Admit it, 404 Management isn’t part of your initial WordPress setup! Well, you should add it to your launching list to give your visitors better browsing experience on your website.
Why is 404 Page important on brand new WordPress site?
Is it, really? The answer is definitely yes! It is important in order to keep your visitors, especially the newcomers on your site, from leaving just because they’ve typed the wrong URL parameters or one of your post type pages is suddenly not found, which happens most of the time; it sure needs a permalink update.
What are the benefits of 404 Page for newly transferred or updated site?
It’s really important to have a 404 Page Not Found on your site when you’ve decided to move or update your website, no questions asked. There are always URLs that won’t be available on your updated site, but you don’t want your visitors to leave and more importantly you don’t want your page ranking to suffer.
What is the best way to track 404 Page?
The best way to track 404 Page is to install a WordPress 404 Plugin that saves the logs whenever a user visits the non-existent pages. Use Forty Four Plugin which saves detailed 404 link logs and the total number of page visits — which is very important so that you’ll know exactly how many people visits this link. The plugin is free on WordPress repo.
I have a lot of visits on my 404 URLs; how can I redirect the users to new url?
This part is very important. You have to find a plugin or a way to redirect the URL via 301 which is the redirection option that search engines are using to permanently ditch the old URL to the new one. This will hurt your SEO ranking if you don’t pay attention. Luckily, Forty Four Plugin also has a redirection option, and the best part is you can have redirect URL on every 404 links!
I’ve decided to go for Forty Four WordPress Plugin, now what?
Awesome! You now have the super lightweight 404 Plugin; yes, it’s different from any other 404 plugins. Default WordPress css and jQuery scripts are not loaded so that users will not have to wait longer on broken links. And you now have a 404 Page design that you can customize.
First thing you need to do is install and activate Forty Four Plugin plugin. Upon activation, go to Appearance » 404 Page to set up your 404 Page design and custom text.
Then, visit the Logs Tab and you’ll see the lists of 404 links from your site and views each link gets. You can now add the custom redirect.
Originally published at phpbits.net on March 30, 2016.