Creating custom error pages


  • Applies to: Grid
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time: 20
    • Tools needed: FTP
  • Applies to: All DV
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time: 20
    • Tools needed: FTP

Overview

This article explains how to set up custom error documents for your server. Instead of a plain 404 Not Found or 500 Internal Server Error page, you can show your visitors a customized page that matches your site design.

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Results

You should make these pages simple to generate - plain HTML is best. 404 pages especially are needed frequently, and the server will spend a lot of resources if it has to process a complex custom page every time someone generates a 404 request.

Your .htaccess file will override the server default error pages, directing Apache to use custom pages instead.

Using custom error pages

NOTE:

You MUST add a "/" at the beginning of the path to your custom error document. The "/" references the document root of your server (/home/00000/domains/example.com/html/httpdocs by default). The path to your error document should be from the document root, regardless of whether you upload your .htaccess file to the document root directory or to a subdirectory.

That's it! Your change will take affect within minutes. You can test your error handling by trying to generate the error yourself. For example, to test a new 404 Not Found page, try visiting http://example.com/this_subfolder_does_not_exist/. Replace example.com with your own domain name. You should see your custom Not Found page.

Common client and server errors

NOTE:

For more information about different types of Status Codes, please see this page at w3.org:

http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec10.html

  1. Create your error pages. The documents can have any name. The example will use not_found.html.
  2. Upload your error pages to your server using FTP. These pages should go inside your html (/home/00000/domains/example.com/html/) directory or a subdirectory. The example will use the subdirectory errors/ (/home/00000/domains/example.com/html/errors/) for error documents.
  3. Upload your error pages to your server using FTP. These pages should go inside your httpdocs directory or a subdirectory. The example will use the subdirectory errors/ for error documents.
  4. Create an .htaccess file with the following lines, or add them to your existing .htaccess file:
  5. Add the following lines to your .htaccess file:

    Filename: .htaccess

    ErrorDocument 404 /errors/not_found.html

    You can add multiple types of custom error documents:

    Filename: .htaccess

    ErrorDocument 403 /errors/forbidden.html
    ErrorDocument 404 /errors/not_found.html
  6. Upload your .htaccess file to your html directory via FTP. You can also upload it to a subfolder if you want it to handle error requests only for the subfolder. A subfolder .htaccess file overrides a higher-level one.
  7. Upload your .htaccess file to your httpdocs directory via FTP. You can also upload it to a subfolder if you want it to handle error requests only for the subfolder. A subfolder .htaccess file overrides a higher-level one.
    • 401 Unauthorized - user is not logged into a password-protected area
    • 403 Forbidden - browser does not have permission to perform the requested action
    • 404 Not Found - browser cannot find the requested document on the server
    • 500 Internal Server Error - server was unable to finish processing the request
    • 502 Bad Gateway - server received an invalid response from an upstream server
    • 503 Service Unavailable - server is currently unable to process the request