Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

should i stay or should i go

Should I stay?  Or, Should I go?

That’s what your visitor is asking themselves when they get lost on your site.  

Or when they click on a broken link, or mistype a url, or try to go to a page that has been deleted?

In a way, it’s kind of a make it or break it moment, because your visitor has an option to choose…   

And, your 404 page can make all the difference. 

imagesHere are some great examples of custom 404 pages…  (I figured I could spends hours compiling my own list, or I could rely on the expertise of others and give credit where credit is due.   Hongkiat and CB Creative have 2 great lists.  Thank you guys.)

I created mine in 10 minutes.  

I kid you not.  It’s nothing fancy, but it’s enough to let my visitor know that I care; that we all make mistakes and an option to get back on course.

Remember, your average “web surfer” doesn’t know what a 404 error page is.  He or she just knows that something has gone wrong and feels an immediate urge to back peddle.  Why not use this as an opportunity to redirect them with some friendly language instead of some techie jargon they don’t understand.  

Listen, this is the easiest thing in the world to do and could be the one thing on your site that makes all the difference.  It could be the difference between a visitor and a client.

Step 1.  In the left hand column of your WordPress dashboard, click on Plugins…  (I’d suggest, opening up a new tab and leaving this blog piece open while you do all of your work in the other tab.)

When the sub menu comes up, choose “Add Plugin”.   On the right hand side of the screen, you’ll see an option to Search Plugins.  Search for “Custom Error Pages”.

Download and activate the plugin.

Step 2:  In the left hand column of your WordPress dashboard, scroll over settings and click on “Custom Error Pages”.  From here, you’ll have access to the customization screen which acts exactly like your typical WordPress page or post.

Everything is the same…  The visual vs text editor, the ability to add any sort of media; whatever you want.  

404Click here to see mine.

What about you?  What’s your experience when you hit a 404 error page?  Do you stay?  Or do you go?

Seen any good ones?  Any favorites from the examples above?  Let me hear from you in the comments below. 

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