How to Create a Custom 404 Error Page in WordPress

404 error page in wp

Are you trying to create a 404 error page in WordPress?

A 404 error page is where your audience will land if they try to open or access a page that could not be found in the server. By displaying a 404 page, you basically let your visitors know that the page doesn’t exist.

While 404 error pages are great for letting your visitors know about the error that has occurred, it also has the potential to make you lose you visitors.

That’s because the right 404 page can either hurt or help your user experience (UX).

By designing this page correctly, you can strategically guide your users where to find the page that they’re looking for. This is an excellent way of retaining visitors on your website and decreasing your bounce rate rather than making them leave your site.

In this article, we’ll show you how to design a 404 error page in the simplest way and without any coding required.

We’ll also tell you what causes a 404 error and how to fix it. Towards the end, we’ll show you some of the best and inspirational 404 error page examples for you to check out before creating your page.

Feel free to use this table of contents to find the right section for you:

  1. What Causes the 404 Error
  2. How to Fix the 404 Error
  3. How to Design a 404 Error Page with Beaver Builder
  4. Best 404 Error Page Examples for Inspiration

Let’s begin.

What Causes the 404 Error Page

Generally, a 404 error page is displayed when your visitors try to find content that has either been deleted, removed, or moved to another URL.

But there can be other reasons when your visitors see this error message. For example:

  1. The URL slug of the searched page has been changed without proper redirection. So when looking for a page, your users find the original page with the original URL. Check out these carefully selected redirection plugins for WordPress.
  2. The domain name that has been searched for doesn’t exist anymore. This is most likely because the user has entered the wrong URL
  3. The server responsible for the website is not running, or the connection is broken.

And once you identify the problem, you’ll need to figure out how to fix it.

How to Fix the 404 Error

Landing on a 404 error page can be frustrating. And that’s why you must know how to fix it. Here are some tips you can try if you ever see a 404 error page on yours or on someone else’s site.

  1. Check for errors in the URL: The first thing to do is to check for errors in the URL. Make sure that the URL you’ve entered is correct and doesn’t contain any misspelled words, or have missing characters like a forward slash, hyphen, and so on.
  2. Clear your browser cache and cookies: This solution will work like magic if you can see the 404 error page only from a certain computer. In these cases, try deleting your browser cache as well as all the cookies for this site and try again.
  3. Reload the page: Sometimes the solution to a 404 error page can be found simply by reloading your page. So, refresh your page to see if the page is working.
  4. Check the directory levels: If the URL displaying the error has the following structure: example.com/Directory1/Directory2/Directory3, you can go back to a previous directory. For example, you can go to example.com/Directory1/Directory2/ to check if the desired page can be found there. If it doesn’t work, then go back to another directory.
  5. Contact the website directly: Another good step to finding a solution would be to contact the website directly. You’ll find the contact details somewhere on the homepage of the website. They should be able to tell you if they have completely removed the page.
  6. Use the website search function: You can also use the search function of the website and enter one or more keywords you’re looking for to find the specific page you want.

Now we’ll show you how to create a 404 error page for your website. This section is helpful for website owners who want to display this error page to their users.

How to Design a 404 Error Page with Beaver Builder

To design the 404 error page in this tutorial, we’ll be using the Beaver Builder page builder.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is a powerful drag and drop page builder plugin that lets you create beautiful pages for your website, without needing to know any code.

You can find out more about Beaver Builder in this detailed review.

Apart from the Beaver Builder plugin, you’ll also need the Beaver Themer to be installed on your website. Beaver Themer is an addon that makes designing web pages with Beaver Builder super easy and quick. You don’t need to install this addon separately. It comes packed with the premium version of the Beaver Builder plugin. All you need to do is activate it on your site.

Step 1: Installing Beaver Builder on Your Website

To get started, you first need to install and activate the Beaver Builder plugin on your WordPress website.

When it’s installed and activated, go to Settings » Page Builder. Here you can enter the license key to enable support and receive updates.

Beaver Builder settings

Next, you’ll have to activate the Beaver Themer addon. For that, go to your dashboard and click on Plugins » Installed Plugins.

activate Beaver Themer

Here, you’ll see the Beaver Themer addon. Just click on the Activate button for the addon to start working. Now you’re ready to create your custom 404 error page.

Step 2: Adding the Themer Layout

Now on your dashboard, go to Beaver Builder » Themer Layouts. And click on Add New.

404 error page

This will open a new screen where you’ll see fields to add your title and select the type and layout of your page. Add 404 error page as your page title. For Layout select 404 from the drop-down. Now, click on the Add Themer Layout button.

Adding 404 error page

You’ll see a new window on your screen. Here, click on the Launch Beaver Builder.

beaver themer

Now you can start designing your 404 error page using the modules (images, links, buttons, and so on) offered by Beaver Builder. If you can’t see the modules, click on the + button on the top right corner of your screen.

Beaver Builder modules

When you click on the button, it will display all the Beaver Builder modules that can be dragged and dropped in the visual editor to create your 404 error page. The + sign will change to across sign just like in the image above.

For more help, you can check out this detailed post on how to add modules to your Beaver page here. You can use the modules, add images and links, and make it colorful and engaging for your users.

Step 3: Publishing Your 404 Error Page

Now that you’re done creating your page, click on the Done button on the top right corner of your page.

404_Error_Page done

This will show you the Publish button. Click on it.

Publish 404_Error_Page

Your 404 error page will now be live. Anyone who clicks on a broken link will see this page.

And that’s it! You’re 404 page is ready to go. Easy, right?

Now let’s see some great examples of 404 pages that you can use for extra inspiration when designing your own.

Best 404 Error Page Examples for Inspiration

To help you design your 404 error page better, we’ve brought you some examples for inspiration.

1. Themeisle 404 Error Page

Themeisle 404 error page

Themeisle’s 404 error page is not only visually attractive but also offers a solution to the visitors to find what they were looking for. It added a search field to its page where visitors can enter one or more keywords of the page they wanted to visit.

This a great way to retain your users and direct them to a place where they originally intended to be.

2. 404 Error Page by Andrew Colling

404 error by Andrew Collin

Andrew’s 404 error page is another example that can inspire you. It adds a beautiful graphic that resonates with the description added just below the title and humorously tries to redirect its visitors back to the homepage. It added a catchy call to action (CTA) button to direct people to a page where they can navigate through the website.

3. 404 Error Page by Ryan Duffy

404 erro by Ryan Duffy, inspiring 404 error page

Ryan Duffy’s design is a simple yet powerful one. It tells its visitors that just like an accident, landing on the 404 error page is unintentional. But at the same time, it also shows them a way out of that page by using the CTA back to the homepage.

4. 404 Error Page by Matt

404 error by Matt

This page is different from the others mentioned above. It not only tells its visitors that the page doesn’t exist but also offers different solutions. It adds different links in the header that can help the visitor go to the other sections of the website.

This is actually a great way of engaging your visitor because you’re giving them different options, so they are free to choose what they want to do.

And that is how you create a 404 error page in WordPress. We hope this article helps you create a beautiful 404 error page for your site.

Once you’re done creating your error page, you might want to check out a few plugins that can help you find and fix broken links easily on your website.

This will help you increase UX by getting rid of dead or broken links on your site.

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