Setting a 404 error page via .htaccess
Modifying or creating a .htaccess via cPanel's file manager
- Login to your cPanel.
- Under the Files section click on File Manager.
- Select the Document Root for: option.
- Ensure Show Hidden Files is selected.
- Then click Go.
- Right click on the .htaccess file and select Edit.
- If the .htaccess file didn't exist in the previous step, click on New File at the top left, name the file .htaccess, and set the directory for creation to /public_html/ or the document root of your site.
- You might have a text editor encoding dialog box pop-up, go ahead and just click Edit.
- After you've made your edits, click on Save Changes, and you should see a green Success pop-up.
- Now if you try to pull up a page that won't exist on the server such as /ThisPageWon'tExist you should see the custom 404 error message that we've configured. The first image below is the default 404 error page when a custom one is not set, and on the second one is our custom one that we've just created:
Now that you are ready to edit the .htaccess file, the simplest way to set a 404 error page is by directly setting a 404 error message in the .htaccess file itself:
ErrorDocument 404 "<H1>Page not found</H1>"
If you already have a static HTML page that you'd like to use for 404 errors you can also direcly point to that file with the .htaccess file as well:
ErrorDocument 404 /404.html
You should now understand how to control how 404 errors are handled for your website, by either setting the error directly, or pointing to a custom 404 error page. If you need help on actually creating your custom 404 error page you would want to review our article on creating a custom 404 error page.
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