The 404 “Not Found” error is one of the most common errors on a WordPress website. This error message is displayed when a user tries to access a page that does not exist. While this error can be frustrating for users, it can also be an excellent opportunity to show off the personality of your website. 

A custom 404 page is the best way to do this. A custom 404 page can be used to display a message, redirect users to another page, or even show off your website’s sense of humor or intelligence. This article will show you how to create a custom 404 page in WordPress.

Introduction: What Is a 404 Page?

A 404 page is an error page displayed when a user tries to access a page that does not exist, or the user clicks a broken link, Mistyped a URL, Do not have permission to access the URLs. The 404 page can be customized to include a message or even redirect to another page. 

While it might seem like a 404 page is something you want to avoid, it can be used to your advantage. A well-designed 404 page can help reduce the number of lost visitors and even lead them to other areas of your site.

In this blog post, we will discuss what a 404 page is, why you might want to use one, and how to create a custom 404 web page for your website.

Why Is a Custom 404 Page Important?

A custom 404 page is an essential part of any website. It is the page that visitors will see when they try to access a page that does not exist. A good custom 404 page will help visitors find the information they want, while a bad one will send them away.

There are many reasons why a custom 404 page is important. For one, it helps you to make your website user-friendly and improves user experience. A good 404 page will give visitors links to other pages on your site or a search bar to quickly find the information they are looking for.

This is important because it will help to keep visitors on your site and reduce the chance of them leaving in frustration.

Another reason why a custom 404 page is important is that it can be used to track errors. By tracking the errors, you can see which pages are not working or having issues while running.

How To Create a Custom 404 Page in WordPress?

A 404 page is a page that is displayed when a user tries to access a page that does not exist. WordPress does not have a default 404 page, so you must create one yourself.

Creating a custom 404 page in WordPress is relatively easy. All you need to do is create a new page and select the 404 templates from the page attributes Meta box. This will cause WordPress to display the 404 page whenever a user tries to access a page that does not exist.

If you want to get more creative, you can add a custom message or image to your 404 page. This can help make the page more user-friendly and guide users back to the main content of your site.

You can create customized 404 pages in three different ways that are:

  1. Customize 404 Page by Editing Theme Editor.
  2. Create a Custom 404 Page via Page Builders.
  3. Create a Custom 404 Page Using Plugins.

Customize 404 Page by Editing Theme Editor

A template file for a 404 error may be present in the theme of your website. Log in to your WordPress Admin panel to find it. Navigate to Appearance -> Theme Editor in the left-hand menu.

You should notice a 404 template (404.php file) on the right side of the screen, which you must edit as necessary.

Customize a 404 page by editing it via the theme editor.

NOTE IMPORTANT! There may not be a 404.php file in Theme Editor for some WordPress themes. You do not have to be annoyed about this because there is a better way to personalize your 404 error page. Continue reading.

Before you begin the customization procedure, you must consider the readership of a 404-error page. It would be best if you completely comprehended its significance in that:

  • When there is a chance that users will abandon the website, a personalized 404 error page encourages movement inside the rest of the website, lengthening the time spent there.
  • Custom 404 pages help to build brand recognition. Customized 404 pages can contribute to the brand personality in the online medium as long as they use the website’s color scheme, the layout fits well with the overall presentation of the website, and the typography is consistent with other sites.
  • A 404-page function is similar to a soft-sell landing page in that it keeps visitors on the website and can benefit consumers who relaunch their search with more outstanding decision-making guidance.

Another way to do this is:

There are three ways to best modify a 404 page by adding particular components:

  • Knowledge of CSS and PHP is needed. It is necessary to change the 404.php file. To do this, you must modify the error page customization code.

    Before making the fundamental modifications to the 404.php file, you should make sure you have a backup of the website to ensure everything else in it stays in place.
  • Another choice is to adapt the Twenty Thirteen theme’s 404-page template to your theme. Although not particularly difficult, it also needs some coding expertise for the code to transfer correctly and function.
  • Utilizing plugins for 404 pages is the third choice. Keep in mind, however, that you are not permitted to use any WordPress plugins (this is why creating a bespoke 4040 page with total control over the page and no reliance on a plugin is ideal)

Create a Custom 404 Page via Page Builder

The best landing page builder for WordPress is SeedProd which is a great tool for enhancing the 404-page template. Without knowing any coding, you may use it to create, edit, and personalize your WordPress pages.

You can quickly create a unique 404 page utilizing a variety of expertly-made themes with the help of this plugin.

Installing the SeedProd plugin is the first thing you need to do. 

Although SeedProd has a free version, we will be using the Pro version because it allows you to change the default 404 templates provided by your theme.

After the plugin has been activated, SeedProd will request your license key.

You can quickly create a unique 404 page with the help of the SeedProd plugin.

