When an error is encountered, your server will display specific generic error pages according to the error. These error pages are not only dead ends, but they are also very frustrating for your potential visitors.
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Increase Your Traffic by Recovering Your Lost Visitors

If you spend any time surfing the Internet, you've probably encountered a few error messages. Error messages have numerous causes, such as misspellings, outdated links or internal server errors. When an error is encountered, your server will display specific generic error pages according to the error. These error pages are not only dead ends, but they are also very frustrating for your potential visitors.

When your visitors mistype your web address or click on an outdated link and receive the dreaded error page, they'll most-likely click on their back button and never return. However, you can recover a majority of your lost visitors simply by taking the time to create some customized, user friendly error pages.

As servers run different types of software and do not function in the same manner, there isn't a simple method for creating custom error pages that will work with every system. However, if you have your own domain and your site is hosted on a Unix/Linux server running Apache, this article will assist you in creating custom error pages.

If you're not sure what type of server you're on, visit the following web address to find out: uptime.netcraft.com

Before we begin, keep in mind, editing your server files is serious business. Even one small typographical error can wreak havoc -- make sure you make a backup copy of any file you're planning to edit.

Guidelines for creating your error pages:

1. Create your error pages in standard HTML -- just as you would create any other web page for your site.

2. Don't alarm your visitors. Never include the word "ERROR" in large, bold text. Your visitors may immediately become alarmed and think they've done something to cause the error. Instead, be apologetic and encourage your visitors to click on the navigational links to locate additional resources and information.

3. Your error pages should look just like the rest of your web pages. Each error page should contain good navigational links, a search feature, and provide information in regard to the specific error they received.

If you'd like to see an example error page, visit the following web address: www.web-source.net/error.htm

Once you've created an error page, save it as the error name. For example, if you're creating a customized error page for a 400 Bad Request error, your page should be saved as 400.html.

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