WiscWeb - WordPress UW Theme - Creating a Custom 404 Page

This document will walk you through setting up a custom 404 page for your site.

What is a 404 page?

When an end-user enters a URL for your site that does not exist, they will get a generic 404 error. 

404 error message

This can be very confusing for customers who:

Custom 404 Messages

The UW Theme offers a way to customize the 404 message that appears for customers when a broken link is accessed.  This allows you to add more information about why the link may have broken, provide helpful documentation and links for where to find the page now, and a reminder for folks to update their redirects.


Custom 404 page example from the WiscWeb site

Create a Custom 404 Page

  1. Login to your WordPress site.
  2. Create a new page with the content you want for your 404 page. We recommend naming it "404 Error"
  3. In your Dashboard, click on Appearance > Customize.
  4. Click on Custom 404 Page.
  5. You will see a dropdown with all of your pages selected. Select the page you created in step 2 (e.g. 404 Error).
  6. Click Save

Example Content for a Custom 404 Page

The following is an example of the type of content you could include in a custom 404 page (in a text block). The bolded content will need to be updated with your site's info:

"The page you are trying to view has either been removed or is temporarily unavailable. If you have reached this page while navigating the [your website name here] website or submitting a form, your browser cache may need to be cleared. 

If you believe you have received this message in error, please email [email address] and include your name, contact information and information about how you reached this page. We will analyze the issue and will get back to you on the status."

Alternative to Custom 404 Message

If a custom 404 does not meet your needs, WiscWeb offers a redirect plugin called Redirection that can be applied to the site. This must be activated by a member of the WiscWeb team. To request activation, please fill out the Support Request form and choose the Plugin Activation Request option.

See Also: