Site administered by WebAZ.net | update: 03.31.2012
Have you ever had a page display the error, "404 - Page Not Found?" This error is called a "404" error and is commonly a default .HTML page setup on servers by your hosting provider. Default 404 pages published by hosting providers never have a welcoming appearance and are purposely designed to let the user know that the page they navigated too is NOT the page they were trying to find.
This can be an embarrassing experience for many web site owners; especially when you are trying to show a customer or an associate a specific page during a conversation. Or, even worse, when your error appears in a "marketing" situation due to an incorrectly typed URL within an advertisement.
"Custom 404 Pages" can be setup by your webmaster to have a more friendly look and feel to it. Also, why not use your "404 pages" to market your entire websites content. Some of the top ranked websites, for example, Apple.com and MSN.com display a page that instructs your visitor that the page is not found; but, then offers a list of categories that have additional links to other pages that may assist your visitor in getting back on track. Also, incorporating a search feature on the page is often another courteous element that can be added. A funny image can also go along way to ease the situation.
(404 page) of Apple's website - copyright Apple Enterprises
Experiment & Discover:
To generate a 404 error page on any website: add anything to the end of the web address that you are sure is not going to be found on the server.
(Try it yourself: exampleyourwebsite.com/putanywordshere)
Attention: Only do this as an experiment, nobody wants their servers to generate excessive 404.
We can design a page that displays a user friendly message that won't "scare" your web site visitors.
Example terminology: "Oops" or "Hmm" are two commonly used words that more friendly than most defaults.
Default terminology: "Warning" or "Ever feel like your in the wrong place"
Another method than can be configured is to have a missing page redirect the visitor back to the homepage of you website; but, your site user will have to start back at square one to find the page. Not the best option, in our opinion, but probably better than any default 404 page.
If you are in the market for a webmaster to professionally manage your content...