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404/not found, Category pages, Themes

The 404 error message

http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/

Sometimes you try to visit a webpage but it doesn’t exist, or it has been removed, or its URL has been changed; or you mistype its URL; or you click a link that has a mistyped URL; in those (and other) cases you get the 404 / Not Found error message.

(See also Wikipedia: HTTP 404. For HTTP response messages in general, see w3.org: Status Codes and Reason Phrases or Wikipedia: List of HTTP status codes.)

Two special cases related to wp.com blogs:
• Beginners may stumble upon the 404 message (and get frightened, thinking they destroyed their main page) if they delete the sample “Hello World” post before publishing another one (see also Support doc on 404).
• You may get 404s if your post slugs are in the Greek, Cyrillic or other non-latin alphabet, especially when clicking on categories or other index pages. To avoid that, shorten the slugs to a single word, as suggested and explained in this Support doc, or use latin characters for them.

As for the actual message displayed in wp.com blogs, it’s theme-dependent, and it varies greatly – from the laconic to the garrulous…

The tech-spec-manual variety:

Retro MacOS:

Not Found

Garland:

Page not found

Albeo, Andreas 09, Day Dream, Duotone, Kubrick, Monotone, Sunburn, Under the Influence, White as Milk:

Error 404 – Not Found

…with various garnishes:

Neat:

Error 404 – Not Found.
Search something maybe?

Black-Letterhead:

Error 404 – Not Found
Please use the links or the search feature in the sidebar to find your way back to the real content! Thank you!

Pool:

Not Found, Error 404
You can use the search to find something in the blog. After this, if you didn’t find it, you can contact me

Spectrum:

Not Found
Perhaps searching will help.

Structure:

Not Found, Error 404
The page you are looking for no longer exists.

Enterprise:

Not Found, Error 404
The page you are looking for no longer exists. Perhaps you can return back to the site’s homepage and see if you can find what you are looking for.

Tarski:

Error 404
The page you are looking for does not exist; it may have been moved, or removed altogether. You might want to try the search function. Alternatively, return to the front page.

Light:

Error 404
The page you requested is no longer here!
Visit the Home Page
In order to improve our service, can you inform us that someone else has an incorrect link to our site?
Report broken link

Greyzed:

404
Error 404 – Page Not Found
The page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help.

Skeptical:

404
Error 404 – Page Not Found!
The page you are trying to reach does not exist, or has been moved. Please use the menus or the search box to find what you are looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Blogum:

404
The requested page could not be located on this blog. We recommend using the navigation bar or search form above to get back on track.
Return to the Front Page [link]

Fusion:

Page not found (404)
Try one of these links:
[List of top nav tabs]
Try searching the site:

Manifest:

Page Not Found
Unfortunately the content you’re looking for isn’t here. There may be a misspelling in your web address or you may have clicked a link for content that no longer exists. Perhaps you would be interested in our most recent articles.

Comet:

Page Not Found
The page you were looking for could not be found. If you followed a link on this site to get here, please contact the administrator so it can be corrected.

The employee’s-manual varieties:

Banana Smoothie, Benevolence, Bueno, Connections, Fauna, Fleur de Lys, Iceburgg, iNove, Quentin, Rounded, Rubric, Shocking Blue Green, Silver is the New Black, Supposedly Clean, Toni, WordPress Classic:

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.

Green Marinée:

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria, please try and search again.

Brand New Day:

Not Found
Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.
Search:

Almost Spring, Fjords 04, Ocadia, Solipsus:

Not Found
Sorry, but the page you requested cannot be found.

Dusk, Thirteen:

File Not Found
Sorry, but the page you requested cannot be found.

Blix, Flower Power, Sweet Blossoms:

Error 404 – File not Found
Sorry, but the page you were looking for could not be found.

Fadtastic:

Error 404 – Page Not Found
Sorry – this page cannot be found. Why not to search our archives?

Nishita:

Error 404 – Not Found
Sorry, the page you were looking for was not found.
Search for the page or look through the Archives.

Monochrome:

Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.

Ambiru, Clean Home, Contempt, DePo Square, Digg 3 Column, Emire, Girl in Green, Jentri, Neo-Sapien, Simpla, Spring Loaded, Steira, Treba:

Not Found
Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.

