What Are 404 Errors – How To Use Redirect Options To Resolve It?

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HTTP protocols are used to make requests on the internet, which are sent to servers that respond accordingly. HTTP is a universally agreed standard, which has status code blocks. The status codes reveal whether the request that an internet user made, was effective or not. 

The 200 reveals successful requests, while 300 codes are used to redirect. The 400 demonstrates client errors, and the 500 displays server errors. 

In this post, let’s discuss the 404 error categorized under Page Not Found on request. It is an issue originating from the client’s side. It means that the page user is trying to access is not found, or does not exist. 

Are 404 errors a matter of concern?

The 404 errors are common, but webmasters are concerned about it. When there is an authoritative page holding plenty of backlinks, and users get to see 404s, it can eventually lose the rankings. 

The 404 error may even be seen, because a page was deleted from site and server, but the links and bookmarks still exist. It can even be due to URL restructures or outdated references, or users making typo errors. 

The 404 errors can affect your SEO including loss of PageRank. The search engine tries to gain access to a page that does not exist. If such negative signals occur several times, then the page will be removed from their index. Unfortunately, if it was a product page for an e-commerce website, then its sales get affected. 

A website is a contact point between brands and visitors. At this juncture, if the visitors cannot access your page, and get bombarded with the 404 errors, they will move to your competitors. Even the search engine crawlers will identify the increasing bounce rates, which indicates bad user experience. Your site or will page ranking will keep moving lower and lower.

How to resolve 404s?

To handle the 404 errors, you must make yourself familiar with ways to redirect web pages. For example, if you made a change in your existing URL, which has evergreen content that attracts a lot of traffic, then redirect is a useful solution. Wherever necessary, you can serve 404 pages.

Redirect options

HTML redirects

Users are automatically transported to your new site, but it take some time. A message is shown notifying that the site is moved, and the user will be redirected in a short time. 

In terms of user experience, HTML redirects are not good. The user is not ready for this huge change. It can even impact navigation, especially when the user wishes to return to the previous page. Trying to look for something specific, becomes hard.

301 redirects

In some situations, you need to use WordPress redirect 301 plugin.

  • Switching your domain
  • You have frequent misspelling of your URL
  • To determine a default version, and to redirect a non-default version towards the default one.

The 301 redirects are great for old webpages with remarkable link juices. It can be redirected to a new version, which reflects the old pages. A new URL can be created to accommodate the old webpage, which was otherwise showing 404. If you check the 301 WordPress Redirects review you will see that many WP users have found to be useful. With this plugin, it is easy it is to set the fixes and maintain your hard-earned traffic and SEO. 

302 redirects

For a temporary situation, 302 Redirects are perfect. For example, you are recreating the major website pages. The 302 can be used to inform visitors about the temporary unavailability due to ongoing upgrades or edits. After your recreating task gets completed, you can remove the 302 Redirect. 

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