In this article, I will teach you. 2 Best ways to Redirect your 404 page to the home page in WordPress. Redirecting your 404 pages not found to your website home page can help to reduce the bounce rate and allow your users to find other useful content on your website.
Why Redirect Your 404 page to Your WordPress Home Page?
If you haven’t had time to create a 404 custom page, then redirecting visitors to your home page would be a good solution.
When a user requests a page that doesn’t exist on your WordPress website, then WordPress will show them a 404 error page rather.
Most users who land on the 404 default page will leave your site immediately. That can increase your overall bounce rate and negatively affect your Google search engine rankings.
One way to keep your users engaged is to redirect them to another more relevant page. Some website owners prefer to take a shortcut and redirect users to the homepage.
Worldwide, you will redirect specific 404 error requests to the most relevant page.
That being said, I will show you the two best ways you can redirect your 404 pages to your home page and custom pages to WordPress.
Solution 1: Redirect All 404 Pages to the Home Page in WordPress
This solution uses an easy code snippet to redirect all 404 pages to the homepage. For more information on how to redirect individual 404 pages to other relevant pages, see solution 2 in this article.
In this Solution, you need to add code to your WordPress files.
First, you will need to create a new file in your WordPress theme folder and name it 404.php. If your theme already has a 404.php file, you will need to edit that file instead.
To edit this file, you must first connect to your WordPress hosting account using an FTP client or their file manager tool.
Once you have connected to your website, you will be able to view your 404.php file in your WordPress themes folder.
You need to add the following code as the first line to your 404.php file:
header(“HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently”);
Next, you can save the 404.php file and re-upload it to your WordPress theme directory via FTP or your hosting control panel.
Now, when the page is not found, instead of displaying page 404 page, they will be redirected to your WordPress home page.
Solution 2: Use AIOSEO to Set up Custom 404 Page Redirects to WordPress
The best and most effective SEO-friendly way to handling 404 errors is to redirect them to the most relevant page, not just your homepage.
This is where the All in One SEO plugin comes in. It is the best WordPress plugin used by over two million websites.
Their Redirects keep track of all 404-page errors and allow you to set 404-page redirects in WordPress.
The main thing you need to do is install and activate AIOSEO.
Important Note: there is a free version of All in One SEO, but I will be using the pro version as redirecting is a Pro addition.
Once the plugin is activated, you need to go to All in One SEO »Redirect. If you have not yet set a redirect, you will need to click the ‘Activate Redirect’ button.
Once you have done that, you will need to click on the ‘Settings‘ menu item and enable 404 logs.
Next, you can scroll down to see the ‘Logs‘ section and click on the ‘404 Logs‘ toggle, so it turns blue.
Your 404 logs are a list of URLs that your visitors tried to use to visit pages that no longer exist on your site.
You can choose how long you want the plugin to record your logs by selecting the time of period from the drop-down menu.
Make sure to click on ‘Save Changes’ leaving on.
After this, click the ‘404 Logs’ menu option to see the last accessed 404 page. Remember, since you just enabled logging, it may not show anything right away. Give it up to 24 hours to see the most useful information there.
The ‘URL’ column will show the 404 page that the user tried to access. You need to click on the ‘Add Redirect‘ link in the ‘Redirect‘ column.
This will create a drop-down where you can enter your redirect details.
For best results, you need to enter the most relevant page to the original query in the ‘Target URL‘ box and then click on ‘Add Redirect‘.
For example, if you had a tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog that you deleted and updated with a new one, then it would be better to redirect that old URL to a new blog post than to your homepage.
To add multiple 404 page redirects, just follow the same steps as above.
Remember, you usually do not want to redirect your 404 page to your home page forever. It’s a great temporary solution until you create a custom 404 page that will better convert or simply redirect users to the most relevant page
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