Ocean Mist:

Error 404 – File Not Found
Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.

Freshy:

Error 404
Sorry, but you are looking for something that is not here

Sapphire:

Error 404 – Not Found
Sorry, but what you’re looking for isn’t here. Perhaps you typed a URL incorrectly or clicked on a broken hyperlink.

Pressrow: [Theme replaced by Pilcrow]

Sorry, the page you are looking for does not exist

Elegant Grunge:

Error 404 – Not Found
Sorry, no posts could be found here. Try searching below:

Chateau:

What you were looking for doesn’t exist or isn’t here anymore. We are sorry :(
Please return to the home page [link] or use the searchbox above

The we-humbly-apologize varieties:

Chaos Theory, Sandbox 0.6.1, Sandbox 1.1, Sandbox 1.6.1:

Not Found
Apologies, but we were unable to find what you were looking for. Perhaps the search box will help.

NotesIL, Sandbox 1.6.2, The Journalist v1.3:

Not found
Apologies, but we were unable to find what you were looking for. Perhaps searching will help.

Triton Lite:

404
NOT FOUND
Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help.

Andrea, The Journalist v1.9:

Error 404 – Not Found
Apologies, but we were unable to find what you were looking for. Perhaps searching will help.

Adventure Journal, Autofocus, Choco, Coraline, Inuit Types, Notepad, P2, Pilcrow, Twenty Ten, Vostok:

Not Found
Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help.

Koi:

404 Not Found
Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help.

zBench:

404 Error – Not found
Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help.

Shaan:

404 Page Not Found
Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Try searching.

Paperpunch, Titan, Vigilance:

404: Page Not Found
We are terribly sorry, but the URL you typed no longer exists. It might have been moved or deleted, or perhaps you mistyped it. We suggest searching the site:

The Oops and Whoops and Doh varieties:

Motion:

Oops! Page Not Found
What you are looking for doesn’t seem to exist. (Error 404)

Splendio:

Oops! That page can’t be found.
It looks like nothing was found at this location. Perhaps searching can help.

Sundance, Sunspot:

Oops! That page can’t be found.
It looks like nothing was found at this location. Maybe try one of the links below or a search?
[Recent Posts]
[Most Used Categories]
[Archives]

[But those “links below” absent in Sunspot]

Greenery:

404 Not Found
Oops…! You’re probably looking for something out here.

Wu Wei:

404 Not Found
Oops! This page does not exist. Maybe you can try searching for it again.

Dark Wood:

404 – Page Not Found
Oops! I cannot find what you are looking for. Please try again with a different keyword.
Search The Site

Mystique:

404: The requested page was not found

Oops, looks like the page you’re looking for has been moved or had its name changed. You may use the search box below to find what you’re looking for, or start over from the home page [link].

The Morning After:

Oops!

Looks like the page you’re looking for has been moved or had its name changed. Or maybe it’s just fate. You could use the search box in the header to search for what you’re looking for, or begin again from the home page [link].

Grid Focus:

404
Oops. Something obviously isn’t right if you’re reading this. The URL you entered or followed no longer seems to exist, has been removed, or has been replaced. If you feel that this an error that needs to be addressed, feel free to contact the administrator of this website.

Misty Look:

Ooops…Where did you get such a link ?
Server cannot locate what you are looking for!
The Server tried all of its options before returning this page to you.

You are looking for something that is not here now.
You can always try doing a search or browsing through the Archives.
Don’t lose your hope just yet.
Posted as Not Found

Modularity Lite:

Whoops! Whatever you are looking for cannot be found.

Matala:

Whoops – four oh four
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching will help.

Regulus:

Doh!
Something has gone wrong, the page you’re looking for can’t be found.
Hopefully one of the options below will help you
You can search the site using the search box to the right
You could visit the homepage
Or you could have a look through the recent posts listed below, maybe what you’re looking for is there
Recent Posts
[…]

The what-a-tragedy-but-that’s-life variety

Unsleepable:

Not Found
Oh no! You’re looking for something which just isn’t here! Fear not however, errors are to be expected, and luckily there are tools on the sidebar for you to use in your search for what you need.

K2-lite, Redoable Lite:

error 404 – not found
Oh no! You’re looking for something which just isn’t here! Fear not however, errors are to be expected, and luckily there are tools on the sidebar for you to use in your search for what you need.

