The Error Page 404 and Joomla

Page 404 is displayed to the user when try to load a nonexistent page. It may have been removed or the user can click on the incorrect link. Many servers have a default 404 error page, but which are not very useful. That is why every website should have a specially prepared page 404.

Page 404 and Joomla

Thankfully, Joomla! has its own error page, but in the case of Joomla 1.5 – the default does not look too good, and thus often able to deter typical user.

Well-designed error pages reduces irritation caused by inoperative URLs. They help keep the user who instead leave the service can go to the home page or other pages. Often repeated mistake is the use of technical jargon, for example, showing a giant caption with error number. Because this information is confusing people with less technical knowledge and having no practical meaning for them. For them, simply a web page is not working at this time.

Therefore, you should always find a paragraph of text, which should explain the possible causes of error and present a good solution to the problem – at least a link directing to the home page and search engine. Depending on the type of service you can add contact information and a link to the help desk. Additionally, page 404 may include a list of recommended materials, texts, products, or other elements of the site.

Common mistakes

error404 Sometimes common mistake is to redirect the user to the main page in place of display 404 error page This is very confusing because they do not allow the user to understand the situation. Another mistake is to insert only funny message and shocking images or graphics associated with accidents or disasters without the necessary information what user has to do next.

Be sure to include the error on the page apology for an error – Internet user should not feel guilty, it must always apologize for the error, extend a helping hand and explain how together you can remedy the situation. Also place your administrator email address where user can report a fault – important if the site actually is a bug and should be clearly visible, thanks to that web surfer does not feel lost.

Custom Joomla Error page

In my recent projects, I used a component Qlue Custom 404 ( – this tool for Joomla 1.5/1.7 will detect all the major errors usually found on a website (404, 500) errors. This extension will allow you to custom these custom error pages with ease while still maintaining the proper error codes for seo purposes. There is also the option to log the broken links found for the possibility of redirecting these broken links to the correct url. Because custom error pages can include modules it will be beneficial if you add a list of most popular or most recent content module. It’s a good way to curiosity, which will prevent the visitor leaves the site. There are two versions of this extension Free and commercial Pro which has more features like: individual pages for almost all popular errors, stores all errors and lists the URLs in the admin control panel and allows you to redirect to custom error page when users try to access non-existent files/folders (eg. images, PDFs etc). After using it, you will not see blank page with error message but information in component view mode, a custom page in your own template.

But also you can do it by handmade : Because the default Joomla file error.php (which handles display of error pages) is located in <JOOMLA_ROOT>/templates/system. In the top of code of this file, you should make a redirection to the custom 404 page, it can be also article. Using Joomla1.7 add this code:

if ($this->error->getCode()==404) { echo file_get_contents(''); exit(); }
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This article was first published August 30th, 2011