If a shopper attempts to access a page on your site that doesn't exist, the software can display a customized 404 page which can be edited through the admin console, and which inherits your site's skin. You may also configure the customized 404 page to recommend pages on your site based on the incorrect address the shopper tried to reach. Setting up such a page can help cut down on abandons and customer frustration.
Refer also to the Enable Custom Errors section in the Go Live Checklist for important information regarding custom errors.
Enabling the Custom 404 Page
First, open the web.config file in the root of your site (in Visual Studio or a text editor like Notepad) and find the "customErrors mode" line. Change it to read:
This is case-sensitive! 'on' will not work, use 'On'.
In the same file, find the httpErrors tag and change it to have the errorMode attribute set to "Custom" and the existingResponse attribute set to "Replace" like the example below:
Go to Content > Manage Topics in the admin console, and find the pagenotfound topic. Edit it to show the content you would like to display to shoppers who end up on this page on your site:
Setting up Page Recommendations
The steps above enable the basic 404 redirect to display a friendly error message. The software can also try guessing (using the Levenshtein Distance Algorithm) which page the shopper tried to reach, and provide links to those pages. To set this up, configure the following Settings:
This setting controls how 'loosely' the software will compare a customer's mistaken page name with existing pages on the site. The higher this is set to, the 'looser' the comparison is and the more likely the site is to find a possible match, but the longer the search can take.
This setting determines how many suggestions the 404 page will display.
This controls what areas of the store the software will look in when making its guesses. If left blank, it will check products, categories, manufacturers, sections, and topics. Valid values are: product, category, manufacturer, section, topic (or any combination of those).
If this is true, the suggestions the software makes will be links to those pages.