The we-lost-everything variety:

Chunk, Esquire, Parament, Pink Touch 2:

Nothing Found
Apologies, but no results were found for the requested archive. Perhaps searching will help find a related post.

Fresh Bananas:

Nothing was Found
I’m sorry to report that no article was found under that address. Perhaps you would like to try searching now?

Fresh & Clean:

Nothing Found
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

The maybe-we-are-inept variety:

DePo Masthead:

We can’t find what you’re looking for!

Next Saturday, Selecta:

Not found
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching will help.

Retro-fitted:

Not Found
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Strange Little Town:

Error 404
Sorry, but we cannot find what you are looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Bold Life:

404 Page Not Found
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.
[Recent posts]
[Most Used Categories]

Suburbia:

This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Nuntius:

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching can help.

Beach, Duster, Fruit Shake, Piano Black, Quintus, Rusty Grunge, Toolbox, Twenty Eleven, Vertigo:

This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

[Recent posts] | [Most Used Categories] | [Archives]

Bouquet, Dusk to Dawn, iTheme2:

Well this is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?
It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

[Recent posts] | [Most Used Categories] | [Archives]

…or maybe you are inept:

Twenty-eight Thirteen:

404 – Not Found
You seem to be a little lost or have followed a broken link. Perhaps what you are looking for can be found by searching:

…but, to be fair, it can be either party:

Neutra:

Nothing found here: An error occurred (404)

Either we’ve changed a lot of things here or you mistyped the URL.
You can search, see the archives and browse the categories.

Archives
[…]
Categories
[…]

Forever, Reddle:

Hi there. You seem to be lost.
It looks like nothing was found at this location. Perhaps it was there but now it’s gone. Maybe try one of the links below or a search?
[Recent posts] | [Most Used Categories] | [Archives]

Andreas 04, Prologue:

Hi there! You seem to be lost…
The address you tried going to doesn’t exist on our blog. Don’t worry. It’s possible that the page you’re looking for has been moved to a different address or you may have mis-typed the address.
Perhaps searching will help.

Vermilion Christmas:

Hi there! You seem to be lost…
The address you tried going to doesn’t exist on our blog. Don’t worry. It’s possible that the page you’re looking for has been moved to a different address or you may have mis-typed the address.
For now, you may want to go to our home page or search for what you’re looking for:

Imbalance 2:

404! We couldn’t find the page!

The page you’ve requested can not be displayed. It appears you’ve missed your intended destination, either through an outdated link, or a typo in the page you were hoping to reach.

If you were looking for specific content, please try searching for it in the search box below.

Back to Homepage [link]

The dafty duck variety:

Oulipo:

Oulipo 404 image
Hmmm, seems like what you were looking for isn’t here. You might want to give it another try – the server might have hiccuped – or maybe you even spelled something wrong (though it’s more likely I did).

The me-don’t-know-you-go-elsewhere variety:

MLB (all three of them):

The page you were looking for was not found.
Looking for something? Try MLBlogs.com [link]

The thank-god-the-theme-doesn’t-have-more-columns variety:

Hemingway:

[left column:]

Why am I seeing this?
You requested a page that doesn’t exist on this site any more. This could be caused by a link you followed that was out of date, by a typing in the wrong address in the address bar, or simply because the post has been deleted.

[right column:]

Page not found
It looks like there’s a problem with the page you’re trying to get to. If you’re looking for something in particular, try using the search form below, or by browsing the archives.
Search this site:

SEARCH

Archives by month:
[…]
Archives by subject:
[…]

The tries-to-be-smart-but-fails variety:

Chaotic Soul:

Problem?
Looks like you have a problem here sir/madam. You sure you have the right place? Maybe you got a little lost? Maybe you’re looking for something you’re not supposed to find? Either way, just go search for it, it can’t hurt.

Liquorice:

Area 404
Nonexistent Area
This is a restricted area. No trespassing beyond this point. This place does not exist. You were never here.
Leave now by either:
Going HOME [link to homepage] or try doing a Search.

