 404 errors on your WordPress website, you should:
- Keep your permalinks up to date
- Use a plugin to monitor broken links and redirect them to the correct page
- Carefully test any plugins or themes before installing them
- Create a custom 404 page
- Install a caching plugin
- Use custom post types and taxonomies
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that 404 errors are kept to a minimum on your WordPress website.
And if you’re still struggling with fixing 404 errors or any other issues with your WordPress website, our friendly and capable WordPress specialists at myWPguys are here to help.
Let us take the stress off your shoulders and give you the support you need – sign up for our services here, and we’ll make sure you get the help you deserve. We look forward to assisting you soon.