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Are Customers leaking out of your web site?

Have you ever clicked a result in the Search Engine or an old bookmark only to get a page that says HTTP 404 file not found?

If you have ever rebuilt your web site or moved web pages on your site there is a chance this is happening on your web site right now. This could be because either your customers might have book marked a particular page of your web site, or a Search Engine still contains an old record of the page url in it's database.

So how can you stop this happening?

All you need to do is create a new blank HTML page like this:

 <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">
 Hey this page has moved or been deleted
Please return to our home page <insert link to your home page>

Save this with the filename '404.HTML' in the root directory of your web site.

Next create a blank text file in notepad and call it 'htaccess.txt' 

Add this text to the file:

ErrorDocument 404 /404.HTML

Save this htaccess.txt file in the root directory of your web site also.

The root directory of your web site should now contain:

After you have done that, when somebody enters your web site via a page that is no longer available on your web site they will be directed to the page you have created called '404.html'.

Of course you can make this page as pretty as you like - or even make 404.html a copy of your front page.....but remember there is a pretty good chance that they were looking for something in particular, so they may be peeved that they didn't get to what they wanted. So an apology and a simple message saying they should contact you if they can't find what they were looking for is probably a good idea.

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