Updated: 10/11/2017 by Computer Hope

404 may refer to any of the following:

404 error1. A 404 is an HTTP status code indicating that the page you are trying to access does not exist at that location. Below is an example of how a generic 404 error message may look on a web page.

404 not found error message

What should I do when I get a 404 error?

If you are visiting a web page you have no control of and get a 404 error there is nothing you can do on your end to get the page to work again. However, you can try the suggestions on the document below.

Creating a custom 404 page

If you run a website or blog it is essential that you create a custom 404 page to help direct visitors who encounters this error. If you have access to the .htaccess file and want to create a custom 404 error page add the below line into your .htaccess file. In the example below, any time a visitor encounters a 404 error they are directed to the my_404.htm page. If you have a web based Control Panel, such as cPanel, your 404 error pages can also be customized in that Control Panel.

ErrorDocument 404 /my_404.htm

Tips on creating a smart 404 error page

  • At the very least, make sure your 404 error page has links to other sections of your site. One good example is a link to your site map.
  • If your site or blog has a search engine, make sure it is visible on the 404 error page.
  • If you are using Google Analytics, setup error tracking so you can know about your 404 errors. 404 errors are also in the Google Webmaster tools.
  • If you are familiar with a scripting language, instead of referring a static 404 page make it dynamic. For example, the Computer Hope 404 page logs each error, runs the URL through an algorithm to suggest a recommended page, and finds keywords in the URL to be used in the search box.

Tip: If you are a webmaster and have moved a web page to an alternate location use a 301 error code. If you have removed something with no intentions of returning it use a 410.

Related pages

2. 404 is a US area code, see our 404 area code listing for further information.

3. 404 is shorthand used in text-based communications that indicate you have no idea.

410, Chat terms, Error, HTTP, SEO terms, Web design terms