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404 Error

Definition

A 404 error occurs when trying to visit a web page that does not exist. 404 errors (alternatively called HTTP 404, Page Not Found, Server Not Found, or 404 Not Found) can occur because an existing web page has been removed from a website without being redirected. 404 errors also occur when the user enters a URL that has never existed on the website in question.

A 404 error is not always a problem for webmasters. If a page does not exist and has never existed on a website, a 404 error may create the best user experience for website visitors. However, because website behavior is sometimes unexpected, webmasters will often create 301 redirects for pages that do not exist, but have similar URLs to existing pages (which ensures that a user visiting the nonexistant URL does not receive a 404 error).

If a web page is removed from a website, the general best practice is to redirect visitors to another page on the website.

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