WordPress Error 404 Not Found is one of the tamest bugs that you will come across online. But, that doesn’t make it any less annoying or harmful either. However, finding a solution for any WordPress error is quite simple.
In this blog post, we will discuss few reasons what is WordPress Error 404 Not Found, what causes it, and how to fix this error.
What is The Error 404 Not Found?
While any site visitor, visits your website, your browser will send a request to the webserver and obtain the request back along with an HTTP header. The HTTP header comprises HTTP status codes to explain what occurred with the request.
In the majority of cases, the request works ideally and you never actually view the HTTP status code. However, if something goes wrong, your web browser will show a message with the HTTP status code to suggest the actual problem.
Suggested For Further Reading
- What is an HTTP error, The most common HTTP error found in a Website
- How to Fix PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) Error
- Comparison of Top CMS: WordPress Vs Joomla Vs Drupal
Error 404 Not Found Variations
As each browser show error messages differently, you might see different variations for this error. Some common variations incorporate:
- “Error 404”
- “HTTP Error 404”
- “404 Not Found”
- “Not Found”
- “The requested URL was not found on this server.”
- “Page Not Found”
- “The page cannot be found”
- “We can’t find the page you’re looking for.”
- “The requested URL / doesn’t exist was not found on this server. That’s all we know”.
Error 404 Not Found Impact on SEO
Error 404 Not Found doesn’t have an inherently negative impact on SEO. However, it may negatively impact the SEO depending on the cause of this error.
For instance; a visitor mistypes a URL and views a 404 error, there won’t be any negative impact on SEO. But, on the other hand, if this error is caused due to a broken link, Google won’t be able to properly crawl your website and hurt your website’s SEO.
In addition to this, if a permalink issue is creating sitewide 404 errors, Google won’t be able to crawl any of your website’s content. In short, always resolve your 404 errors as soon as possible(ASAP).
What Causes WordPress 404 Error?
Some possibilities that can cause WordPress 404 Error are:
A mistyped URL: In few cases, the 404 error can be as simple as an additional letter typed in the webpage’s URL.
Caching issues: Often, your browser may cache the webpage that you are trying to access while it can’t be discovered, so you will keep on observing the 404 error even though your website is operating for everyone else.
DNS settings issue: You receive the 404 error while your ISP blocks access to the site or when their DNS servers are not functioning properly.
As we have discussed what is 404 error and its causes, let’s move ahead to discuss how to fix Error 404 Not Found on WordPress.
How to Fix Error 404 Not Found on WordPress
Below we will cover few method to fix the Error 404 Not Found message.
Update Your WordPress Website’s Permalinks
If you are encountering whole sitewide 404 errors while trying to access content, most probably it’s due to a problem with permalinks.
The simplest way to resolve this permalink issue is to update your permalink settings via the WordPress dashboard. All you have to do is to navigate the settings page and find permalinks (Settings → Permalinks). Next, you have to click on Save Changes.
Set Up 301 Redirects
If you are encountering 404 errors on a particular page then most probably this issue is caused to:
- Modified the URL slug for that page
- Moved that content piece manually (For instance: deleting the existing post and pasting its contents to a new post)
The best method to resolve the 404 error is to automatically redirect the visitors who were trying to access the old location to the new location. By doing so, you redirecting your visitors to the right place without displaying any 404 errors. Also, it’s good for SEO.
If you shift or rename a post without adding a redirect, you lose all the domain authority assigned to the backlinks directing that post.
For more details on 301 redirection, you can read this blog post on “Simple Tutorial to create 301 redirect WordPress“.
Sadly, 404 errors will tend to occur no matter whether you like it or not. Bigger the WordPress site, the more the possibilities of encountering a 404 error.
If you have queries about the Error 404 Not Found message, feel free to pen it down in the comment box 🙂
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