Cutline: [Theme replaced by Coraline]

Easy, tiger. This is a 404 page.
You are totally in the wrong place. Do not pass GO; do not collect $200.
Instead, try one of the following:
Hit the “back” button on your browser.
Head on over to the front page.
Try searching using the form in the sidebar.
Click on a link in the sidebar.
Use the navigation menu at the top of the page.
Punt.

and the just-fails variety: [Update Nov. 2011: Fixed.]

Andreas 04, Prologue:

[no message at all]

P2:

No posts yet!

Notes:
– Many of the themes include a searchbox (with or without the word “Search” or “Find”): omitted from above survey.
– Formatting and capitalization variants also not reproduced.
– Some themes have two different 404 messages: second one presently not listed.

http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/

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Discussion

30 thoughts on “The 404 error message

  1. LOL:
    No 404 “humor not found” message for this post!

    The attempt and not the deed confounds us.

    Posted by Tess | April 8, 2010, 16:36
  2. Thanks! You see, there was a problem in this case: extreme diversity and no meaningful ‘objective’ way to sort the material. I tried shortest to longest first, but the result was boring as boring can be, so I came up with this idea to spice it up a little. Hope it doesn’t fall in the “tries-to-be-smart-but-fails variety” itself…

    Posted by Panos | April 8, 2010, 21:21
  3. What a tricky post… I thought your page was down! :-)

    When I first saw the 404 error message on the home page, I clicked the back button, left your blog and then came back to your blog (to see if I made a mistake).

    Then it dawned on me that you were writing a post on 404 Errors!

    You should have posted this on April Fools Day.. That would be very funny…

    Any way, I hate those stupid errors. I see a lot of them. I wish that the blog owners and hosting companies were a little more stable.

    I actually deleted the Hello Page on my first blog and thought I killed it too, but the tech guy fixed for me.

    Thanks for the post, you had me at the 404!

    Leslie

    Posted by Leslie | April 8, 2010, 21:34
  4. Yes, most clever—
    I was referring to the 404 as a confounding thing.
    For you:

    “He is winding the watch of his wit; by and by it will strike.

    Posted by Tess | April 8, 2010, 22:30
  5. I find the variety of 404 pages provided by the different web designers of the wordpress.com themes to be quite amusing. Thanks for sharing them here.

    We can create custom “404” pages in wordpress.org blog but not in wordpress.com blogs. Newbies frequently delete the “Welcome” placeholder post when they get a wordpress.com blog. It’s no big deal as all they have to do is publish a post as stated here in the support documentation http://en.support.wordpress.com/not-found/

    Posted by timethief | April 9, 2010, 00:54
  6. Yeah, amusing is the word!

    I’d like to be able to write my own 404 message; but the average wp.com user probably doesn’t even know what a 404 is, so I guess it’s reasonable that we don’t have that option in wp.com blogs.

    Posted by Panos | April 9, 2010, 06:12
  7. Neat almost seems to be of the near-Haiku variety. :)

    Really appreciate this collection, because together with the “comments closed” messages, you can see which themes are practical for professional-type blogs.

    I think being able to personalize your blog’s 404 or “closed comment” text would be a great addition, don’t you?

    Posted by Jennifer | April 9, 2010, 15:24
  8. Near-Haiku” – one line too short!

    Together with the “comments closed” messages? Ha! That’s the survey I’ll publish next.

    Yes of course I’d like to be able to personalize the 404 text (especially if I happened to choose a theme with a ridiculous or overlong message). I don’t know if it’s technically possible though (you know, because of the shared platform).

    Posted by Panos | April 9, 2010, 21:57
  9. Our templates are shared by all using the same theme and I sincerely doubt that we can be provided with the ability to create a custom 404 page. Luckily, the variations in the messages produced don’t really cause me much concern.

    Posted by timethief | April 10, 2010, 01:00
  10. Error 404 –
    Not Found.
    Search something maybe?
    :)

    Ah yes, the shared platform. I misled myself because of the ability to customize the subscription widget text. My bad! Putting it down to still shaking off jet-lag.

    Posted by Jennifer | April 10, 2010, 10:26
  11. @Jennifer: You’re cheating – 2nd line has to be 7 syllables!

    Posted by Panos | April 11, 2010, 03:26
  12. do you think “not found” might be seven syllables in Japanese?
    perhaps a complicated zen allusion to
    ‘a mystery we can’t see’

    (can zen be complicated)

    Posted by Tess | April 11, 2010, 05:52
  13. @Tess: You’re cheating too!

