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Sprucing Up Your Umbraco CSM 404 Page

Umbraco 404 Pages

Out of the box the Umbraco CMS standard 404 page does not work at all. 

It is fairly easy to fix. Read how to do it here.

 Once setup, the 404 page looks pretty grim.  There are two tasks that need to be done to fix this:

  1. Some page design to make the page look more engaging
  2. Some SEO work to fix some search issues

Naked Umbraco 404 page

It shows (when using uSkinned themes at least) a message and helpfully displays a site map in the hope that the visitor will actually spend the time perusing the map.

Part 1

Add some information that a visitor may find useful.  Maybe a link to the site's home page and a link to contact details. Style the content to appear engaging so that you can be confident that you have a nice 404 page.

Part 2

The SEO issues relate to the site map and the the 404 page itself.

First, make sure your 404 page settings are correct. Login to your Umbraco backend and go to the Page Not Found node. Now check the page properties and make sure that the settings Hide from all Navigation and Hide from Search Engines are set to Yes (green).

Then go thru your site map and check to see if any non-critical pages are listed in the site map.  In this context I am talking about pages that have no value appearing in a Google search. These kinds of pages cause a Google Index Coverage 'error'.

Two obvious pages are:

  •  Privacy Policy 
  • Terms & Conditions

Look for any other pages that dont need to be in your search results and navigate to their Property tab in the backend and set the settings mentioned above to Yes.

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