When it comes to removing blog posts and blog pages, it is critical that if you do not redirect that link to another place on your blog, that you have a really entertaining 404 page. Doing this will guide the user, keeping them on your blog a little while longer.
That visitor may be a little upset that they didn’t get to read the content they were after, but with a custom 404 page, you can actually tell the visitor what to do next. Lot’s of website and blog owners have custom 404 pages and some just leave the default one that came with their theme. If you have a creative side and your blog is running off the Genesis Framework, then this blog post is just for you.
The default 404 page using the Genesis Sample theme is boring. Though you may think this page is the least important one on your blog, it is an opportunity to redirect people to other content on your site, keeping them there for longer. Direct them on where to go next.
Boring 404 page
As you can tell from the above image, the default 404 page could use a bit of work. If you have in fact deleted the page they’re looking for, searching it won’t do any good. You’ll want to direct them on where to go next to find awesome content. Get creative with this and be yourself. Rather than editing a template to customize the 404 page, my recommendation is to install the Genesis 404 Page plugin. For a lot of shortcodes to use, install the Display Posts Shortcode plugin.
These shortcodes will help you design the 404 page with bits of information. You have a lot of layouts to choose from, below we are testing the full page one.
Example (playing around still)
These 2 plugins are light and don’t cause issues with any other plugins even though they are hardly ever updated.
Search & Install
Install and activate the plugin, then install the Display Posts Shortcode plugin and make sure you open up the following 2 pages in a separate window. You will need to reference it to grab shortcodes.
Open Up Links
Creating & Editing The 404 Page
By default, you will not see a 404.php page when you go to edit your child themes files. About 95% of themes created for the Genesis Framework don’t have one because designers choose not to spend time on creating a custom one when the framework itself has a default one. We can not edit this template because when you updated the framework, all those files changes will be lost. You should never edit the core genesis framework files.
The Genesis 404 Page plugin is the perfect answer. It’s easy to customize your 404 page using the shortcodes plugin or get creative in your post window. There are no settings to talk about but the images below are what you get with the 404 page design.
A new option in Genesis Tab!
I would suggest editing this page using the “visual” posting mode. To make this page more appealing, direct people to more information about your blog or add your autoresponder box on this page. To monetize this area, use Google Custom Search.
There are two main layouts to choose from: Full-width or 1 side column. I would suggest the full page option. Hopefully, your side column is already filled with helpful information for your readers, adding an additional resource to your custom 404 page.
Go type in a bad URL on purpose on your blog to see the default 404 page. Does this page show helpful information to redirect readers? If you’re looking for some creative inspiration for your 404 page, check out these awesome designs.
- 34 brilliantly designed 404 error pages
- Practical theme tweaks: 5 Simple Codes To Customize Your Theme After Installation
If this blog post was helpful in any way to get those creative juices flowing, consider sharing this with your followers.