When you try to print an iFrame or frame in Internet Explorer versions 9 through 11, a blank page or '404 – Not Found' error message is printed instead of the actual content. This problem occurs on computers that are running any of the following operating systems: Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows 8.1. A 404 page is bad for your SEO. A visitor is lost because the links on your website have not been maintained properly. One or two broken links presented occasionally to search engines will not really matter. But you have a more serious problem if the search engine comes up against these errors often on your site. This refers to pages on your website that are returning a 404 - Not Found HTTP status code, aka a 'dead page'.The '404 - Not Found' is one of the most common 4XX errors and indicates that the page does not. Looking at the default page of page 404 not found, you can imagine how cringe-worthy it would feel like as a user to suddenly drop on an empty page like this. It essentially forms a dead-end for the visitor, since they can do nothing else but return to the homepage or go to a different site. When a page you are trying to open on a website cannot be found on their web server, it gives you a 404 error page. A 404 error is a response code from the server that is categorized under HTTP status codes. You would know it is a 404 error page when you see the following error messages: 404 Not Found.
You know the page: you click on a link, but instead of getting the site you want, an error pops up indicating that the requested page is not available. Something along the lines of '404 Not Found'. A 404 error is the standardised HTTP status code. The message is sent from the web server of an online client, to the web browser (usually the client) that sent the HTTP request. The browser then displays this error code.
Links that don’t lead anywhere are known as 'dead links' or 'broken links'. The HTTP status code 404 is often referred to as 'error 404', 'HTTP 404', or '404 code'.
We’ve gathered information on error messages and will show you how to create your very own 404 page.
The typical trigger for an error 404 message is when website content has been removed or moved to another URL. There are also other reasons why an error message could appear. These include:
Dead links are often left for long periods of time since operators have no idea that the linked content has been deleted or moved. Many websites still appear in the search engineresults pages (SERPs) even though they aren’t available online anymore (or at least not at the specified URL). Other linked websites such as blogs, news portals, etc. are often not informed that the site has been removed or can now be found under a new URL. Many website operators don’t check their external links regularly and therefore a functioning link could easily become a dead one.
A 404 error is rarely a reason to celebrate. At the end of the day, the website’s visitors have not found the content that they were looking for. However the appearance of a 404 page does not necessarily mean that the desired information is not available at all. In many cases, the solution to the original error is easily found and the visitor can be quickly directed to the web page that they were originally looking for. So how exactly can you go about achieving a 404 error fix? Our advice would be to try out these potential solutions (in the order that they are listed):
Search engines, such as Google and Bing, look down on sites if they have many 404 errors. Once the crawlers have established that many requests are being met with 404 codes, it presumes the site isn’t very well maintained. Dead links affect a site’s ranking and Google can decrease its placement in the SERPs or even stop indexing it if there are too many 404 error pages occurring. This may result in a considerable decrease in visitor numbers for the website.
The visitor loses trust in the site if it’s full of broken links or if the landing page (the page that is accessed from the search engine results) is dead. If the site is experiencing this problem regularly, many users won’t take the trouble to continue to search since they aren’t even sure if the desired content is still available.
It’s important for website operators to prevent HTTP 404 pages. This applies to internal 404 error pages on their own website as well as external 404 error pages on other sites. There are numerous free tools available to help you find these broken links more easily. Three of the best and most well-known are:
In 2008, a study carried out by the telecommunications arm of the Royal Mail found that '404' became a slang synonym for 'clueless' in the United Kingdom.
Some content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal automatically generate a 404 error page when a website’s URL can’t be found. The HTTP 404 page is just a simple standard error message, but most of them can be personalised using special CMS extensions.
If your CMS doesn’t give you the option of creating or changing your 404 page, or if your website is solely based on HTML, PHP, etc., it will prove a bit more complicated. You can create an error page as follows:
Having a standard 404 error page is better than having none at all, although a customised page is more preferred for several reasons. On the one hand, you can be sure that visitors receive an accurate HTTP status code: for example, if the requested content is no longer present on the site, this should be conveyed with the '410 Gone' message. The visitor then knows that this content has been permanently deleted.
On the other hand, you can provide a specially-designed error page containing related links (i.e. links to your homepage or subpages where the content overlaps that which the visitor originally requested). You could even add a search function for your website. By taking these extra measures and providing incentives, you might be able to prevent visitors from leaving your site straight after seeing the 404 code.
With a creative 404 message you may even find that visitors are more forgiving. Naturally they will be disappointed at not finding content they were promised, but an original or funny 404 page could make up for it. If done properly, error pages do have some potential.
Make sure that the design of the error message matches the style of your website and you already have the foundation for a good 404 error page. If you let visitors know in a funny and light-hearted way that your content isn’t available, you’ll hopefully get a smile out of them and they won’t hold a grudge. For inspiration, check out our article on cool and creative 404 pages.
No, this is not a collection of 404 errors or poorly designed sites – in fact, it’s the complete opposite! (If you don’t know what a 404 error is, click here). Titles for all of yourneeds. 404PageFound started in May 2009 with the goal of uncovering dated websites (generally from 1994-2001) that are still active and have avoided major updates. Many people think that sites created in the years following the dot-com bubble burst (2001-2003) are old. This may be true, but the differences between a site from 2001 and 1996 are quite striking. It’s overwhelming how much data from the days of Usenet, Gopher, and FTPs still exists in the depths of the Internet.
Accordingly, 404PageFound is by no means an attempt to emulate theInternet Archive’s Wayback Machine (or any other site that hosts former pages). The Wayback Machine serves an excellent and necessary purpose by continually capturing instances of websites for historical, technological, and cultural purposes. However, there is something distinct and unique about discovering an antiquated site that still exists in its natural state compared to browsing a library of how modern websites once looked. However, only in rare cases will a site in the Internet Archive still look like it did a decade ago. As such, 404PageFound will not be able to showcase most major web players since they constantly update their sites. However, even large sites (CNN, Yahoo!, and Business Week, to name a few) have old pages that remain in their original layout and have escaped deletion from the server. For reference, there were an estimated 100,000 websites in 1996, and close to 1 million in 1997. Many of these still remain in their original coding, although the vast majority have been removed or completely renovated. 404PageFound strives to excavate and display these remaining buried gems.
Additionally, 404PageFound is in no way a “Worst” of the Web. There are already plenty of these sites and no one benefits by insulting historic websites (many of which have been abandoned or forgotten as it is). In fact, many of the featured sites actually earned “Best of” awards back in the day. In today’s advanced Internet, such vintage sites would not, and do not, stand a chance of receiving awards. One of the goals of 404PageFound is to entertain as well as enlighten visitors who rarely stray from modern “2.0” mainstream sites. Plenty of throwback sites remain scattered around the Web. It is just a matter of finding them in a world dominated by “Page Not Found” errors.
404PageFound is a testament to the fact that decade-old pages can still co-exist with the dominant social web. Many of these featured sites suffer from “link rot” or the gradual loss of links (and therefore search engine presence) because websites that they link to disappear, change their content, or move to new locations. Such is the case in the realm of the Internet. Forgotten pages may exist, but it takes a certain knack and some detective work to find them. That’s where we come in (and you can help too).
You (hopefully!) will not find any “404 Page Not Found” errors – we’ve already found plenty. You will only see images and links to captivating sites that remind us of the early days of the graphical World Wide Web.
Want to find old websites on your own? The easiest way is to find old bookmarks and run the links through Xenu Link Sleuth (sorted by access date).
2014 update: 188 of the original 653 featured sites (30%) have been removed in the past four years. Let’s hope the current 450 exist for years to come!