A custom 404 page lets you provide a user-friendly website to your visitors even in the midst of an error. Very few users, when presented with a 404, will do more beyond click back to get out of the mistake. A custom 404 page is a good opportunity to keep them on your site and do more to redirect them to their destination.
Before going through this tutorial, you should already have created a custom 404 page and saved it into your website's directory.
To edit the 404 page, open up or create the site's .htaccess file. You can create it in a text editor and upload it to your site via the FTP server. Keep in mind that the name of the file has to be simply .htaccess.
Add the following line to the file, replacing new404.html with the correct new error page name:
ErrorDocument 404 /new404.html
Save and Exit.
Keep in mind that the Apache looks for the 404 page located within the site's server root. Meaning that if you place the new error page in a deeper subdirectory, you need to include that in the line, making into something like this:
ErrorDocument 404 /error_pages/new404.html
Now visiting unavailable pages on your site should display your custom 404 page!
If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and our broader community, consider checking out our DigitalOcean products which can also help you achieve your development goals.