I have a small number of 404 errors on my website. Some are posts/pages which I’ve think I have caused by altering the menu structure. Some are plugins, images and also files which I don’t know why these are 404 errors. Please could you just give me a overview of probably what is happening.
404s Are Not Always Errors
404s are not necessarily “errors” on your site, they are often errors by the requestor/visitor/bot and your site is doing the absolute right thing by reporting a 404 – URL not found. That said, you can’t be sure of what’s happening on your site unless you look at the problem using appropriate tools.
Investigation of 404s
Assess the health of the site in Google Webmaster Tools.
- Fix internal broken links by checking the source of broken links
- Add redirects to relevant locations for useful incoming links
- Add redirects to the correct page for commonly occuring typos
- Block or serve the same page to persistent offending bots that generate lots of 404s
- Don’t sweat having a small number of real 404s
Please view this recommended reading.
You may also want to run your site through this program : Screaming Frog. It is a paid program but the free version works almost as fully as the paid version, it has a few facilities missing and is also limited to 500 web pages.
If your site comprises fewer than 500 pages it will crawl them and identify all 404s. It will tell you where all the real 404s are – any pages on your site that you refer to – either internal or external – that no longer exist. It will tell you where each 404 is sourced so you can go to that place and fix the problem in each case.