Customize Your 404 Error Page for Squarespace

What is a 404 error page?

A 404, also known as an Error page, is the page that is shown to a website's visitors when they attempt to view content that doesn't currently exist (or is private) on your website. 404 is the error code returned by your web server when a page isn't found. The bigger your site, the more likely it is that there are some URL’s that will throw the 404 error code over to your readers.

Your website is automatically set to use the default 404 error page, and your visitors will usually receive a message something along the lines of:

We couldn’t find the page you were looking for because:

  • There is an error in the URL entered into your web browser. Please check the URL and try again.

  • The page you are looking for has been moved or deleted.

    Please check the URL and try again.”

While nobody deliberately sets out to trap their visitors on this page, a 404 error can happen for a number of reasons. For instance:

  • You might have renamed the URL for a particular page without updating links to that content.

  • An external website may have linked to one of your pages that no longer exists.

  • You may have shared a link with e-mail subscribers in the past, but the content no longer exists.

  • An external website may have misspelled the URL to your page.

Why Should I Customize My 404 Error Page?

Optimizing your 404 error page can give your readers the chance to find the information they were looking for through FAQ sections and customized forms. In addition, you can potentially reduce your bounce rate, make your site and business appear more professional and it can give you the chance to grow your email list.

Grow Your Email List:

404 pages can cause your website's bounce rates to increase (bounce rate is affected when users visit one page of your site and then leave). You should therefore try and use it to start conversations, build relationships and even grow your email list.

For example, you could:

  • Include a link to sign up for one of your free resources

  • Add links to your popular blog posts

  • Add a link to your home page

  • Add links to your services

  • Ask visitors to connect with you on social media

  • Ask visitors to email you or fill out a contact form about the particular content they were trying to view and couldn't find. You can then send them links to content they might find useful

If your highest priority is growing your email list, you will want to include a link to sign up for one of your free resources (in exchange for their email). Make sure there is a clear call-to-action to direct visitors to that link or download.

How do I create a custom 404 error page in Squarespace?

I highly recommend creating a custom 404 page, with a photo, a search block (so readers can find what they were looking for), and a few links to important pages on your website. Completing this task will encourage your visitors to stay longer on your website and give them a much better user experience. To customize your 404 page in Squarespace, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Pages section of your Squarespace website.

  2. Create a new Page in the ‘Not Linked’ section with the title, ‘404 Error: Page Not Found’.

  3. Write your copy for your new 404 page that feels authentic to your business/ brand.

  4. Go to the Home Menu > Design > Not Found / 404 Page. You can alternatively click the ? key while any panel is open and search advanced.

  5. Add your custom 404 page from the dropdown list, and you’re done!

 
how-to-create-a-404-page-squarespace.png
squarespace-404-page.png
 

If you’ve found this post helpful, or if you have any questions for me, please feel free to drop a comment below. I love hearing from you!