Better handling of 404 pages using Google

Seldom it happens that you get few incoming links typed wrong, or you delete/move some of your posts. The result will be a 404 page not found error page displayed to your visitors coming for the old link.

Luckily WordPress has a custom page for handling 404 errors, in the form of 404.php template in your theme. However the default page in many themes leaves much to be desired.

You can easily enhance this page by adding Google's 404 enhancer script, available from Google Webmaster Tools -> Tools -> Enhance 404 pages. To use it, simply copy the script anywhere in your 404 page template body.

As a test visit this URL http://prelovac.com/vladimir//WordPress-plugins/-wall. It should be pointing to my WP Wall plugin but the linking site got it wrong.

The new enhanced 404 page will provide the user with much more options, like going to the proper link or searching the site for keywords (Google extracts them automatically).

I have included these changes in the new release of Amazig Grace/Blue Grace themes which you can download here.

Useful links on Google:


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8 Comments

  1. Jun 13th, 2010 7:56 PM

    This plugin works great! Have been using it for some time now.

  2. Feb 14th, 2010 2:32 PM

    Really, Now 404 page will be a better one.
    Thanks for bring it up

  3. Mensah
    Oct 27th, 2009 9:35 AM

    I recommend Smart 404, http://michael.tyson.id.au/wordpress/plugins/smart-404 . I moved from Joomla! to WordPress and I had a bunch of 404 errors. This plugin used keywords in the url to redirect the visitors to the right page.

    • Oct 28th, 2009 12:13 AM

      Yeah not a bad plugin, thanks for bringing it up

  4. Mar 30th, 2009 2:27 PM

    What if there's no 404.php in my theme?

  5. Feb 24th, 2009 3:51 PM

    As always, very interesting to read your SEO section. This is a must tweak for every blog.

  6. Feb 23rd, 2009 5:02 PM

    Yes, this is better than Thesis Theme default 404 page, but you can easily customize the look and content of the 404 page in Thesis.

  7. Feb 23rd, 2009 8:35 AM

    Wow! This is better than thesis's default 404 page!