    Ok, here’s a couple of Neat/haiku 404s:

    Under the blossom
    Error 404 – Not Found.
    Search something maybe?

    Error 404 –
    Not Found. And yet it’s springtime.
    Search something maybe?

    Posted by Panos | April 11, 2010, 09:19
  14. no no, it was a second line for Jennifer

    404 not found
    a reflection you can’t see
    even so, is it there?

    ZENは複雑である場合もあるか。

    Posted by Tess | April 11, 2010, 17:56
  15. @Tess: yes yes, yours is like a koan!

    So, forgetting 404s, here’s more zen; or not – depends on the interpretation (Hashin, my version):

    No sky, no earth
    The snow
    Keeps falling

    And, forgetting zen, here’s a favorite of mine (Basho’s last):

    Fallen sick on a journey
    In dreams I run wildly
    Over a withered moor

    Posted by Panos | April 13, 2010, 02:31
  16. I’m remembering something, possibly Basho, about two versions about a dragonfly—
    one a dragonfly, removing its wings being a thin hot pepper,
    the other about looking at a pepper and imagining it could fly?

    The memory is vague, from when I was a child, so who knows how inaccurate.

    I named a my cat Basho when I was about 10 or 12…

    Posted by Tess | April 14, 2010, 08:16
  17. Quite accurate!

    Darting dragon-fly
    Pull off its shiny wings and look
    Bright red pepper-pod
    (Kikaku)

    Bright red pepper-pod
    It needs but shiny wings and look
    Darting dragon-fly
    (Basho)

    Anecdote has it that student composed the one, Basho replied “nothing of haiku there” and suggested the other.

    Posted by Panos | April 14, 2010, 08:38
  18. Thank you!
    My book is in my parents’ house up-north but I won’t be traveling up there any time soon… It’s a big blue leather-bound book with a golden design inlaid on the cover, fillet on the spine, marbled endpapers, watercolor illustrations. Most of the haiku were written by Basho, but there were others.

    “No sky, no earth
    The snow
    Keeps falling”

    That’s a prism for contemplation.

    Posted by Tess | April 14, 2010, 16:32
  19. Thanks Panos.
    Do you know how to modify that message? I have the Cutline template and the first time i got that bizarre message I felt quite puzzled…
    B

    Posted by Bea Quiroz | April 15, 2010, 14:10
  20. @Bea: You’re welcome. Yes I know: you can’t modify it… It’s written in the underlying files of the theme, to which we don’t have access.

    Posted by Panos | April 15, 2010, 15:43
  21. There is also a plugin called Smart404 that will help your WP find lost pages.

    [Username link to commercial site removed – P.]

    Posted by Insomniak | August 25, 2010, 12:50
  22. @Insomniak: Plugins are for self-hosted blogs; my blog is about wp.com blogs.

    Posted by Panos | August 26, 2010, 00:22
  23. 404 is an error itself or is it a false message that a file is moved.

    Posted by Anonymous | September 29, 2010, 10:54
  24. I’m not sure I understand the question. A 404 means that the URL you’ve tried doesn’t link anywhere, either because the URL has typos or whatever, or because the page or file has been deleted or its URL has been changed.

    Posted by Panos | September 29, 2010, 22:26
  25. I quite like the 404 message in my present theme Duster.

    “This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?
    It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.”

    Posted by Netty Gritty | February 23, 2011, 05:38
  26. I prefer neutral ones.

    Posted by Panos | February 24, 2011, 01:45
  27. Page Error 404b has occurred for all the postings in my two wordpress blogs hosted on my own domain.
    how to rectify this?

    Need help

    Posted by ram1961 | March 24, 2011, 07:28
  28. @ram1961: Sorry, I can’t help – see point 1 here:

    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/comment-guidelines/

    Posted by Panos | March 24, 2011, 15:05
  29. You should be able to list Andreas04 and Prologue under the “…but, to be fair, it can be either party” heading now. Thanks for pointing out their lack of a proper 404 page.

    Posted by Ian Stewart | November 3, 2011, 22:47
  30. You’re welcome Ian and thanks! I’ll update the post as soon as possible.

    Posted by Panos | November 4, 2011, 03:00

Author

author's avatar panos (justpi)

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