How to Create Custom 404 Pages in Joomla

Create Custom 404 Pages in Joomla

By default, Joomla does not provide a 404 page that you can easily create and manage.

A 404 is really useful for guiding your visitors when they visit a broken URL on your site.

I'm going to demonstrate how to create a custom 404 page.

We're going to create an article, add a menu link and then add a little code to a file in your template folder.


Step #1: Create an article

create a joomla article

The first step in creating a custom 404 page is to create a new article.

  • Title: Create something that is specific to Error 404 since it may be displayed as your browsers title bar.
  • Alias: Type in a simple alias, such as 404.
  • Category: You can use Uncategorised or create another category.
  • Article Text: Add your 404 image or text, or design it however you'd like. In this example, I made my own funny 404 image.

Step #2: Edit Robots Options

set no index no follow

  • In the same article, click the "Publishing" tab. Look at the right column and click on the "Robots" field.
  • Select "No index, no follow" to prevent this particular page to be indexed in search engines.
  • Click "Save & Close".

Step #3: Create a Hidden Menu

new menu details

You can view our tutorial on how to create a Hidden menu here.

  • Menu Item Type: Select your Error 404 Page article.
  • Menu Title: Anything you'd like, such as Error 404 Page.
  • Alias: Type in a simple alias, such as 404.
  • Click "Save".

Note: Make sure this menu item is not published so it is not displayed.


Step #4: Copy the Link

copy the link

  • Copy the URL from your menu and store it on a notepad since you will be using this URL in your error.php file.

Step #5: Edit the error.php File

error php file

  • Find your error.php file. Usually, it is located in /templates/YourTemplate/system/error.php or in /templates/YourTemplate/error.php.
  • If you don't have an error.php file, create it in this folder: templates/YourTemplate/error.php.
  • Please make sure that you have this security code at the top of the file:
 defined( '_JEXEC' ) or die( 'Restricted access');
  • Now we need our 404 page code. Use this code:
 if ($this->error->getCode() == '404') { header('Location: /theURLtoYour404Page'); exit; }

Step #6: Test Your 404

final result

  • Type in a URL such as yoursite.com/blahblahblah to be redirected to your custom 404 page.

In this example, I used my 404.png file. As you can see, I'm not much of a graphic artist, but it gets the point across.

Congratulations! You now know how to create custom 404 pages.


Pro tip: 404 status code

We've published a follow-up tutorial on how to get a 404 status code as well.

Note: this tutorial was originally published on July 20, 2013.


What's Next?

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