Has this happened to you? You have just finished uploading content to your blog.
You have carefully crafted the words to provide useful information to your readers, and have also ensured that you have appropriate keyword densities to keep the search engines happy.
You press the upload button, everything is working great.
Then you log out of WordPress, and you go to check to see how your site and your new page look. Your post isn’t there! You find a 404 error page.
Your page can’t be found. Now what do you do?
First, relax. We’ve had plenty of 404’s and can give you some help with yours. This article shows you some of the reason that a 404 error code occurs and what you need to do to fix the problem.
A 404 error code is a HTTP status code that basically means the page you are trying to find can’t be displayed or found. The error code can also include the following (404 not found, or Error 404). This can be annoying, but normally is relatively easy to fix.
First Cause of a 404 Error Page
The first cause of a 404 code is if the site is temporarily down. Don’t assume that there are any problems straight away. There are no sites that operate 100 percent of the time. Go and get yourself a coffee and check the site again after 10 minutes. If there is still a problem then move to the step below.
Second Cause of a 404 Error Pages
The second most common cause of a 404 message is incorrect spelling and extensions. Go back into your website dashboard and make sure that you have spelt your extension correctly and make changes if needed. None of us are perfect spellers and as such mistakes happen! Make the changes and then test the page again.
A Plugin Problem
This is something we’ve mentioned in some of our other posts. The thousands of plugins available are created by a wide variety of people who work independently of each other. Not all plugins work together all of the time. Sometimes when you have several plugins, and especially when you update one or more at one time, something incompatible between them will cause a glitch (not a technical term) in the code on your site.
Simply deactivate the plugins you just updated and see how you page looks. Then reactivate one by one. If you haven’t just updated, you still can deactivate and reactivate your plugins.
Sometimes you’ll need to delete a plugin that causes problems and replace it with a different one. Other times, deactivation and reactivation is all you’ll need to do.
A Plugin for 404 Repairs
For most cases, the above methods will work. If they don’t then you may have a more complex problem. Luckily there is a WordPress Plugin that can help you. The plugin is called “Repair 404 Errors WordPress Plugin” and once installed, it will help you to identify and repair any 404 errors. This is very easy to use and will have your site up and running perfectly in no time. The Plugin comes with easy to follow instructions which are easy to understand no matter what your skill level.
Using these four methods should solve any 404 Error Code messages that you may have.
The Htaccess Method
In addition to the above, many website owners prefer adding code to htaccess to fix 404 error messages.
Htaccess allows you to overwrite files on a website and change URLs. It is very powerful when used by someone with a lot of experience. The problem however, is that you do need a lot of experience. If you get something wrong you can mess up your whole site.
In summary, this is a good method to fix 404 error messages, but you need to be sure that you know what you are doing (or hire an expert to help you).
The 15 Minute Rule
If you are still having trouble, follow the 15 Minute Rule. If you can’t solve your problem in 15 minutes, post a job on Elance and have someone whose job is to work with coding take care of the problem for you.
Fifteen minutes working on a problem often leads to hours or even days of diverting your attention to problem solving rather than content creation and promoting your website. Your time is more valuable than the low price most contractors on Elance will charge to fix your website problem.
To recap, a 404 error page occurs when a page cannot be found. The most common reasons are when a site is down, or when an extension is misspelled or a page is mislabeled. Check your plugins. If you’ve tried these things and there is still a problem, then try the Repair 404 Errors WordPress Plugin that can quickly check 404 errors, where they are occurring, and how they can be repaired. If you can code, you can add coding to your htaccess.
And, finally, if the basics aren’t solving your problem with a 404 error code, hire someone who can take care of it for you.