At some point in time in our everyday online lives, each and every one of us has encountered a 404 error page when we visit a website or try to open a link. This 404 error is a status response code that tells us that the requested page or web content that we intend to view can’t be found.
There are tonnes of reasons why this happens usually, this 404 error typical pops up when a particular content has been moved or taken down from the website. Sometimes, it could be a result of the website’s host experiencing a server issue. While other times, it could be a matter of spelling the URL name incorrectly, domain name change, website redesign or even switching to a different system (e.g. CMS). For instance, if you move your website to WordPress. Your website users are more likely to see a 404 error message pop up because systems are handling link (URL) generation in a different way. Your users are accessing your website via bookmarks and therefore they would not be able to get the expected content anymore.
Most Search engine platforms like Google, Bing, etc. have a very simple stance regarding 404 error. They acknowledge that status code 404 on your webpage is a generic part of the internet. It is undesirable and has a negative impact on your search engine reputation. If too many 404 errors pop up, it can lead the algorithm of some search engines to think that your website is poorly managed or might have malicious malware embedded in them. As a result, this might reduce your overall ranking on its Search Engine Result Page (SERP’s) or might even stop indexing your whole website altogether, which will result in a decrease in the number of web visitors or users you have.
We provide with Smest.it an easy way to make sure that 404 pages are no problem anymore. After an easy setup process, which takes less than 5 minutes you’re able to run tests (SmokeTests) manually or automated. These tests will check all provided URLs and provide you with details like status code and calculation time. This will help you to avoid unwanted incidents from happening and will notify you before search engines are noticing it.
For WordPress users, we provide a plugin which makes website verification much easier. The best thing for you is that after setting it up and activating test automation you don’t need to worry about it anymore. We take care of the availability of all provided pages. We will notify you when there is something not as expected. You can focus on creating new content and amending your website to your need and you never need to worry again about missing a redirect.