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A web server serves a 404 response when it is asked for URL which it does not have. It can be encountered for one for sveerval reasons:
- A page is removed from the website
- An incorrect URL has been created to a page
- Mistyped URL into the browser address bar
Every website should have a 404 response, as it is useful for search engines to determine whether the URL is not present. Google recommends the creation of a user-friendly 404 page.
Such a "Page not found!" custom 404 page MUST return the 404 header response. A custom 404 page helps to keep your site visitors to continue interacting with the site despite the missing page.
It is recommended that custom 404 pages have a user-friendly apology message, search option, link to home page and other popular pages. Some web servers recommend the best alternative page to the missing page, for example, in the case of an expired special offer.