How to Create Custom 404 Page in WordPress?

This article is going to show you how to create custom 404 page on the WordPress site.

In WordPress the 404 error page is part of the theme. However, this feature will work as long as you set the Permalink Structure to anything else but Default (Plain) under the Settings -> Permalinks section in the admin panel.

The best solution to create and customize your own 404 error page is to use a plugin. We recommend using 404page plugin. It allows you to create and edit your 404 error page as a normal page using the full power of WordPress and making use of all installed plugins and available shortcodes.

Price: Free

In order to install and use the plugin, you need to:

  • download plugin file;
  • install and activate it under the Plugins -> Add New -> Upload Plugin section in your WordPress admin panel.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, navigate to the Appearance -> 404 Error Page section in the admin panel. You can manage the plugin’s settings there.

In order to create your custom 404 error page, you need to navigate to the Pages -> Add new section in the WordPress dashboard, and create a new page there.

Once the page is created, go back to the Appearance -> 404 Error Page section. Let’s review the plugin’s settings:

  • Page to be displayed as 404 page – this option allows you to select the needed page that will be used as the 404 error page on your website. Choose your created 404 error page in the drop-down list, and press the Save changes button below.Once the page is selected and changes are saved, you can click the Test 404 error button to test it.Also, the Edit page button allows you to edit your custom 404 error page directly from here.

     

  • Hide 404 page – activating this option hides the page you selected as custom 404 error page from the Pages menu for non admin users. For admin users it is always visible and marked with the 404page icon.
  • Fire 404 error – this option is activated by default and it is recommended not to change this setting. With this option WordPress fires an 404 error in case the page you selected to be your custom 404 error page is accessed directly by its permalink. The only reason to deactivate this option is if you explicitly want the page to be accessible otherwhere.
  • Operating Method – this setting has two options: Standard Mode and Compatibility Mode.Standard Mode is the default operating method and should work in most cases. This mode uses the WordPress Template System to detect and handle 404 errors. However, some plugins and themes bypass this task, thus the 404page plugin does not work properly. In such cases you need to switch to Compatibility Mode.

That’s it. Now you know how to create 404 page on your WordPress website.