Understanding the Basics of 404 Errors: A Guide by New Standard Muskegon

The internet is a vast expanse of pages, each with a unique URL that helps to locate them. But, what happens when a page is not found? That’s when a 404 error comes in. As a company dealing with websites, we at New Standard Muskegon believe it’s important to understand these errors and what they mean for your business.

What is a 404 Error?

In technical terms, a 404 error occurs when your server cannot locate a requested URL or the page doesn’t exist. This can happen when a page has been removed, the URL was typed incorrectly or the link is broken.

What does this mean for your website? Firstly, encountering 404 errors can be frustrating for users, potentially causing them to exit your website and not return. Secondly, too many 404 errors can harm your website’s SEO performance as it can be seen as a sign of a poorly maintained site.

Preventing 404 Errors

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate 404 errors, they can definitely be minimized by incorporating standard practices. One of these is diligent monitoring. Regular checks is an excellent way to identify broken links or pages that no longer exist. There are many tools available online to help with this task.

Investing in creating custom 404 pages is another preventative measure. The default 404 pages can be quite abrupt and unhelpful, but a customized page can retain visitors in spite of the error. It’s good practice to include a link back to your homepage, and perhaps, a site map of the most important pages on your website.

Fixing 404 Errors

Once you have identified 404 errors, the task is to correct them. If a link is broken, update it with the correct link. In case the page has been removed, set up a redirect to another relevant page on your website.

If the 404 error occurs because of a typo in the URL, you can simply correct the arithmetics. Alternatively, you might not be able to fix the problem if the error is caused by a website that no longer exists.

At New Standard Muskegon, we emphasize that understanding 404 errors is crucial for your website’s health. Regularly checking for these errors, and promptly fixing them, will ensure a smooth user experience and a strong SEO ranking. If you’re interested in learning more about our services, visit our services page.