You're about to discover a plugin that fixes 404 Page not found in WordPress automatically, and that allows you to set your own redirects.
Let me back up:
A 404 error or "Page not found" error is a common error in WordPress. It results when a link directs to a URL that doesn't exist (anymore).
The Page not found error can be very frustrating for your audience, so you need to fix it fast in your WordPress site.
If you're running an online business, you need to make it as easy as possible for your audience to find what they're searching for.
So knowing whether you have Page not found errors in your WordPress is crucial.
But what causes "Page not found" errors?
There are several reasons:
- A link has a typo and links to a URL that doesn't exist
- The content you link to has been deleted
- The URL you linked to was updated
- You changed the WordPress permalinks
Today I want to show you the plugin I use to track Page not found errors in WordPress sites and to fix them.
I'm talking about 404 Redirected. This plugin hasn't been updated for quite a while, but it's working just fine for me.
In fact, this plugin automatically fixes most of my Page not found errors and keeps a list of those it wasn't able to fix automatically.
As we'll see, this plugins comes with upsides and downsides though.
If you're hesitant to use a plugin that's outdated, you can also discover 404 error in Google Analytics, here's a smart article on setting alerts when too many 404 errors occur.
And when I'm already linking to other posts, my buddy Andrew Wise has written an extensive post on fixing WordPress errors. It's a bit technical at times, but if you're not afraid of terms like Stack Overflow or FTP, it'll give you nice additional info.
Fixing Page Not Found In WordPress
The good thing about 404 Redirected is that it makes fixing 404 Page Not Found errors extremely easy.
Have a look at this screenshot:
You can see, that the plugin automatically fixed 1018 Page not found errors on my WordPress site. Imagine fixing those manually 😉
I'm running it for almost one year now, but that's still a huge number.
It even shows you statistics of how often the Page not found error occurred and when it occurred for the last time. Isn't that neat?
See, this plugin works the following way:
- It tracks all 404 Page Not Found errors in your WordPress site
- It analyzes every single error and searches for similar URLs on your site
- If it finds a page or post with a similar URL to the one that caused the error. If that new URL matches the error URL, it creates a redirect.
You can of course scroll through the list of automatic redirects and customize redirects yourself.
Adding Manual Redirects To Fix 404 Page Not Found In WordPress
In certain cases, you might want to fix 404 Page Not Found errors directly. And this WordPress plugin lets you do that.
Just two days ago I had a tricky issue with a link in a PDF document I created.
The document linked to "http://jkoch.me/handbook", which was meant to be a redirect to my WordPress Handbook For Entrepreneurs (offline currently).
However, I forgot to set up that redirect in the 404 Redirected Plugin and thus people reading the PDF document couldn't follow the link. They were taken to a 404 Page not found error page.
Here are the two steps it took to fix it:
1. I opened the 404 Redirected Plugin and searched for automatically captured Page not found errors with the URL "http://jkoch.me/handbook".
2. The plugin discovered the 404 error but wasn't able to fix it automatically. So I added the URL to my handbook page manually and saved the redirect.
BOOM. That's how easy it is to fix 404 Page not found in WordPress, using 404 Redirected.