How to Make a WordPress Page into an Index.html Page in Your Own Website
Having a page on your WordPress site that serves as a 404 (or error) page is convenient when developing your site. However, what if you want to make the page act differently than what is expected when a user encounters an error or something they don’t find on your site?
In that case, you may want to consider making the 404 (or error) page an index.html page. An index.html page is a simple HTML file that serves as a starting point to assist users in finding content on your site. Typically, an index.html file will contain links to the other pages on your site. Making the 404 (or error) page an index.html page is quite easy, and it will help solve a number of the issues that come with having a generic 404 (or error) page on your site.
One of the primary benefits of having an index.html file is that it provides a clean URL when a user navigates to it from another page on your site. A clean URL is an URL that does not contain any www or other unnecessary characters. So, instead of having a URL like this:
You can have a clean URL like this:
Fully Optimized For Search
Another benefit of having an index.html file is that it gets fully optimized for search engines like Google. When search engines see that you have setup your site with proper H1 and H2 tags, use alt-attributes for images, and use XML Sitemap for mapping out your URLs, they will see it as a very well-designed site and will give it higher positions in the search results. This, in turn, will assist with driving more traffic to your site.
HTML Validator Errors Detected
HTML Validator is a free utility from validators.w3.org that checks HTML for validity and provides error messages if any. If you have an error in your HTML, it will notify you via email, and if you wanted, you can fix the errors and resubmit your HTML.
If you have an error in the form of a red mark beneath an element, that means that the HTML source for the page contains a mistake. You can use the HTML error checklist to quickly pinpoint the errors in your HTML.
No More 404 Not Found
One of the primary issues that arise from having a generic 404 (or error) page is that when a user encounters said error page, they don’t know what to do. Should they click on a link, or should they view the contents of the page?
Having a dedicated 404 (or error) page ensures that the user knows exactly what will happen if they click on a link, and it also helps provide them with a better overall user experience.
User Confirmation Required
In some cases, you may want to require user confirmation before allowing them to access a certain page on your site. In that case, you can use the password-protected page as a means of requiring an authorization code before the page can be viewed. Simply add this line of code to the head section of the page:
<input type="hidden" name="_confirmation" value="1" />
Then, in the body of the page, you can include this line of code:
<input type="text" name="_username" value="[your-username]" placeholder="Your username…" />
In the event that the user enters the correct username and password, the hidden input field will be filled, and the page will be granted access. On the other hand, if the username and password are incorrect, a link will be displayed to the user to notify them that their username and credentials are incorrect.
Redirects To A Specific Location
If you have several pages on your site that you want to redirect the user to once they visit it, you can use the code below to do so.
This line of code will check if the user is not already on the page they are trying to reach. If so, the code will issue a 302 (or temporary) redirect to a specific URL.
<If $_SERVER["HTTP_REFERER"] == "http://example.com/my-awesome-blog/"Then<header( "Location: ". ($_SERVER["HTTP_REFERER"])" ); exit();
WordPress is a very secure platform, as it is based on a LAMP stack (which stands for Linux, Apache, PHP, and MySQL). Using a secure connection via HTTPS when establishing an online shop is very advisable due to the increasing threats that the industry faces. Having said that, using HTTPS for the blog itself is not necessarily advisable as it may affect the speed at which your blog loads.
Therefore, to maintain a good speed while keeping the security of the blog intact, use a secure connection for the blog’s login page (or any other page where you enter your credentials), but not for the blog posts.
Custom 404 (or Error) Page
Due to the limitations of a generic 404 (or error) page, you may want to consider creating a custom one. To do so, you can use one of the many free blog platforms like WordPress to create your page, and then you can use a plugin like 404 Essie to make it live.
404 Essie, as the name suggests, will display your custom 404 (or error) page whenever a user encounters one. To utilize this plugin, you need to visit the Settings tab of the WordPress dashboard and enable it. Then, you can browse to the page you want to serve as your 404 (or error) page and enter the pertinent details. Finally, you can click on the Publish button to make your changes live.
Creating a WordPress page that serves as an index.html page for your site is quite easy, and it will assist with solving a number of the problems that come with having a generic 404 (or error) page on your site. Not only that, but it will also provide your users with a better overall experience by giving them more specific content to work with.