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Top 7 WP Plugins For Dealing With 404 Errors

Top 7 WP Plugins For Dealing With 404 ErrorsDealing with crawl errors & 404 (page not found) error pages can be a real headache, which is one of the reasons why I have put together this short list of Top 7 WP Plugins For Dealing With 404 Errors. Plus of course, so many webmasters tend to leave these errors well alone, with the misguided notion that “Google will sort it out eventually”! This is a bad move guys & even more so since the Panda and Penguin updates.

To those of you that use Google’s Webmaster Tools, you have probably noticed that over time as you tweak & adjust titles of posts, you eventually end up with a large assortment of 404 error pages.

 It is also very likely that you have read what Google says about these 404 errors..? Basically they don’t give 404 errors much importance and even tell you that they will not prevent your site being crawled or indexed, hardly surprising then that so many webmasters tend to push 404 errors to the back of their minds & forget all about them! Unfortunately what the big “G” tells you is not strictly true & these days you have to learn to read between the lines to actually get to the truth.

You see in order to keep hold of it’s large search share, Google has focused more on user experience, in fact I would go as far as to say that user experience is now Google’s top priority. Therefore does it not stand to reason that a website riddled with 404 error pages is certainly not going to rank anywhere near a website with zero errors..? “Yes of course it does”, simple common sense would tell us that Google is very unlikely to promote a site that offers users a less than satisfying experience & for this reason alone we need to deal with these errors as a matter of urgency!


Top 7 WordPress Plugins Dealing With 404 Error Pages.


Top 7 WP Plugins For Dealing With 404 Errors

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So having established that having loads of 404′s or to be honest, any other errors, will actually have a detrimental effect on your site’s ranking, we now have to look at ways to deal with these errors. Listed below are what I consider the top 7 plugins that can help address the problem of excessive 404 errors.


AskApache Google 404

AskApache Google 404 is a sweet and simple plugin that takes over the handling of any HTTP Errors that your blog has from time to time. The most common type of error is when a page cannot be found, due to a bad link, mistyped URL, etc.. So this plugin uses some AJAX code, Google Search API’S, and a few tricks to display a very helpful and Search-Engine Optimized Error Page.

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404 Redirected

404 Redirected allows WordPress admins to have control over their dead links and redirects from inside the admin panel. 404 Redirected records all URLs that users have visited and allows the admin to easily create 301 and 302 redirects to valid pages on their site. Redirects can also be created based on the best possible match for the URL the visitor was most likely trying to reach.

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Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.

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410 for WordPress

This plugin will issue a HTTP 410 response to requests for articles that no longer exist on your blog. When you delete a post or page, it records the URL for that page and issues a 410 response when that URL is requested. You can also manually manage the list of obsolete URLs. The HTTP Specification defines the 410 response header for use when a resource has been permanently removed. It informs robots visiting your site that the requested content has gone, and that they should stop trying to access it.

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Smart 404

Save your visitors from unhelpful 404 errors!

Instead of quickly giving up when a visitor reaches content that doesn’t exist, make an effort to guess what they were after in the first place. This plugin will perform a search of your posts, pages, tags and categories, using keywords from the requested URL. If there’s a match, redirect to that content instead of showing the error. If there’s more than one match, the 404 template can use some template tags to provide a list of suggestions to the visitor.

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404 Simple Redirect

This plugin hooks the normal WordPress work flow in order to determine if the request is processing will cause a 404 HTTP error. In that case it prevents WordPress to do any other processing and sends the user to the page defined in the plugin options. A working and simple solution.

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404 Redirection

Permanently redirect all 404′s to the main blog URL. The primary purpose is to salvage Google PageRank (TM) from missing pages.

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Using any one of these plugins can indeed lessen the effect of an ever growing stack of 404 errors, but unfortunately they do not help you deal with an already acquired stack of error pages.  As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure” and when your faced with having to deal with over 1,500 404 (page not found) errors, then that saying really does ring true!

I would advise that at the very least you install the WordPress Plugin “ Redirection ” as once set up it will monitor your post titles and should you decide to tweak or change the title of any post, this plugin will automatically create a 301 redirect from the old title to the new one . This at least will help to reduce the number of 404 errors from being created.

This article has mostly dealt with prevention of 404 errors, in the next article we will look at a method I use to help deal with large quantities of 404 errors and redirect them to useful pages.

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About Steve Nickson

Steve is a UK ex-pat currently living in the Philippines, he has been involved with computers for over 24 years, the last 7 years focusing on SEO & Social Media strategies, Web Promotion & Affiliate / Internet Marketing. He is constantly testing new ideas & is always keen to share his knowledge & expertise with fellow bloggers. Connect with Steve using the links below.
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