404 page not found error, is one of the most common WMT error message that you might face frequently. But do you know how to deal with these 404 page not found errors?
Many people believe that 404 errors are not good for website’s SEO point of view. But they are not 100% incorrect though. These 404 errors doesn’t have any SEO impact on your website’s SEO. But this might disturb your visitors, who came to your website from organic traffic sources. Search engines like Google is giving too much importance to user experience of a website. From that point, you might get some negative value from Google, based on user experience.
How to deal with 404 page not found error
You might get this error message in couple of format like
- 404 Error
- 404 Not Found
- The requested URL [URL] was not found on this server
- HTTP 404 Not Found
- 404 Page Not Found
There are couple of reasons for which your website might get 404 page not found error. Few of them could be
- If you change your website’s permalink, then you will get 404 error
- If you have deleted any category, tag or any article then you will get 404 page not found error
- If you change your category levels, you will get this error
- If someone link back your website with a wrong spelling link then also you will get 404 error
- Rewriting an old post is a good habit, but if you change the slug and forget to redirect the old slug, you will get 404 error
- Sometimes, your hosting server may get down due to some reason or due to some DNS error. In that case also you will get page not found error.
Whatever the reason for your 404 page not found error, the reason is that one of your website url or link is not working right now. User might reach to that link via search results and ended up in a page where nothing is there. To fix 404 page not found error in WordPress, you can take below steps to resolve these issues
- If you want to change your entire website’s permalink structure, then you have to provide a site wide 301 redirect via .htacess file.
- In case if you delete any post or category or tag, then you have to set up 301 redirect manually by using any WordPress plugin.
- In case you are able to redirect a old URL to new URL then fine, else you can redirect every link to home page.
- If you find your website is linked with a wrong spelling url, then you can contact that webmaster and ask them to correct that link with your updated correct url.
- In case you are getting those error messages for some issues from hosting provider, then you don’t have to do anything. Wait for few days, your errors will be fixed automatically.
So, if you are able to identify why you are getting 404 page not found error in your WMT dashboard then take necessary actions to fix them. Otherwise you can simply make those issues as fixed and check whether they come back again or not after few days.