What happens when a visitor accesses a non-existent page on your web site?

Do they get a generic 404 error that doesn't provide them with any useful information and makes them run away from your site?

You can cause all 404 errors to send the visitor to your index page with a single line in your .htaccess file:

ErrorDocument 404 /
Even better, you can send them to a custom error page with instructions specific to your site:
ErrorDocument 404 /404-not-found.html
You can also use the ErrorDocument directive with other error codes, such as:

  • 401 (Unauthorized)
  • 403 (Forbidden)
  • 500 (Internal Server Error)