Creating a 404 Page using the WordPress Site Editor

A well-designed website consists of various elements, some of which are often overlooked. One such element is the 404 page, which is often hidden and not given much attention. This article discusses the importance of the 404 page and how the WordPress Site Editor can be used to create a custom 404 page.

Many web designers spend a significant amount of time perfecting a website’s layout, functionality, and content. However, they often neglect the 404 page because it is not immediately visible to users. Content management systems like WordPress further contribute to the oversight by providing preconfigured templates that designers may not think to review.

However, the 404 page presents an opportunity to help users navigate a website. If users cannot find what they are looking for, they may leave and look elsewhere. With WordPress block themes and the Site Editor, customization of the 404 page becomes possible without the need for coding.

To begin building a custom 404 page using the WordPress Site Editor, a copy of WordPress needs to be installed. Any block theme can be used, but the article demonstrates using the Twenty Twenty-Three default theme. The WordPress theme directory offers several block themes for download.

The article emphasizes that a basic 404 page does not require plugins as WordPress includes enough blocks to create a functional page. The process involves editing the 404 template in the WordPress Site Editor. The Templates section in the Appearance > Editor menu displays all the templates that come with the theme. If a theme does not include a 404 template, it is possible to add a new template using the Site Editor while considering the WordPress template hierarchy.

The article suggests assessing the existing template and making improvements to guide users who arrive on the 404 page by mistake. It demonstrates adding helpful WordPress blocks such as Page List, Latest Posts, Categories List, Tag Cloud, and Cover blocks. These blocks provide navigation options, display recent articles, offer direct links to categories and tags, and encourage users to contact the website.

By utilizing native WordPress blocks, the article shows how a basic 404-page template can be transformed into a hub for users to find desired content. While third-party blocks and a live search feature can further enhance the user experience, the Site Editor simplifies the template-building process by eliminating the need for coding and offering various layout options.

In conclusion, the article emphasizes the importance of not ignoring the 404 page on a website and highlights how the WordPress Site Editor makes it easier than ever to improve and customize this page.