How to Fix Pages Giving a 404 Error on a WordPress Website
You’ve probably seen this before: upon trying to visit a webpage, you get redirected to a 404 error page. Usually, this happens because the owner of the website has set up apache to throw a 404 error when it encounters a not-found page (errors can also be generated by PHP for various reasons). In this article, you’ll discover the easiest (and most effective) way to avoid this issue and keep your website live.
Rewrite The Not-Found Page As An Article
Let’s face it: when someone visits your site, they may not always intend to click on a link to an obscure page. Instead, they’ll probably try to navigate to the page that’s most relevant to what they’re looking for. In some instances, this could mean that they’ve never heard of your brand, and you’ll simply want to guide them to the information they need as quickly as possible. In other instances, it could mean that they’re just trying to learn more about a trending topic, and they’ll end up on a page that’s not-found because it doesn’t exist yet.
In the interest of providing the best possible experience to website visitors, you could take the time to re-write the 404 page so that it points to a relevant, existing page on your site. Doing this can help drive more traffic to your site, increase your SEO rankings, and ensure that everyone has a great experience when visiting your site. It can also allow you to fix minor glitches before they even have a chance to pop up.
Set Up Subdomains For Your Extra-Specific Blog Posts
If you’ve ever tried to run a business or blog from the road, you may know that oftentimes you’ll get the domain name, and then a few days later, you’ll get a message saying that the website is locked for public access because it’s owned by somebody else. In most cases, this is because they’re not actually set up for multi-site hosting or because they don’t have enough disk space to accommodate multiple websites.
One way to avoid this issue, and give yourself more space, is to set up subdomains for your specific blog posts. When you do this, it essentially means that you’re creating a new website within your existing website. The best part about this is that each subdomain will automatically point to a different hosting account, so you won’t have any issues accessing your blog posts from any device or browser. You can learn more about sub-domains here:
Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network (CDN) is a group of servers used to distribute and cache content, such as websites or blogs, so that content is faster for users. When a user requests content from your site, the request is sent to one of the servers in the CDN, which then gives it to the user. The CDN handles all of the caching and distribution for you, taking the load off of your own servers.
One advantage of using a CDN is that it allows for more customization. With your own servers, you’re limited to designing the website the way the web server administrator provides, which in most cases, isn’t very creative or flexible. A CDN provides you with a blank slate upon which to build a more creative and functional website. Additionally, using a CDN can increase your SEO rankings because search engines like Google value sites built with a CDN over those that aren’t.
Set Up 301 Redirects For Old Blog Posts
If you’ve ever tried to update your blog’s content, you may have noticed that oftentimes, the older the content, the more difficult it is to find a suitable place for it. This is because most blogs have a setting that allows them to automatically redirect older posts to a different page. In most cases, this is because the blog owner doesn’t want to clutter up the home page with dated content. However, it can also be because they want to encourage users to come back regularly and view older content. In this case, you can use a 301 redirect to send traffic to the old post:
- Go to your WordPress dashboard
- Navigate to the Settings page
- Find the ‘Permalink’ option
- Change the ‘Permalink’ to ‘Post name’ (for example, if the post is called ‘Best Shoes for Every Style’, the ‘Permalink’ will be ‘best-shoes-for-every-style’)
- Save the setting
Use Keywords In Your Headings And Descriptions
When someone decides to read an article, they typically have several things they want to keep in mind. For one, they want to know what the article is about. Second, they may want to know how the article is going to help them. Third, they may want to know if the article is some sort of fluff or if it’s going to provide value to what they’re reading.
To grab the attention of a reader, you should use key words in your headings and descriptions for SEO purposes. For example, if you’re writing an article with the title ‘Top Trends for Holiday 2019′, you might want to include the keyword ‘holiday’ in several places in the article. This makes it easier for a search engine to find your content because the keywords are relevant to what the user is actually searching for. Once you establish yourself as an authoritative source in your niche, this will also make your content easier for other websites to link to.
Reduce The Number Of Redirects To Reduce Load Time
While Google sees your 301 redirects as a plus, all that linking can cause a little bit of a slowdown when a user tries to navigate your website. Instead of having a single redirect, try for one-to-three no-redirects to achieve the same goal. This way, when a user lands on your site, they’ll see content as soon as possible. Additionally, using fewer redirects means that Google will have more confidence in your site and will value it more highly.
Use A Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) is a tool that helps website owners and bloggers create and publish content – stories, articles, and more – on their sites. Using a CMS allows you to establish yourself as an authoritative source in your niche because you have a platform for others in your field to link to and learn from.
Not only do CMSs provide you with a place to store and publish content, they also make it much easier to update as you grow your blog. Since your blog’s content is stored in a central location, it’s much easier to keep up with all the posts as you gain more experience – something that would be extremely difficult to do if you had to hunt down copies of older posts stored in different places.
Use The Right Hosting
The most basic and necessary step to creating a functioning blog is to use a good hosting service. When it comes to choosing a web host, you want to look for a company that is reliable, has a good reputation, and offers a money-back guarantee. You don’t want to end up with a web host that is outdated, has huge downtime, or doesn’t offer support when you need it.
An excellent hosting company will make your transition to freelance writing or blogging much simpler. It will provide you with everything you need to get started, including a place to store your content, a secure and stable environment, and a 24/7 customer support team.
Blogs Don’t Need To Be Static
Although they can be great for keeping you updated on the latest news, technology, and more, blogs should not be considered as completely static platforms. Instead of just displaying posts, you can use certain plugins to make your blog more dynamic and interesting. For example, you could run a contest every week, have a quiz every month, or even have a ‘slide show’ where you talk about a particular topic in detail.
As a blogger, it’s your duty to ensure that your content is both fresh and interesting for your audience. By running a contest, having a slide show, or doing a podcast, you can engage your audience, encourage them to come back for more, and make the experience more interesting.