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How to find 404 pages and how to redirect them

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Are you looking for an easy way to find 404 error pages on your WordPress website and how to redirect them?

404 errors occur when users try to navigate to a page on your website that no longer exists. These 404 errors create a bad user experience which can lead to lower search engine rankings and lower online sales.

In this article, we'll show you how to easily track down 404 pages and how to redirect them in WordPress.

What is a 404 error?

A 404 error is an HTTP status code, which indicates that the server could not reach the web page that you are trying to visit.

This means that if you enter the URL of a web page that does not exist, you will see a 404 error page not found.

Now, there are many reasons why the 404 error occurs. This could be because you made a mistake entering the URL, the page was deleted from the website, or the name of field no longer exists.

Another reason that can cause a 404 error is that the page was moved to another URL but was not redirected correctly, resulting in a broken link.

Finally, sometimes server malfunctions can also lead to 404 errors in a WordPress website.

Why stalk 404 pages and why redirect them?

Now that you know the different reasons that might cause 404 errors, let's see why it is extremely important for website owners to track down 404 errors and fix them.

404 errors are bad for the user experience of your website. If people can't find the page they're looking for, they'll likely leave your website and go to your competition.

This means that you will lose customers and miss an opportunity to convert your visitors to subscribers.

Other than that, 404 errors negatively impact your WordPress SEO ranking. The search engine ranking algorithm often penalizes websites when they encounter broken links.

Without forgetting that these broken links will make you lose precious backlinks on your website, which will lead to a drop in domain authority and a significant drop in Google keyword rankings.

With that said, let's take a look at how you can easily track down 404 pages and how to redirect them in WordPress.

How to track down 404 pages and how to redirect them in WordPress using AIOSEO

The easiest way to track down and fix 404 pages on your WordPress website is to use the WordPress plugin All In On SEO, also known as AIOSEO. It's the best WordPress SEO plugin used by more than 2 million professionals.

AIOSEO makes it easy for you to find pages with broken links and fix them with just a few clicks using their powerful redirect manager.

The best part about AIOSEO is that it helps you set up 301 redirects quickly, which helps you improve search engine rankings.

For this tutorial we will use the AIOSEO Pro version because it includes the powerful redirect management addon. There exists a free version from AIOSEO, but it does not offer the 404 monitor and redirect manager.

First of all, you need to install and activate the AIOSEO Pro plugin. For more details, please see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is activated, go in All in One SEO »Redirects »Settings to activate 404 logs and track down pages with broken links.

Simply scroll down to the " logs " and make sure that the option " 404 logs Is activated. Then select the 404 log recording period using the drop-down menu. We recommend that you do not exceed one month for optimal server performance.

Once you're done, go ahead and click the " Save Changes ».

Now you will see a tab '404 Logs'in the Redirects section of AIOSEO.

When you enable 404 logs for the first time, this page does not contain any data. It only starts monitoring 404 pages after enabling this setting.

Once enabled, AIOSEO 404 page logging actively monitors for 404 errors on your website and will display them here.

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It will show a list of all the urls that have a 404 error, how many times the link has been visited under the column " hits "And the date on which it was last visited in the column" Last Accessed ».

Once you have identified the pages with broken links, you can simply redirect them by clicking the " Add Redirect ».

When you click the button, you will see the option to enter a target URL and select the redirect type from the drop-down menu. For example, you can move a page permanently by selecting the option 301 Moved Permanently.

After that, click on the button Add RedirectAnd your broken link will automatically redirect to the new target URL.

Note: Over time, the size of your log file can increase and take up a lot of disk space. Running out of WordPress hosting disk space can lead to errors.

To make sure that you will not encounter this problem, it is best to delete and clear the 404 error logs.

With AIOSEO, you can easily delete any individual 404 error from your logs by clicking on the trash can icon.

You can also bulk delete your 404 logs by going to in All in One SEO »Tools, then by clicking on the " Database Tools ».

Now scroll down to the " Logs " and click on the button Clear 404 Logs ».

Besides tracking 404 errors, AIOSEO's redirect manager also comes with permalink monitoring. This means that if you delete a page from your website or change the URL of a blog post, it will automatically notify you to set up a redirect.

In some cases, AIOSEO can even set up the appropriate 301 redirects for you without any effort.

Bonus tip: Set up 301 redirects faster in WordPress with AIOSEO

AIOSEO allows you to configure redirects faster by going to the tab Settings and choosing the web server redirection method.

find 404 error pages

This allows you to unlock significant speed improvements over the default WordPress / PHP redirect method.

How to track down 404 pages and how to redirect them in WordPress using the Redirection plugin

The next method to keep track of and redirect 404 error pages is to use the redirect plugin For WordPress.

Note: This is an advanced plugin and some beginners may find it more difficult to use.

But, you need to install and activate the plugin first.

When activating, go to Tools »Redirection, then scroll down to click on the " Start configuration To configure your redirects.

After that, the plugin will ask you if you want to monitor permalink changes in WordPress and if you want to keep logs of redirects and 404 errors.

Simply check the box for these options and click the " Continue configuration ».

find 404 pages

The plugin will test the state of the Rest API. When the result of the state comes back as Well, you can click on the button " Complete the setup ».

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After that, you can add a new redirect for your 404 pages. To get started, enter the URL of the page you want to redirect in the Source URL column.

Next, select whether you want to exactly match the query parameter, ignore it, or pass it to the target URL from the Query Parameter drop-down menu.

Now enter the target URL to which the 404 page will be redirected, keep the Group option on "Redirection" and click on the "Add redirect" button.

find 404 error pages

If you want more options to configure the redirect, click the gear icon next to the button Add a redirect.

You can start by adding the old URL showing the 404 error in the Source URL column, selecting the query parameter as before, and adding a title to describe the purpose of this redirect.

After that, select the Matching option from the drop-down list. You'll see several options, including URL only, URL and referrer, URL and user agent, and URL and login status.

In most cases, you want to use the URL and the referrer. Mainly because if you see multiple 404 requests for a specific page, it is probably not a user typo, but rather someone linking to the wrong URL.

Now whenever someone else links to the broken url or an article you moved, they will automatically redirect them to the new location.

Next, make sure your action is on "Redirect to URL". The other options are complex and require advanced technical knowledge.

In the redirect type, you need to select an option from the HTTP Code drop-down list (such as 301 - Moved permanently).

Finally, enter the target URL in the corresponding Target column. After entering this information, click on the " Add a redirect ».

You can go to the new URL to test and make sure the redirect is working properly.

The plugin also has the ability to track 404 error logs. Just click on the '404' tab at the top, and the plugin will show you recent 404 errors that have occurred on your website since you installed the plugin.

Note: if you just activated the redirect plugin, the 404 log page will be empty. It only starts keeping a 404 error log after the plugin is activated.

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Recommended Resources

Find out about other recommended resources to help you build and manage your website.

Conclusion

Here is ! That's it for this tutorial. We hope this article has helped you learn how to track and redirect 404 pages in WordPress.  Do not hesitate to share with your friends on your favorite social networks

However, you can also consult our resources, if you need more elements to carry out your projects of creation of Internet sites, by consulting our guide on WordPress blog creation.

If you have suggestions or remarks, leave them in our section Comments.

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