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How To Create Custom 404 Pages in Joomla

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 Metadata Options

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  • On the same article, look at the right column and click on the "Metadata Options" tab.
  • Select "No index, no follow" to prevent this particular page to be indexed in search engines.
  • Save and Close.

Step 3: Create a Hidden Menu

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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.

Make sure this menu is not published in a module position so it is not displayed.

Step 3: Copy the Link

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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 4: Edit the error.php File

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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:

1.defined( '_JEXEC' ) or die( 'Restricted access');

Now we need our 404 page code.

For Joomla 1.5 use this code:

1.if ($this->error->code == '404') { header('Location: /theURLtoYour404Page'); exit; }

For Joomla 2.5 and 3.x use this code:

1.if ($this->error->getCode() == '404') { header('Location: /theURLtoYour404Page'); exit; }

Step 5: Test Your 404

PhilmoreSMS Error Page

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

In this example, I used my 404.jpg 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.