On the SeedProd website, this information is accessible under your account. To verify the key, click the button after entering the license.

Go to SeedProd ยป Landing Pages after completing that. ‘Set up a 404 Page‘ can be found under the ‘404 Page‘ section.

Set up a 404 Page under the '404 Page' section.

Now that you have a 404-page template, you may select it.

Move your mouse over a design to preview it, then click the magnifying glass.

Choose a Template.

Click “Choose This Template” when you locate a design you like.

Although we’re utilizing the “Oh No 404 Page” template, you can use any style.

You can use any style you prefer.

You may begin modifying the 404 page by dragging elements into the builder after choosing a template.

You can add sections and blocks to your design using the tools on the left side of the screen. The live preview is located on the right side of the page.

You can add sections and blocks to your design using the tools on the left side of the screen.

Blocks, a fundamental component of all SeedProd designs, are present in most 404 templates.

Click to select any of these pre-made blocks in your layout and then customize them. The settings in the left-hand menu then let you modify the block.

Select any of the pre-made blocks in your layout and then customize them.

Locate the block in the left-hand menu to add it to your design. After that, drag it onto your design. The block can now be modified by using the above-described procedure.

Usually, you will want to start by including the logo for your website on the 404 page.

Click to select the placeholder logo in your layout to replace the SeedProd logo with your branding. Then, click the “Select Image” button while your cursor is over the image in the left-hand menu.

Select the placeholder logo in your layout to replace the SeedProd logo with your branding.

The WordPress media library is then launched, from which you can choose any image or add a new file from your computer.

The primary navigation menu of your website is typically displayed in many 404 designs. You should display a separate menu if you have several menus.

Click on your template’s “Nav Menu” block to make this change. Then, you can select any menu from the list by opening the “Menu” dropdown.

You should display a menu on your 404 page.

Likewise, you can add multiple things and build a page as you want to show the users. 

Create a Custom 404 Page Using Plugins

Users who click on a broken link are taken to a unique 404 page. For search engine bots, the same holds. Once a bot detects a broken link, it is routed to a specific 404 page. Plugins that create this redirection should be avoided as they are not friendly to search engines.

Create a custom 404 page using the Smart Custom 404 error page plugin.

However, a plugin called Smart Custom 404 error page [404page] may be used without worrying about harming your SEO. It does not perform that redirection and is quite simple to use.

With this tool, you can edit the 404 page precisely like any other page on the website. There are certain restrictions, but you will need a custom 404 page and coding skills to make the adjustments if you want further alterations.

You may rely on 404Page for basic adjustments and even more than basic customizations.

Let’s look at how to use the 404Page in WordPress and keep it straightforward:

  • Access your WordPress Admin dashboard by logging in.
  • Go to Plugins -> Add New on the left-hand menu.
  • Type “Smart Custom 404 error page” into the search field on the right side of the dashboard (the name of the plugin).
  • Click Activate after installing it.
  • Create a page that will next serve as your website’s 404 error page.

Remember to build your page by selecting Pages > Add New from the menu.

The new page can be changed just like any other page on the website, either directly in the Customizer or in the WordPress Editor (as is the case for the Mesmerize theme).

Customize the 404 page by adding these things via plugin usage:

  • Include a title that clearly states that this is a 404 page.
  • If more information is required or the page needs to be enhanced, you can add one or two blocks of material.
  • The backdrop of the page can be changed. Therefore, it will flawlessly blend into the website’s general design and, implicitly, branding.

Do all settings, add the required details, save the changes, and then check the results.

Tips for Creating a Great Custom 404 Web Page

A custom 404 web page is a great way to add a personal touch to your website. You can use this page to inform the user that the page they are looking for does not exist, or you can redirect them to another page on your site.

Creating a custom 404 page is relatively easy, and there are a few things you can do to make sure it is effective. Here are a few tips mentioned for creating a great custom 404 page:

– Make sure the page is well-designed and easy to navigate.

– Use clear and concise copy to explain the situation.

– Include a search bar so users can easily find what they are looking for.

– Add links to your most popular pages.

– Include a contact form so users can ask their queries or inconvenience that they are facing.

– Use humor to lighten the mood.

– Use engaging visuals.

– Use a clear call to action.

Final Words

While a default 404 page is better than nothing, a custom 404 page can be even more helpful. A custom 404 page can include a message to the user, links to other parts of the site, and a search bar.

Creating a custom 404 page in WordPress is relatively easy and only takes a few minutes. With a little effort, you can make your site more user-friendly and reduce the number of frustrated users.

About the Author

Atif Shahab


Atif Shahab is a blogger, social media community management, and influencer marketing Expert. He loves to write about PHP, WordPress, Cloud, Project Management, Marketing, and Data Science. He is a fan of classic music and loves traveling with friends & family.

View All Articles