Have you ever clicked on a link to end up on a 404 error message indicating that your page was not found, such as the one below?
To avoid people leaving your website, if you use WordPress, here is a tip that can make your error page look good.
Use the 404page plugin from smartware.cc and grab the attention of your visitors when they use an incorrect link rather than letting them move away.
Follow the steps below to setup the plugin.
Create a new page to replace the 404 error message
Start by creating a page where your visitors will be re-directed to when they use a link to a page that does not exist on your site.
Go to your WordPress Dashboard and select Pages/Add New to create the new page.
Create your page and publish the content to present to your visitors when they use a broken link. For this example, I will name my page “Incorrect page” but it could be anything else.
Install the 404page plugin
From your WordPress Dashboard, select Plugins/Add New.
Search for the plugin 404Page.
In the search results, you should see the 404page plugin. Make sure that it is compatible with your version of WordPress. If that is the case, click on the Install Now button.
Verify that the installation was successful and click on the link Activate Plugin to enable the plugin on your site.
Select the page that will replace the usual 404 message
Once the plugin is activated, you should see it in your list of plugins. Click on the link Settings to configure your plugin.
On the configuration page of the 404page plugin, select the page you created previously (for example “Incorrect page”).
Click on the button “Save Change”. Et voilà*: you are all set!
[Tweet “This tip can help you engage with your visitors even from an error page!”]
From now on, this will be the page that your visitors will see when they try to access a page that cannot be found on your site.
You can test the functionality by typing the URL of your website and adding an incorrect page name. For example, test what happens if you use an incorrect url on this site such as http://www.momentumboutique.com/doesnotexist.
Now it is your turn to have fun handling the error pages. I hope that this tip gave you new ideas for your site.
In case you don’t have a website yet, feel free to download my site creation checklist here.
*Et voilà is a French expression that means “here it is”.