NotFound.org Gives 404 Pages a Useful Social Purpose

notfound

404 error pages are a necessary, but unpopular fact of life for most sites.

Every website needs a 404 page, just in case people use broken links to access your site.

But, what if you could make your 404 page useful? What if it could serve a larger purpose than simply redirecting your visitors?

That’s the idea behind http://notfound.org. Not Found will still show your 404 page, but they’ll also show the name, picture and important details about missing people.

How does NotFound.org work?

  • Go to http://notfound.org.
  • Choose your country.
  • Press the button: “Yes, I’ll make better use of my 404-page”
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  1. Type in your website URL.
  2. Press the “Next” button
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  • Copy the embed code.
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Integration with your site

In this example we’ll show you how to integrate NotFound.org with a Joomla template but the process will be very similar for WordPress or Drupal.

Using an FTP client, like Filezilla browse the files of your Joomla template.

  1. Go to templates/yourtemplate/error.php.
  2. Right click >> View/Edit.
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The file will be opened with a code editor like Notepad, DreamWeaver or Notepad++.

Paste the embed code taken from NotFound.org:

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Save the changes of your file (Ctrl + S) and return to your Filezilla window >> Press “Yes” button to upload the file updated

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Before/After NotFound.org

This is a website using the default Joomla error page:

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This is an example of a 404 page using NotFound.org:

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Instructor

  • Valentin discovered Joomla in 2010, and since then he has considered it as the best CMS. Valentin has been coding extensions and templates for Joomla for many years and truly enjoys helping people build their own websites with Open Source tools. He lives in San Julián, Jalisco, México.

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hopekiah

I love this idea and I used it immediately. See [url=http://www.santafe-webdesign.com/nosuchpage]http://www.santafe-webdesig…[/url]. The children listed are in Europe. There was no option for USA. 🙁

steve

Thanks Hope. Yes, that’s a good point. I don’t see a US-specific setting yet.

Dan Knauss

Intriguing idea. Does it work for North American users? Isn’t it asking us to give up using 404 pages in the usual, best way — to try to focus the user’s attention on locating the correct page on our site? I’d rather not have all their branding widgeted in to my site; just a photo, a link and a phone number. “Looks like the page you want has gone missing. So has this person. If you see them, please contact…. As for the page you’re looking for, may we suggest…”

steve

Thanks Dan.
Yes, it looks like they need a few tweaks. There’s no US-specific data and I agree – the branding is a bit much.

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