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What Causes Broken Links or 404 Errors?

If you consistently update your website’s content, you’re sure to run into 404 errors every so often. 404 errors occur when a user attempts to go to a nonexistent page of your website, and they’re most frequently caused by the following:

  • A changed permalink or URL for a page
  • A deleted page
  • A typo made in the URL or in your website’s content

Broken links are one of the simplest website issues to fix. Use our guide to correct 404 errors and be sure to do it quick; broken links can make for a bad user experience and lead to a higher bounce rate.

Solution 1: Try Updating the Link

Make sure your link is correct, and if it is, check that there are no misspellings or typos. If you catch a mistake, simply update the link. Every website interface is different, but typically, finding and editing a page’s link is fairly simple.

Solution 2: Use a 301 Direct

Using a 301 Direct can be a bit more complicated than a simple link update, but it’s a great alternative solution to deleted or missing pages. 301 Directs are especially useful when your content is linked to from another website. This is because the link automatically redirects to the correct page, which saves you the trouble of attempting to contact all the webhosts to update the link.

To set up a 301 Direct in WordPress,

  • Download and install Redirection, a WordPress plugin
  • Activate the plugin
  • After activating the plugin, locate Tools in the left-hand navigation bar and select Redirection
  • Define the “Source URL” (your existing, incorrect URL)
  • Define the “Target URL” (the URL you want to redirect to)
  • Click on Add Redirection

There are several other plugins available on WordPress that are designed to set up 301 Directs and monitor 404 errors.

If you have any concerns regarding your website’s analytics, application, development, or if you find yourself in need of technical/IT troubleshooting services, contact Analytic Design for a free consultation!