- Written by Jim Dee
Ahh, you've found my 404 page, which means something went haywire. I suggest visiting my home page and starting again.
BUT, while you're here... What could be a better time to discuss custom 404 pages? You know, this is a detail of web design that so many developers ignore. But, there are many, many reasons NOT to ignore 404s. For example, 404s often mean that a site changed a link -- which is probably not a big deal, but it can mean that your site is losing a lot of good incoming link traffic.
For example, imagine if I wrote an article on Joomla development here in Portland, and it got picked up by a local paper. I'd certainly want all of that incoming traffic to see that article! But, if I changed the URL (say, during a restructuring), then all new incoming traffic (to the old URL) would see my boring 404 page (unless I customized it like I'm doing here). Not good, right?
Of course, the best solution for a former popular page is to redirect it to the new URL. So, if you're in the market for a new web site, and you already have some popular web pages, I strongly recommend that you talk to your web developer about your already-popular pages, and plan out an approach for retaining this important traffic. There are many ways of accomplishing this, from using special extensions to simply building specific redirects using a file called ".htaccess" This is a key issue, okay? So, if your web developer doesn't know about .htaccess, then you should tell him or her to learn about it!
Finally, here's a little tutorial on how to create your own custom 404 page (just like this one) using the Joomla CMS. It's a great page to bookmark if you're a Joomla developer!