FROM THE ARCHIVES: Web Development Portfolio Case Study #18: MineRatMinerals.com     MARKETING SNIPPETS: When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. -Helen Keller     GRANNYISM #30: Mind your own beeswax.~via SweetLeaf

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!

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